Open main menu

HOLLAND, PHILIP (1721–1789), nonconformist divine, eldest son of Thomas Holland, was born at Wem, Shropshire, in 1721. His grandfather, Thomas Holland (d. 1675, aged 57), had been a member of the first presbyterian classis of Lancashire, and was ejected from Blackley Chapel, Lancashire, by the Uniformity Act. His father, Thomas Holland, a pupil of James Coningham [q. v.], was ordained in August 1714 as presbyterian minister at Kingsley, Cheshire, and removed to Wem, Shropshire, in 1717. His mother was Mary Savage, granddaughter of Philip Henry. Philip entered Doddridge's academy at Northampton in 1739; he was followed in 1744 by his brother John, who conformed; and in 1751 by his brother Henry, who was transferred to Ashworth's academy at Daventry, and became minister at Prescot and (1765) at Ormskirk, where he died on 10 Dec. 1781 (Ormskirk Burial Register, Hist. Soc. Lanc. and Chesh. 1877, p. 125).

Philip first preached at Wolverhampton, Staffordshire; he then became his father's successor at Wem. In the autumn of 1755 he became minister of Bank Street Chapel, Bolton, Lancashire, in succession to Thomas Dixon (1724–1754) [see under Dixon, Thomas, M.D.]. On account of the popularity of his ministry, the chapel was enlarged in 1760. He kept a boarding-school of some note. From 1785 William Hawkes (1759–1820) was his colleague.

In theology Holland was of the Arian school, being much influenced by John Seddon of Warrington, who introduced him to the philosophy of Hutcheson. He assisted Seddon in the establishment (1757) of the Warrington academy for the education of nonconformist divines, and wrote the third service in a collection of forms of prayer (1763) edited by Seddon, and generally known as the ‘Liverpool Liturgy.’ He took an active part in the movement for the repeal (1779) of the doctrinal subscription required by the Toleration Act; after this date his views became somewhat more heterodox. In politics he was an energetic advocate of the independence of the American colonies. He died at Bolton on 2 Jan. 1789, aged 67. There is a mural monument to his memory in Bank Street Chapel. He married Catharine Holland of Mobberley, Cheshire, and had a son and daughter.

He published several sermons, including: 1. ‘The Importance of Learning,’ &c., Warrington, 1760, 8vo (reprinted in ‘English Preacher,’ 1773, 12mo, vol. ix.). Posthumous was: 2. ‘Sermons on Practical Subjects,’ &c., Warrington, 1792, 8vo, 2 vols. (the collection, to which a silhouette likeness is prefixed, includes all his separate publications, and was edited by John Holland and William Turner). Some of his letters to Seddon are printed in the ‘Seddon Papers’ in the ‘Christian Reformer,’ 1854 and 1855.

Holland, John (1766–1826), nonconformist minister, son of Philip's younger brother, Thomas Holland, was educated for the ministry at Daventry academy, entering under Belsham in 1783. In 1789 he succeeded his uncle as minister of Bank Street Chapel, Bolton, Lancashire (ordained 13 May). His ministry was marked by the establishment of a Sunday school (1789), and by a system of catechetical instructions on historical and scientific as well as on religious topics. As a preacher he was less successful; his theological views were those of Priestley. On 20 Aug. 1820 he resigned his charge, owing to the failure of his mental powers. He died on 25 June 1826. A monument to his memory is in Bank Street Chapel. He married a Miss Pilkington, but had no family. Baker gives a list of fourteen of his publications, between 1790 and 1820, chiefly sermons and educational works. In the Manchester Free Reference Library, King Street, are two volumes of his shorthand notes.

[Calamy's Account, 1713, p. 396; Preface to Sermons, 1792; Monthly Repository, 1810 p. 428, 1815 pp. 686, 687, 688, 1822 pp. 163, 285, 1826 pp. 430, 495; Lawrence's Descendants of Philip Henry, 1844, pp. 35 sq. Baker's Nonconformity in Bolton, 1854, pp. 58 sq.; 111 sq.; Urwick's Nonconformity in Cheshire, 1864, pp. lxi, 79, 452; Memoirs of W. Turner, 1794, p. 45.]

A. G.