Memorials of the Holles Family, 1493-1656

By Gervase Holles; Alfred Cecil Wood | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

GERVASE HOLLES ( 1607-75), the author of this family chronicle, was one of the foremost antiquaries of his own times,1 and the vast collection of evidences which he amassed for his projected history of Lincolnshire has assured for him a grateful remembrance among later scholars. But that he was no mere parchment historian or dry-as-dust recluse is sufficiently proved in the pages of this text which all bear the imprint of a very warm, vigorous and true-hearted personality. Indeed, the whole story of his life amply confirms that his studies, instead of isolating him from the world, only added new intensity and purpose to the fervour with which he exchanged the pen for the sword when the call to action came in 1642.

The history of his early years is narrated in the autobiographical fragment which forms the two closing chapters of this work. After the death of his first wife, Dorothy Kingston, he returned to the Middle Temple (at Michaelmas, 1635), and for the next four years he seems to have spent his time between Grimsby and London. He was Mayor of Grimsby in 1636 and again in 1638. In 1637 he married his second wife, Elizabeth Molesworth, at St. Andrew's Church, Holborn. She was then eighteen years old and was the daughter of William Molesworth of Grimsby and Jane his wife, daughter of Sir Francis Palmes of Ashwell, Rutland.2 On May 24, 1639, Gervase was called to the Utter Bar and shortly afterwards he and his wife (having already buried their first child, a son, William, in December, 1638) appear to have settled in Newark-on- Trent. That his links with his native town Grimsby were not broken by this change of residence was shown by his election as

____________________
1
Sir William Dugdale wrote of him as "that judicious Antiquary (my worthy friend) Gervase Holles of Grimsby and Thoroton describes him as "a great lover of Antiquities."
2
The Molesworth family claimed descent from a Sir Walter Mowlesworth living in Edward I's reign. The pedigree is in Lansdown MS. 207 C, fol. 409- 10.

-vii-

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Memorials of the Holles Family, 1493-1656
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • To My Sonne Frescheville Holles. 2
  • Cap. 1 8
  • Cap. 2 15
  • Cap. 3 25
  • Cap. 4 30
  • Cap. 5 33
  • Cap. 6 37
  • Cap. 7 48
  • Cap. 8 61
  • Cap. 9 69
  • Cap. 10 73
  • Cap. 11 83
  • Cap. 12 88
  • Cap. 14 116
  • Cap. 15 129
  • Cap. 16 145
  • Cap. 17 165
  • Cap. 18 184
  • Cap. 19 193
  • Cap. 20 205
  • Cap. 21 227
  • Cap. 22 235
  • Notes 237
  • Index 267
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