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HOLLAND, HUGH (d. 1633), poet, a native of Denbigh, son of Robert Holland, was a queen's scholar at Westminster School, under Camden, was elected to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1589, and became fellow there. On leaving Cambridge he went abroad, travelling as far as Jerusalem. It was insinuated that he was made a knight of the Sepulchre; he certainly embraced the Roman catholic faith, and suffered in some way at Rome for indulging in free expressions concerning Queen Elizabeth. On his return to England he expected to receive preferment; not getting it, ‘he grumbled out the rest of his life in visible discontentment’ (Fuller). Wood says that he spent some years at Oxford after his return. From the dedicatory address before his ‘Cypres Garland,’ 1625, we learn that he had been patronised by George Villiers, duke of Buckingham, who had introduced him to King James. In the course of that poem he alludes to his own troubles and bereavements, and the deaths of his mother, whose maiden name was ‘Payne,’ of ‘Ursula’, his wife, the widow of Robert Woodard of Burnham, Buckinghamshire, and of ‘Phil my daughter.’ Holland died in 1633, and was buried in Westminster Abbey (23 July). Aubrey states, on the authority of Sir John Penruddock, that he found a patroness in Lady Elizabeth Hatton, second wife of Sir Edward Coke.

Holland is chiefly remembered as the author of an indifferent sonnet prefixed to the first Shakespeare folio (1623). He was a member of the Mermaid Club, and may have been personally acquainted with Shakespeare. Edward Phillips (‘Theatrum Poetarum’) speaks of him as ‘a poetical writer thought worthy by some to be mentioned with Spenser, Sidney, and other the chief of English poets; with whom nevertheless he must needs be confessed inferior both in poetic fame and merit.’ Joseph Hunter pointed out that Phillips here refers to the exaggerated estimate of Holland entertained by John Lane (the friend of Milton and Phillips), set forth in ‘Triton's Triumph,’ a poem preserved in manuscript both in the British Museum and Cambridge University Library. Lane also commends Holland's critical ability.

In 1603 Holland published ‘Pancharis: the first Booke. Containing the Preparation of the Love between Owen Tudyr and the Queene, long since intended to her Maiden Majestie: and now dedicated to the Invincible James,’ 8vo (Bodleian); and in 1625 ‘A Cypres Garland. For the Sacred Forehead of our late Soveraigne King James,’ 4to, which he dedicated to the Duke of Buckingham. He contributed commendatory verses to Farnaby's ‘Canzonets,’ 1598; Ben Jonson's ‘Sejanus,’ 1605; Bolton's ‘Elements of Armory,’ 1610 (he was nominated a member of Bolton's projected Academ. Royal); Coryate's ‘The Odcombian Banquet,’ 1611; ‘Parthenia,’ 1611; Sir Thomas Hawkins's translation of selected odes of Horace, 1625; and Alabaster's ‘Roxana,’ 1632. In Lansdowne MS. 777 is preserved an epitaph on Henry, prince of Wales, and he has verses in Harleian MSS. 3910 and 6917. Letters to Sir Robert Cotton are in Cotton MS. Julius, C. iii. (15). In Raymond's ‘Itinerary. Containing a Voyage made through Italy,’ 1648, are some Latin verses by Holland on Sannazaro, and in Hacket's life of Archbishop Williams is an epitaph on Archbishop Mountaigne of York. Fuller states that Holland left in manuscript ‘Verses in Description of the Chief Cities of Europe,’ chronicles of Queen Elizabeth's reign, and a life of William Camden.

Care must be taken to distinguish Hugh Holland from Henry Holland (1583–1650?) [q. v.]

[Fuller's Worthies; Wood's Athenæ, ed. Bliss ii. 559–61; Corser's Collectanea; Hunter's Chorus Vatum (Addit. MS. 24488, ff. 256–9); Welch's Alumni Westmonasterienses, pp. 61–2.]

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