James Holt

Warehouseman, Merchant

Terms served on Council

Title Council From To
Alderman City of Sydney 1842 1845

Family background

Genealogical details for James Holt have not been found and it is unknown if he married. A James Holt, who could be his son, died at Camperdown in 1855, aged 35 years. He may have returned to England before his death.

Occupation & interests

Holt arrived as a well-educated free settler from England on 25 November 1825 on the Mountaineer with an order from Lord Bathurst for land in Van Diemen’s Land. He continued to Sydney and became employed with emancipist merchants Cooper and Levy. When Daniel Cooper, his first cousin, returned to England in 1831, James Holt took over the firm’s mercantile interests in Sydney. In 1844, Cooper and Holt, merchants, shipowners, and agents, had their Waterloo Warehouse on the corner of George and Market Streets. The firm owned the whaler Australian in 1845. In 1833 he bought land at Little Sirius Cove and in 1836, 65 perches at Botany. In 1842, he purchased 100 acres at Lake Bathurst for his horses and cattle. He took over Daniel Cooper’s Rose Bay Lodge in Salisbury Road, designed by John Verge.

Community activity

James Holt was Commissioner of Peace and magistrate in 1844. He was a Director of the Bank of New South Wales from 1840 until his retirement in November 1844. He was a shareholder in the North Sydney Ferry Company in 1843 and was a subscriber to the Homebush Races.

Local government service

James Holt was a Foundation Councillor for Macquarie Ward, 1 November 1842 to 8 January 1845. He was fined for non-attendance at meetings of Council and vacated his office. In August 1843 he won the wooden spoon for the lowest attendance (18 out of 67) at City Council meetings. In April 1843 and again in August 1844 he was fined for non-attendance as a Supreme Court Juror.


Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW: *D334. J T Hughes Papers, 1832-49. Oct 8 1856: Letter to James Cooper to act as his agent in finalising affairs of late firm Cooper & Holt

State Records Office. Col Sec re Land


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