Holland, John (d.1722) (DNB00)

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HOLLAND, JOHN (d. 1722), founder of the Bank of Scotland, was a merchant of the Staple, and probably a member of the Mercers' Company, London. He had partially retired when, on the suggestion of a Scottish friend, he projected the Bank of Scotland which was established by act of the Scottish parliament (William III, Parl. 1. § 5) in 1695, in the name of the Governor and Company of the Bank of Scotland. The new bank opened its first branches in 1696. Holland was elected the first governor, and ultimately possessed seventy-four shares. One of the directors was James Foulis, with whom Holland had been associated in a scheme for introducing the manufacture of Colchester baizes into Scotland in June 1693 (Chambers, Domestic Annals of Scotland, pp. 95, 128). The bank made at first very slow progress, owing to the opposition of the African Company, which started a banking business in defiance of the bank's charter, and of the Bank of England. Holland's prudence and sagacity, seconded by considerable literary power, carried the bank successfully through these and other difficulties. In recognition of his services, the company presented him with a silver cistern, which in his will he directed to be carefully preserved as a family heirloom. With his son Richard he drew up a scheme for the establishment of a bank in Ireland. He died at Brewood Hall, Staffordshire, in 1722, and was buried in the church there. His will was proved on 4 May 1722 (registered, in P. C. C. 96, Marlborough). He married Jane, only daughter, by his second wife, of Walter Fowke, M.D., of Brewood and Little Wyrley, Staffordshire, by whom he had two sons, Richard (see below) and Fowke.

He wrote: 1. ‘A Short Discourse on the present temper of the Nation with respect to the Indian and African Company, and of the Bank of Scotland. Also of Mr. Paterson's pretended Fund of Credit,’ 4to, Edinburgh, 1696. 2. ‘The Directors of the Bank of England Enemies to the Great Interests of the Kingdom and also not just to the Trust reposed in them by the Adventurers, who chose them to do their best endeavours … for the advantage of the Joint Stock,’ 4to, London, 1715. 3. ‘The Ruine of the Bank of England and all Publick-Credit inevitable, and the necessity, in a short time, of stopping the payments upon the several funds to the Bank, South Sea Company, Lotteries … if the Honourable House of Commons will not themselves be judges of the means that may be offer'd to prevent it,’ 4to, London, 1715. 4. ‘Some Letters relating to the Bank of Scotland, published, with explanatory Remarks, in a Letter to the Proprietors, by Richard Holland, M.D.,’ 8vo, London; reprinted at Edinburgh, 1723.

His son, Richard Holland, M.D. (1688–1730), was born in London in 1688, and educated at Catharine Hall, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1708, M.A. in 1712, and M.D. in 1723. His father left him an estate in Ashdown Forest, Sussex. He was admitted a candidate of the College of Physicians on 25 June 1724, a fellow on 25 June 1725, and was censor in 1728. He died, unmarried, at Shrewsbury, on 29 Oct. 1730 (will registered in P. C. C. 333, Auber). Holland wrote ‘Observations on the Small Pox; or, an Essay to discover a more effectual Method of Cure,’ 8vo, London, 1728 (other editions, 1730 and 1741), to which J. Chandler wrote an anonymous reply in 1729. He was elected F.R.S. on 30 Nov. 1726 (Thomson, Hist. Roy. Soc., Appendix iv. p. xxxvii).

[Munk's Coll. of Phys. 1878, ii. 92; Hist. Account of the Bank of Scotland, 1728; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Burton's Hist. of Scotland (2nd edit.), viii. 67.]

G. G.