Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Holland, Thomas Agar

HOLLAND, THOMAS AGAR (1803–1888), clergyman and poet, eldest son of Dr. Samuel Holland, precentor of Chichester and rector of Poynings, Sussex, who was sixth in descent from Robert Holland [q. v.], and of Frances, eldest daughter of Lord-chancellor Erskine, was born 16 Jan. 1803, and was educated at Westminster School and at Worcester College, Oxford (B.A. 1825, M.A. 1828). He was for some years vicar of Oving, Sussex, then rector of Greatham, Hampshire, and in 1846 succeeded his father as rector of Poynings, where he died 18 Oct. 1888. He married Madalena, daughter of Major Philip Stewart, and left surviving him four sons and three daughters.

Holland was a writer of verse from the time when his earliest effort, suggested by a visit to Dryburgh Abbey, received the warm commendation of Sir Walter Scott, almost to the close of his long life. His poetical range was a wide one, passing from the paraphrase of a mediæval hymn to playful skit and epigram, from the romance of Scottish history to the scenery and bird-life of his Southdown parish. ‘Dryburgh Abbey and other Poems,’ originally published in 1826, reached a second edition in 1845, and a third, with many changes and additions, in 1884. Holland was also the author of several occasional sermons and pamphlets, and of a very complete history of Poynings, published in the Sussex Archæological Society's ‘Transactions’ for 1863.

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T. E. H.