John Holles 1595-1666
John HOLLES, 2nd Earl of Clare 1595-1666
Son of John Holles, 1st Earl of Clare. Matriculated at Christ's College, Cambridge 1611, but did not graduate; he was admitted to Gray's Inn in 1612, and lived in Paris during 1615-16. He was an MP for several constituencies during the 1620s. He "lacked political ambition" (ODNB) and was not much associated with Court affairs; after some involvement on the royalist side in the Civil War, he became a parliamentarian, and was recorder of Nottingham during the Interregnum. He became reconciled to the establishment after the Restoration. He continued his father's efforts to consolidate and increase the family estates, at Houghton, Nottinghamshire and in the parish of St Clement Danes, London.
Clare built on the library which he inherited from his father. Several lists of the library at Haughton from the 1650s survive, suggesting holdings of ca.500 books. These include solid coverage of theology, with many writings of contemporary English divines as well as Bibles and liturgical books. He also had many books of classical authors, both Greek and Latin, mostly in their original languages but some in translation. He owned many historical works, with well-known writers like William Camden, Samuel Daniel and Walter Ralegh all well-represented. As well as volumes of plays, and literary works by Sidney and Spenser, he owned a Shakespeare folio, as well as Cervantes in Spanish, and French romances and histories.
- Pearson, D., Book ownership in Stuart England, Oxford, 2021, forthcoming.
- Seddon, P. R. '"Holles, John, second earl of Clare (1595–1666), aristocrat."' Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
- Seddon, P. R. (ed), Letters of John Holles 1587-1637, Nottingham, 1975-86.