He was well known to the leading Statesmen of the day for his ardent zeal and upright intentions, as well as for the straightforward manner in which he carried those intentions into effect, and in a letter dated 7th May 1591, (Harl. MS. 286, p. 76,) addressed from Calais to Sir Francis Walsingham by Richard Scholfield, clearly a native of Rochdale, and apparently a Government spy,
the disloyalty of " Father William Holt the Jesuit" is exposed, and a slur is cast upon his brother Mr. Holt of Ashworth, who is styled " one of the Earl of Barbie's men, a Romish felow and a secret Papist," and reference is made to " Midgley a godly Minister at Rachdale," who was said to be well acquainted with the proceedings and treachery of these individuals,and apparently not indisposed to disclose what he knew ; but if Midgley's discretion and moderation were not of a somewhat different cast from those which characterised his unscrupulous eulogist, I fear that disastrous and unmerited results would follow in the experience of at least one of the brothers. That the other was implicated in Sir William Stanley's unnatural treason and met with the fate of a traitor is not unknown, but it does not appear to have been recorded that the Jesuit Holt, the active friend and unwearied coadjutor of Cardinal William Allen, belonged to the well-descended family of that name seated at Ashworth.
Link (here) to the book entilted, The Vicars of Rochdale, Volume 1 By Francis Robert Raines, Sir Henry Hoyle Howorth
The engraving is that of Cardinal William Allen