The Holt Family – Burnham’s Brewers

The Holt family originates from Whitby in Yorkshire  in a line of shipbuilders. John Holt (1742 – 1828) married Mary MILNER (1743-1803) and had one son Thomas (1773 – 1859) Although born in Whitby he moved to London, for reasons unknown, where he is described in the 1851 Census as “gentleman”, aged 77. The family appears to have been fiercely religiously Independent and many baptisms were recorded in Presbyterian Non-Conformist establishments.

Thomas married Harriet Marie Berry (1788 – 1869) and they had five children

John Holt (1812 – 1889)

Mary Berry Holt (1814 – )

Thomas Holt (1816 – )

William Skinner Holt (1818 – 1898)

Harriet Maria Holt (1822 – 1899)

The William Skinner mentioned here is known as “Senior” and he is listed in the censuses of 1851, 1861 & 1871 is listed as  a brewer living in Stepney, London. He bought Burnham Brewery in 1878 possibly whilst still living in Highgate, London. In the 1881 Census he is still recorded as a “brewer” but is now living in Mark Road, Brent Knoll and in 1891 in Somerset Court, Brent Knoll, now age 72 and retired.

William Skinner Holt Senior married Marianne Ellen Robson in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1848 and they had five children

Marianne Ellen Holt (1849 – 1928)

William Skinner Holt (Junior) (1851 – 1931)

Louisa Holt (1854 – 1923)

Thomas Holt (1857 – 1928)

Charles Lisle Holt  (1858 – 1889)

In 1883 a flood of the town contaminated the water supply which had been supplied by wells, one of which belonged to the Rev Theodore Crane Dupuis, Vicar of St Andrews. His wife and William Skinner Holt were responsible for bringing a piped water supply from Winscombe to Burnham in April 1888. Presumably Holt’s involvement was in order to have a ready supply of clean water for the brewing process. Previously it is thought that they “borrowed” water from the Dupuis’s own well. It’s uncertain if it was William Skinner Senior or Junior who was responsible. Possibly this would be W.S. Senior as his son Thomas was living in The Hall (now the Community Centre) at that time which would have made him and the DuPuis family neighbours.

HoltsBrewery became a limited company in 1895 and the Directors were W.S. Holt Senior, W.S.Holt Junior and Thomas Holt.

W.S. Holt died in 1898 and the business was then run by his son W.S. Holt Junior and his brother, Thomas

Williams Skinner Holt Junior had married Mina Ousley Deane(1863 – 1843) in 1886 at Eltham in Kent. They had four children,

Iris Ford Holt (1888 – 1961)

Marian Ousley Holt (1889 – 1954)

Charles Travers Holt (1890 – 1948)

Derreen Usher Holt (1892 – 1979)

Thomas had married Margaret Jane Edward in1897in Wedmore, where she was born. Thomas was again listed as a “brewer” in the Census of 1881, 1891,1901 and 1911

Thomas and his family lived in ‘The Hall’ (now the Community Centre)  from 1894. He was a keen sportsman and was responsible for the founding of Burnham Golf Club in 1890. He allowed the lands of The Hall (now Crosses Pen) to be used for public functions. He was also a trustee of The War Memorial Hospital.

Thomas and Margaret had three children

Arthur Edward Holt (1898 – 1917)

Cecil William Holt (1899 – 1914)

Ernest Gerald Holt – (1904 -1970)

Sadly both Arthur and Cecil were casualties of World War I, Arthur died of his wounds aged 19  and Cecil’s ship “The Hogue” was torpedoed and sunk. He was a Midshipman aged 14 and destined for a Naval Career.

Thomas Holt died in 1928 and in turn was succeeded by his own son, Ernest Gerald Holt, known as “Gerald”

Ernest married Blanche Frances Hill in 1931  and they had

Two children

Vernon Thomas Holt (1932 – 1985) known as “Tom”

Gwynned Rosemary Holt –(1935 – –)

Gerald Holt playing skittles at the Royal Clarence Hotel 1951.

By 1962 the Brewery had passed from Starkey, Knight and Ford, who had acquired it in 1957 to Whitbreads in 1962 at which time “Tom” Holt was still working for them. He apparently owned a Jaguar car, registration TH 33, when still in Burnham. He moved to the Cotswolds where he died in 1985.

Holts Brewery had successfully been run for almost a century by four generations of Holts starting in1878 until its final closure in 1957 or 59 (information varies). The site was demolished in 1966 or 68 (again information varies). In total the brewery had existed for almost two hundred years in a number of different ownerships.

As far as is known there are no descendants of the Holt family that are still living in Burnham. Perhaps you known differently and can help with adding to the history of the Holt family. Photographs would be especially welcome as there appears to be little evidence of the family despite their importance and prominence in the town.

In the Census for 1861 there is a record of a Robert B(urbank) Holt born in 1826 also in Whitby visiting Mary Chapman (nee Green) and her daughter Anna who were living together in Brunswick Street (now Brunswick Terrace). Oddly she is described as a “Railway Proprietor” aged 24. Robert married Harriett Chapman in a Non-Conformist ceremony in Canterbury in 1850, Harriett came from Brean. Robert Burbank Holt and William and Williasm Skinner Holt were first cousins once removed. As for the description of Anna’s occupation of “Railway Proprietor” it does seem enigmatic, especially due to her age.

TIME LINE

1770

Burnham Brewery founded

John Allen

1862

Burnham Brewery transferred

Shackel Family

1878

Burnham Brewery purchased

William Skinner Holt (Senior)

1883

Somerset Court

Residence of W.S. Holt Senior

1891

Golf Club opens

W.S. Holt Vice President

1891

Golf Club open

Thomas Holt Secretary

1895

Became a Limited Company

1895

Masons Arms

Holts sell to J B Braithwaite

1895

National School

W.S. Holt Senior donation £2 2s.0d

1895

National School

Holt Bros., donation £2 2s 0d

1897

The Hall

Thomas Holt occupier

1897

Sandyway House

W.S.Holt (Junior) occupier

1911

The Hall

Thomas Holt occupier

1911

Ball Copse Hall

W.S.Holt Junior occupier

1914

At sea

Cecil William Holt dies

1917

France

Arthur Edward Holt dies

1928

Land donated to build St Peters Hall. Later R.C. Church Hall

Holts Brewery

1929

Appointment to Board of Holts

Major James Mackintosh Sutherland (husband of Marian Ousley Holt)

1931

W.S.Holt Junior dies

1935

The Hall

Mrs Thomas Holt occupier

1935

The Croft, Brent Knoll

E.G. Holt occupier

1950 circa

The Hall

Kathryn Chambers Home

1970

E.G.Holt dies

1970

Little Court, Church House Road, Berrow

Mrs E.G.Holt new home

1980

Mrs  E.G.Holt dies

PUBS OWNED / SUPPLID BY HOLT BROS.

Godspeed?, Alexandra Hotel

Alexandra Hotel

Freehold

Bath Arms

Weston super Mare

Freehold

Bristol Hotel

Weston super Mare

Freehold

Cavendish Hotel

Weston super Mare

Freehold

Elm Tree Hotel

Weston super Mare

Freehold

Raglan Arms

Weston super Mare

Freehold

Victoria Hotel

Weston super Mare

Freehold

Anchor

Highbridge

Freehold

George Hotel

Highbridge

Freehold

Globe Inn

Highbridge

Freehold

Queens Hotel

Burnham on Sea

Freehold

Rose & Crown

Highbridge

Freehold

Somerset Wine Stores

Burnham on Sea

Freehold

Somerset Arms

Highbridge

Freehold

Ship Inn

Highbridge

Freehold

White Hart Inn

Highbridge

Freehold

Bird in Hand Inn

Bridgwater

Freehold

Anchor Inn

Bleadon

Freehold

Queens Arms Inn

Bleadon

Freehold

Wellington Hotel

Berrow

Freehold

Bell Hotel

Banwell

Freehold

Manor House Inn

Chedzoy

Freehold

Red Lion

Draycott

Freehold

Wellington Arms Hotel

East Brent

Freehold

Crown Inn

Huntspill

Freehold

Dolphin

Langport

Freehold

Rose & Crown Inn

Nether Stowey

Freehold

Star Inn

Shipham

Freehold

Beresford Arms Inn

Taunton

Freehold

Westgate Inn

Taunaton

Freehold

Ship Hotel

Uphill

Freehold

Panborough Inn

Wedmore

Freehold

Railway Hotel

Westbury

Freehold

First and Last

Moorlinch

Freehold

Railway Inn

Huntspill

Freehold

Railway Hotel

Burnham on Sea

Freehold

Bason Bridge inn

Huntspill

Freehold

Fordgate Tavern

North Petherton

Freehold

Ring of Bells

Burnham on Sea

Freehold

Golden Ball

Bridgwater

Freehold

Red Cow Inn

South Brent

Freehold

Ashcott Inn

Ashcott

Freehold

Clarence Hotel

Burnham on Sea

Freehold

Victoria Hotel

Burnham on Sea

Freehold

White Lion Inn

Aller

Freehold

Maltshovel Inn

Cannington

Freehold

Railway Hotel

Edington

Freehold

Brent Knoll Inn

East Brent

Freehold

Victoria House

Burnham on Sea

Freehold

Full Moon

Taunton

Freehold

Rising Sun

Godney, Meare

Freehold

Burton Inn

Stogursey

Freehold

Ruishton Inn

Ruishton

Freehold

Commercial Hotel

Burnham on Sea

Freehold

Fox and Hounds

Stogursey

Freehold

Hobbs Boat Inn

Lympsham

Freehold

Swan Hotel

Wedmore

Freehold

Puzzle Gardens Inn

Burnham on Sea

Freehold

New Moon Inn

Biddisham

Freehold

White Hart Inn

Moorlinch

Freehold

Claremont Vaults

Weston super Mare

Freehold

Blue Anchor

Cannington

Freehold

Globe Inn

Huntspill

Freehold

Plough Hotel

Holford

Freehold

Malt& Hops Inn

North Petherton

Freehold

Globe Inn

Blakeway

Freehold

Hope & Anchor

Bridgwater

Freehold

Royal Hotel

Moorlinch

Leasehold

Crown Inn

Axbridge

Leasehold

Custom House Hotel

Cardiff

Leasehold

Commercial Inn

Bridgwater

Leasehold

Research by Alan Wheway