Robert Durning Holt was a Liverpool merchant, politician and public benefactor. He was the son of George Holt (1790 - 1861), the cotton broker who created the family's fortune, and the brother of George (1825 - 1896), whose collection was bequeathed to Liverpool by his daughter Emma and is exhibited at Sudley House.
Robert suceeded to his father's firm and entered local politics in the Liberal interest, becoming leader of the party. He was a councillor from 1877, and was the last Mayor and first Lord Mayor, (1892 - 1893), in the first Liberal dominated Council for 50 years. He was deputy chairmain of the Libraries, Museums and Art Gallery Committee in Liverpool between 1899 and 1903 and later between 1905 and 1908. He declined both Aldermanship and Baronetcy. He married Laurencia, daughter of Richard Potter of Manchester, in 1876. Their son, Richard, was MP for Liverpool.