Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Holland, Thomas (1350-1397)

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HOLLAND, THOMAS, second Earl of Kent of the Holland family (1350–1397), born in 1350, was son of Thomas Holland, first earl of Kent [q. v.], by Joan, daughter of Edmund of Woodstock [q. v.] He succeeded to the barony of Holland in 1360, on the death of his father, and in 1366 was made captain of the English forces in Aquitaine. He was knighted by his stepfather, Edward the Black Prince, in 1367, when fighting in Castile. In 1375 he was appointed K.G. In that and the year following he was again engaged in the French wars, and accompanied the expedition of the Earl of Cambridge and the Duke of Brittany into Brittany with two thousand men-at-arms and three thousand archers. Over his half-brother, Richard II, Holland exerted an evil influence. He was cruel and selfish, and chiefly aimed at enriching himself. In the first year of Richard II's reign his income was increased by a grant of 200l. a year; he was also made warden of the New Forest, and in that and the next year had other similar appointments and pensions given him, so that he received in all 1,000l. a year. From 1380 to 1385 he was earl-marshal of England. In December 1380 he went as ambassador to the Emperor Wenceslaus, to arrange a marriage between Anne, the emperor's sister, and Richard. In 1381 he was created Earl of Kent. When, in 1381, the rebellion of the commons broke out in Kent, he was made captain of the king's forces, but he does not appear to have taken a very active part against the rebels. He was with Richard in the Tower when the rebels approached London, but when the king went out to Mile End Kent left him, in fear of his own life. Probably through the favour of Richard he received his mother's lands, which she held largely in right of dower, on her death in 1385. He held many other offices, among them those of constable of the Tower (1389), was a privy councillor (1389), was one of those who guaranteed the queen's marriage settlement, and had just been appointed governor of Carisbrooke Castle when he died on 25 April 1397. He was buried in Brune Abbey.

Kent married, in 1366, Alice, daughter of Richard Fitzalan, fifth earl of Arundel [q. v.], and by her left two sons and five daughters. His eldest son, Thomas [q. v.], is separately noticed. His second son, Edmund Holland, became fourth Earl of Kent after the death of his brother Thomas in 1400; married, in 1407, Lucia (d. 1424), sister of Barnabo Visconti, duke of Milan, and died, 18 Sept. 1408, of a wound received in the head while besieging the castle of Briant in Brittany (Thomas of Walsinhgam, Hist. Angl. in Chron. Mon. Sc. Alb., Rolls Series, ed. Riley, ii. 274, 279).

[Doyle's Official Baronage, vol. ii.; Burke's Extinct and Dormant Peerages, p. 279; Dugdale's Baronage, ii. 75; Wallon's Richard II, i. 63, 72, ii. 120; Stubbs's Const. Hist. vol. ii. chap. xvi.; Chron. Angl. auct. Mon. Sancti Albani, ed. E. M. Thompson (Rolls Ser.), p. 285, &c.; Froissart's Chronicle, ed. Johnes, vol. ii. chaps. cxxxv–cxl. (with add.); Syllabus to Rymer's Fœdera, pp. 495, 508; Beltz's Memorials of the Garter, p. 217.]

W. A. J. A.