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Holland, Henry Rich, 1st Earl Of

HOLLAND, HENRY RICH, 1ST EARL OF (1590-1649), 2nd son of Robert, 1st earl of Warwick, and of Penelope, Sir Philip Sidney's " Stella," daughter of Walter Devereux, 1st earl of Essex, was baptized on the 19th of August 1590, educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, knighted on the 3rd of June 1610, and returned to parliament for Leicester in 1610 and 1614. In 1610 he was present at the siege of Juliers. Favours were showered upon him by James I. He was made gentleman of the bedchamber to Charles, prince of Wales, and captain of the yeomen of the guard; and on the 8th of March 1623 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Kensington. In 1624 he was sent to Paris to negotiate the marriage treaty between Charles and Henrietta Maria. On the 15th of September he was created earl of Holland, and in 1625 was sent on two further missions, first to Paris to arrange a treaty between Louis XIII.' and the Huguenots, and later to the Netherlands in company with Buckingham. In October 1627 he was given command of the troops sent to reinforce Buckingham at Rhe, but through delay in starting only met the defeated troops on their return. He succeeded Buckingham as chancellor of Cambridge University; was master of the horse in 1628, and was appointed constable of Windsor and high steward to the queen in 1629. He interested himself, like his elder brother, Lord Warwick, in the plantations; and was the first governor of the Providence company in 1630, and one of the proprietors of Newfoundland in 1637. In 1631 he was made chief-justice-in-eyre south of the Trent, and in this capacity was responsible for the unpopular revival of the obsolete forest laws. He intrigued at court against Portland and against Strafford, who expressed for him the greatest contempt. In 1636 he was disappointed at not obtaining the great office of lord high admiral, but was made instead groom of the stole. In 1639 he was appointed general of the horse, and drew ridicule upon himself by the fiasco at Kelso. In the second war against the Scots he was superseded in favour of Conway. He opposed the dissolution of the Short Parliament, joined the peers who supported the parliamentary cause, and gave evidence against Strafford. He was, however, won back to the king's side by the queen, and on the 16th of April 1641 made captain general north of the Trent. Dissatisfied, however, with Charles's refusal to grant him the nomination of a new baron, he again abandoned him, refused the summons to York, and was deprived of his office as groom of the stole at the instance of the queen, who greatly resented his ingratitude. He was chosen by the parliament in March and July 1642 to communicate its votes to Charles, who received him, much to his indignation, with studied coldness. He was appointed one of the committee of safety in July; made zealous speeches on behalf of the parliamentary cause to the London citizens; and joined Essex's army at Twickenham, where, it is said, he persuaded him to avoid a battle. In 1643 he appeared as a peacemaker, and after failing to bring over Essex, he returned to the king. His reception, however, was not a cordial one, and he was not reinstated in his office of groom of the stole. After, therefore, accompanying the king to Gloucester and taking part in the first battle of Newbury, he once more returned to the parliament, declaring that the court was too much bent on continuing hostilities, and the influence of the " papists " too strong for his patriotism. He was restored to his estates, but the Commons obliged the Lords to exclude him from the upper house, and his petition in 1645 for compensation for his losses and for a pension was refused. His hopes being in this quarter also disappointed, he once again renewed his allegiance to the king's cause; and after endeavouring to promote the negotiations for peace in 1645 and 1647 he took up arms in the second Civil War, received a commission as general, and put himself at the head of 600 men at Kingston. He was defeated on the 7th of July 1647, captured at St Neots shortly afterwards, and imprisoned at Warwick Castle. He was tried before a " high court of justice " on the 3rd of February 1649, and in spite of his plea that he had received quarter was sentenced to death. He was executed together with Hamilton and Capel on the 9th of March. Clarendon styles him " a very well-bred man and a fine gentleman in good times." * He was evidently a man of shallow character, devoid of ability, raised far above his merits and hopelessly unfit for the great times in which he lived. Lord Holland married Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Sir Walter Cope of Kensington, and, besides several daughters, had four sons, of whom the eldest, Robert, succeeded him as 2nd earl of Holland, and inherited the earldom of Warwick in 1673.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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