HOLLES, Sir Francis, 1st Bt. (1627-90), of Aldenham, Herts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



20 Jan. 1647
Mar. 1679
Oct. 1679 - 17 Feb. 1680

Family and Education

b. 19 Aug. 1627, o. surv. s. of Hon. Denzil Holles. educ. travelled abroad 1645; M. Temple 1648, called 1661; Clare, Camb. 1651. m. (1) 22 Aug. 1661 (with £6,000), Lucy (d. 15 Sept. 1667), da. of Sir Robert Carr, 2nd Bt., of Sleaford, Lincs., 2da.; (2) 9 June 1670, Anne (d. 8 Mar. 1682), da. and coh. of Sir Francis Pile, 2nd Bt., of Compton Beauchamp, Berks., 1s. 1da. cr. Bt. 27 June 1660; suc. fa. as 2nd Baron Holles 17 Feb. 1680.2

Offices Held

J.p. Dorset 1647-8, 1650-?53, Mar. 1660-80, 1682-5, Wilts. 1653-80; commr. for assessment, Dorset and Wilts. 1648, 1657, Dorset Aug. 1660-80, Westminster 1673-80, militia, Dorset 1648, Mar. 1660.


Holles lived most of his life in the shadow of his irascible father. He took no known part in the Civil War, but sat for Lostwithiel as a recruiter until Pride’s Purge, and for Wiltshire in the first Protectorate Parliament. When Francis Lascelles was discharged from the House in 1660, he stood for Northallerton, probably on the interests of Thomas, 3rd Lord Fairfax, and Lord Fauconberg. But he was involved in a double return with George Marwood, which was never referred to the elections committee, and presumably did not sit. He is unlikely to have stood in 1661, and played no part in politics until the exclusion crisis. Although he never attended the Dorset quarter sessions between 1663 and 1674, and had long ceased to reside in the county, he was returned for Dorchester at both elections of 1679 as a member of the country party. On his entry to the House after an interval of 25 years he was marked ‘honest’ on Shaftesbury’s list, and voted for exclusion; but his activities left no trace in the Journals. He succeeded to the peerage before the second Exclusion Parliament met. This time he seems to have abstained on exclusion, but he voted for acquitting Lord Stafford.3

Holles’s house was searched for arms by the Dorset deputy lieutenants during Monmouth’s rebellion. He was marked as a court peer on Lord Willoughby’s list in 1687, perhaps because of the extremely favourable decision given by Lord Chancellor Jeffreys in his protracted suit over his first wife’s dowry. He was too infirm to attend the Convention at first, but took the oaths to the new regime on 16 Mar. 1689. Holles died on 1 Mar. 1690, and was buried at Isfield. His only son died under age and unmarried, and the estates passed to his cousin, the 4th Earl of Clare (John Holles).4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Did not sit after Pride’s Purge, 6 Dec. 1648, readmitted 21 Feb. 1660.
  • 2. A. Collins, Hist. Colls. Noble Fams. 169; PCC 210 Irby; HMC Lords, i. 177; ii. 73.
  • 3. R. Carroll, ‘Borough Rep. Yorks.’ (Vanderbilt thesis, 1961), 398; Dorset Hearth-Tax ed. Meekings, 116.
  • 4. R. Morrice, Entering Bk. 1, pp. 283, 548; 2, p. 14; LJ, xiv. 150, 216; HMC Lords, ii. 13.