1845 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Holland

John Holland, "John Holland" Poets of Yorkshire; comprising Sketches of the Lives, and Specimens of the Writings of those Children of Song (1845) 193-94.



John Holland was born March 14, 1794, in the house where he still resides, in Sheffield Park, and within a few hundred yards of the Manor Lodge, or summer residence of the old Earls of Shrewsbury. Here, and at the Castle of Sheffield, long since demolished, the unfortunate Mary, Queen of Scots, spent about fifteen years of her sad captivity. This, and other incidents connected with the locality, combined with the diversified aspect of the scenery around his humble home, to excite in the mind of a meditative youth with whom they were constantly familiar, a class of associations, which in 1820, gave birth to "Sheffield Park, a Descriptive Poem." This was followed, in 1821, by "The Cottage of Pella, a Tale of Palestine," written in the same manner of verse as the "Wanderer of Switzerland," and dedicated to the Rev. H. H. Milman, whose "Fall of Jerusalem" celebrated that memorable catastrophe in Jewish history, of which Mr. Holland's previously published "Tale" is but an episode. His next poem was "The Hopes of Matrimony," first printed in 1822 — and again, accompanied by other pieces in 1836. From an early period it has been the happiness of the author to enjoy the friendship of Mr. Montgomery; and in 1827, he dedicated to the Christian Poet, a volume of "Flowers from Sheffield Park: a selection of Poetical Pieces, originally published in the Sheffield Iris," while edited by that gentleman. Lastly, in 1829, appeared from his pen "The Pleasures of Sight; a Poem." Besides the foregoing volumes, which, with innumerable smaller pieces in verse, entitle his name to a place in this collection, Mr. Holland has published, at least twice as many works in prose, on widely different subjects: he is probably, in fact, the most voluminous author of his native district.