John Holles 1662-1711

From Book Owners Online

John HOLLES, 1st Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne 1662-1711

One of Holles's bookplates (British Museum Franks Collection *20)

Biographical Note

Son of John Holles, 3rd Earl of Clare, from whom he inherited the title and family estates in 1689. He was educated at home and was briefly MP for Nottinghamshire in 1689 before inheriting his peerage. Through marriage in 1690 to Margaret Cavendish, daughter of Henry Cavendish, 2nd Duke of Newcastle he hugely augmented his family fortunes, inheriting large estates in the East Midlands and Northumberland when his father in law died in 1691. He became one of the country's wealthiest peers, and was made Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1694, moving the main family seat to Welbeck Abbey, inherited through his wife. He held numerous state and local offices and was an influential voice in state affairs.


Holles's library was sold by retail sale beginning 2.3.1719 (following the settlement of protracted disputes over his will); the sale was described as comprising the books of Holles, his father in law Henry Cavendish, and his father William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle. It was, therefore, a mixture of books which Holles had inherited from the Cavendish line, and those which he had acquired separately. The catalogue contains 3244 lots, covering a wide range of subjects and languages, extensively subdivided; it is one of the earlier English sale catalogues to include a separately identified section of books from the Elzevir press (Authores typis Elzeririanis impressi, 18 lots). Holles used a series of engraved armorial bookplates (Franks 15108-9, *20).