About 1582 he studied as a commoner at Queen’s College, Oxford, though it does not appear that he took a degree. Afterwards he taught school, first at Oxford, and then in Warwickshire. In February 1604 he was instituted to the rectory of Southam, Warwickshire,Dugdale, Warwickshire, ed. Thomas, i. 340 In 1625 he was elected a member of the convocation. In 1642 he was forced from his house by the parliamentarians, his wife was so ill-used as to hasten her death, his servant was killed, and his estate of ₤300l per annum was sequestered, so that he and his family were obliged to subsist on charity.Cal. State Paper, Dom. 1660–1, pp. 133, 350 He died on 13 November 1653, aged 86, and was buried in the church of St. Mary at Warwick.
Francis Holyoake compiled a Dictionarie Etymologocall, which was annexed to Riders Dictionarie correct, 2 pts., 8vo, London, 1617. The work was re-issued in 1626, 4to, with additions by N.Gray, and in 1640, 4to. But Holyoake had meanwhile contributed so much to the work that a fourth edition was published as almost his own, with the title Dictionarium Etymologicum Latinum, &c., 3 pts., 4to, London, 1633. The sixth edition is stated to be compositum et absolutum a Francisco de Sacra Quercu, 4to, 1648. His son Thomas made great additions to the work, but, dying before he could complete the edition, it was published by Thomas’s son Charles, as A large Dictionary in three parts, fol., London 1677–1676.
Francis Holyoake presented a manuscript to Queen’s College library, entitled Huguccionis, seu Huguitionis, Pisani, ep. Ferrariensis, Lexicon alphabeticum, &c. (Coxe, Cat. of Oxford MSS., pt. i. pp. 76–7).Click here to hide this biography