A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Holinshed, or Hollingshead, Raphael or Ralph

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Holinshed, or Hollingshead, Raphael or Ralph d. (1580?). -- Belonged to a Cheshire family, and is said by Anthony Wood to have been at one of the Univ., and to have been a priest. He came to London, and was in the employment of Reginald Wolf, a German printer, making translations and doing hack-work. His Chronicles of Englande, Scotlande, and Irelande, from which Shakespeare drew much of his history, was based to a considerable extent on the collections of Leland, and he had the assistance of W. Harrison, R. Stanyhurst, and others. The introductory description of England and the English was the work of Harrison, Stanyhurst did the part relating to Ireland, and H. himself the history of England and Scotland, the latter being mainly translated from the works of Boece and Major. Pub. in 1577 it had an eager welcome, and a wide and lasting popularity. A later ed. in 1586 was ed. by J. Hooker and Stow. It is a work of real value -- a magazine of useful and interesting information, with the authorities cited. Its tone is strongly Protestant, its style clear.