Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Holland, Thomas (1600-1642)

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HOLLAND, THOMAS (1600–1642), jesuit, born in Lancashire in 1600, being probably a son of Richard Holland, gentleman, of Sutton, and Anne his wife, received his education in the jesuit colleges at St. Omer and Valladolid. When Prince Charles visited Madrid in 1623, Holland, at the request of his fellow-collegians, went to the capital and addressed the prince in a Latin oration, assuring him of the loyalty and good wishes of the English students in the seminaries of Spain. He entered the novitiate of the English province of the Society of Jesus at Watten in 1620, and afterwards passed to the college at Liège and the House of the Third Probation at Ghent. Subsequently he was appointed prefect of morals and confessor to the scholars at St. Omer. In 1635, he was sent to England, and for seven years laboured on the mission in London, sometimes assuming the aliases of Saunderson and Hammond. At length, on 4 Oct. 1642, he was arrested and committed to the New Prison, whence he was transferred to Newgate. On 7 Dec. he was indicted for being a priest, was found guilty, and on 12 Dec. (O.S.) 1642 was executed at Tyburn in the presence of a large crowd, including Count Egmont, Duke of Gueldres, the Spanish ambassador, and almost all the members of his suite.

There is an engraved portrait of him in the ‘Certamen Triplex’ of Father Ambrose Corbie [q. v.], published originally at Antwerp in 1645. A miniature portrait of him is preserved by the Teresian nuns at Lanherne, Cornwall. A photograph by the Woodbury process has been published.

[Biography in Corbie's Certamen Triplex; Challoner's Missionary Priests, No. 147; Florus Anglo-Bavaricus, p. 76; Foley's Records, i. 542–565, vii. 366; Gillow's Dict. of English Catholics; Granger's Biog. Hist. of England, 5th edit., ii. 385; Marsys's Hist. de la Persécution des Catholiques en Angleterre, iii. 101–17; Oliver's Jesuit Collections, p. 117.]

T. C.