HOLMAN, John (d.1700), of Banbury, Oxon. and Weston Favell, Northants.

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



Mar. 1679
Oct. 1679

Family and Education

2nd s. of Philip Holman, scrivener (d.1669), of London, and Warkworth, Northants. by Mary, da. and h. of John Pearte, Fishmonger, of London. m. 25 Sept. 1659, Jane, da. and coh. of Jacob de la Fortree of East Greenwich, Kent, 1da. cr. Bt. 1 June 1663.1

Offices Held

Gent. of the privy chamber 1662-85.2

Commr. for assessment, Northants 1665-80, Oxon. 1673-80, Herefs. 1677-80, Northants. and Oxon. 1689-90, rebuilding Northampton 1675, recusants, Oxon. 1675; asst. Banbury 1683-Oct. 1688; freeman, Oxford 1689; j.p. and dep. lt. Northants. aft. 1689-d.3


Holman came of a minor family settled at Godstone, Surrey, by 1542 which produced an MP for Surrey under the Protectorate. His father bought a Northamptonshire estate adjoining Banbury in 1629. A Parliamentarian in the Civil War, he sat for the county in 1659, but continued to hold local office after the Restoration. Holman’s elder brother changed his religion on his travels, married Lord Stafford’s daughter, and was described as ‘a melancholy and bigoted convert to the Church of Rome’.4

Holman resided in Banbury, where his father owned property, and was returned for the borough in 1661. He was totally inactive, apart from nomination to the committee of elections and privileges, during the opening sessions of the Cavalier Parliament; but he may have been among those ordered to bring in a public accounts bill on 15 Oct. 1667. He probably supported toleration, since a Presbyterian meeting-place was licensed on his Herefordshire property in 1672. His committees in 1674 and 1675 included those on bills for the better collection of the hearth-tax, for the export of leather, and for rebuilding Northampton. In grand committee on 8 Nov. 1675 he supported the proposal of Sir John Hotham, 2nd Bt., for a discriminatory tax on the Jews, declaring that ‘in all places but here, the Jews have marks of infamy’. Five days later, he and Sir Charles Wheler moved to recommend the French minister La Mott for preferment as a convert from Roman Catholicism. In the 1677 session he was marked ‘thrice worthy’ by Shaftesbury, and named to committees for levying a charge on Northampton buildings for the better support of the ministers there, and for preventing the growth of Popery. In the debate of 23 Feb. on regulating the power of Chancery, Holman referred to the Suffolk election case, declaring that if the judgment in Exchequer Chamber stood ‘every Member may be returned here as the sheriffs please’. On 17 Mar. he said that if he were given a warrant he would undertake to prove that several Scotsmen had been forced into French service against their will. In the spring session of 1678 he urged the recall of the British ambassador from France. On 1 June he acted as teller for an addition to the proposal ‘that the proceedings of this House have not occasioned a peace’. At the height of the Popish Plot scare, he declared on 8 Nov. 1678 that he was ‘credibly informed there are forty Papists in the court of requests’ in defiance of the King’s proclamation to depart. Never an active Member, he had been named to 26 committees and made seven recorded speeches.5

Holman, a member of the Green Ribbon Club, was returned to the Exclusion Parliaments and again marked ‘worthy’. In 1679 he was appointed to the committee to receive proposals concerning the royal fishery, but he was absent from the division on the exclusion bill. Together with Hotham and Sir Robert Peyton he was deputed to fetch (Sir) Stephen Fox from Whitehall on 23 May with his secret service accounts. He was moderately active in the second Exclusion Parliament, being named to five committees and speaking twice. He told the committee considering the bill for deporting Roman Catholics that ‘he knew not his brother George Holman was a Papist, but that he was abroad in Paris and had been so for thirty years’. He added that his brother had often expressed hatred of the Jesuits, and his name was struck out of the bill. On 10 Dec. 1680 he reported on the search of Dr Day’s former lodgings. He was also appointed to the committee to examine the disbandment accounts. His sole committee in 1681 was the elections committee. Although his property was not extensive, he was able to give £10,000 with his daughter when she married Sir William Portman. He was nominated an assistant to Banbury corporation under the new charter, and not removed in the purges, although listed among the Opposition in 1687. After the Revolution he was mentioned as a possible candidate for Banbury in 1690, but he did not sit again. He was buried in London at St. Benet Fink on 22 May 1700, the last member of his family to serve in Parliament.6

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: Leonard Naylor / Geoffrey Jaggar


  • 1. A. Beesley, Hist. Banbury, 481; Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiii), 263; Wandsworth Reg. 11; PCC 215 Aylett.
  • 2. Carlisle, Privy Chamber, 173.
  • 3. SP44/66/308; Oxford Council Acts (Oxf. Hist. Soc. n.s. ii), 206.
  • 4. Vis. Surr. (Harl. Soc. xliii), 95-96; Baker, Northants. i. 739, 740-1; Index of Deeds (Oxf. Rec. Soc. xlv), 112; Wood’s Life and Times (Oxf. Hist. Soc. xix), 276.
  • 5. CSP Dom. 1672-3, p. 261; C5/612/87; Grey, iii. 426; iv. 6, 140, 279; v. 241; vi. 167; Finch diary, 23 Feb. 1677.
  • 6. Bodl. Carte 130, f. 288; CJ, ix. 629; HMC Lords, i. 228; VCH Oxon. x. 89; PCC 99 Noel; Guildhall Lib. mss, St. Benet Fink par. reg.