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An article from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, now in the public domain.
Any color photos are mine, © William P. Thayer.

Philemon Holland

Holland, Philemon (1552‑1637), English scholar, "the translator-general in his age," was born at Chelmsford in Essex. He was the son of a clergyman, John Holland, who had been obliged to take refuge in Germany and Denmark with Miles Coverdale during the Marian persecution. Having become a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and taken the degree of M.A., he was incorporated at Oxford (July 11th, 1585). Having subsequently studied medicine, about 1595 he settled as a doctor in Coventry, but chiefly occupied himself with translations. In 1628 he was appointed headmaster of the free school, but, owing probably to his advancing age, he held office for only eleven months. His latter days were oppressed by poverty, partly relieved by the generosity of the common council of Coventry, which in 1632 assigned him £3, 6s. 8d. for three years, "if he should live so long." He died on the 9th of February, 1636‑1637. His fame is due solely to his translations, which included Livy, Pliny's Natural History,​a Plutarch's Morals, Suetonius, Ammianus Marcellinus and Xenophon's Cyropaedia. He published also an English version, with additions, of Camden's Britannia. His Latin translation of Brice Bauderon's Pharmacopaea and his Regimen sanitatis Salerni were published after his death by his son, Henry Holland (1583‑?1650), who became a London bookseller, and is known to bibliographers for his Baziliωlogia; a Booke of Kings, being the true and liuely Effigies of all our English Kings from the Conquest (1618), and his Herωologia Anglica (1620).

Thayer's Note:

a Holland's translation of the Natural History is slowly, perfectionistically, coming online on James Eason's site.

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Page updated: 18 Nov 17