University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

Thomas Agar Holland
Letters to
George Reid

1845 - 1847


Manuscript Collection Number: 99 F509
Accessioned: Purchase, 1996
Extent: 18 items (.1 ft.)
Content: Letters, poems, and an essay
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: May 1996 by Anita A. Wellner

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(302) 831-2229

Table of Contents

Biographical Note

British poet and clergyman Thomas Agar Holland was born on January 16, 1803. He was educated at Westminster School and Worcester College, Oxford University, receiving Bachelor of Arts (1825) and Master of Arts (1828) degrees. Before succeeding his father as the rector of Poynings, Sussex, in 1846, he was vicar of Oving, Sussex, and then rector of Greatham, Hampshire.

One of Holland's early poems, "Dryburgh Abbey," which was the title poem of his first published collection, Dryburgh Abbey and Other Poems (1826), received a supportive commendation from Sir Walter Scott. A popular collection, Dryburgh Abbey and Other Poems was reissued in a second edition in 1845 and a much-revised third edition in 1884.

Holland was also the author of published sermons, pamphlets, and a complete history of Poynings, Sussex. Thomas Agar Holland died on October 18, 1888 in Poynings.


Stephen, Leslie, Sir and Sir Sidney Lee. The Dictionary of National Biography. Volume IX. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973. pp. 1053-1054.

Scope and Content Note

These fifteen letters of British poet Thomas Agar Holland were written from Greatham, Hampshire, and Poynings, Sussex, where Holland served as rector, to George Reid who lived in Glasgow. Enclosed with the letters, written between 1845 and 1847, are two autograph poems, a printed supplement of poems, and an essay.

Holland's letters began in 1845 with his acknowledgment of Reid's praise for Dryburgh Abbey and Other Poems, which had just been reprinted. Holland also inquired about Reid and his writing, fulfilled Reid's request for autograph manuscripts of his poems, and thanked Reid for sending reviews of Dryburgh Abbey and for promoting his book with local newspaper editors.

In addition to commenting on his own writing, Holland discussed his objections to Lord Tennyson's poems, reflected on the famines in Ireland and Scotland, requested information on friends with whom he had lost contact, and noted the issues of Church of England Magazine in which his sermons appeared.

Enclosed in his letters are inscribed autograph copies of Holland's poems, "Morning" and "Poesy," as well as a copy of Supplement to Dryburgh Abbey and Other Poems, which includes his poems, "The Waterfall Glen at Poynings" and "The Bard."

An untitled essay on the sun, written by an unidentified person, completes the collection. Holland mentioned in one of his letters that he had sent Reid some writings by his father, Dr. Samuel Holland. It is possible that the elder Holland was the author of the essay.


Contents List

Box -- Folder -- Contents

33                  Series I.  Thomas Holland letters to George
                    Reid, 1845-1847

     F509 Letters, 1845-1847
          1845 Oct 29         ALS       3p
               Nov 17    ALS       2p
               Nov 28    ALS       3p
                    Note: Enclosed is Holland's three-page
                         autograph poem, "Morning," which is
                         inscribed: "For George Reid Esq. Glasgow
                         with the author's kind compliments."
                         Holland mentioned in his letter that the
                         poem has an added couplet which he was
                         "trying on."
               Dec 9          ALS       4p
               Dec 12    ALS       3p

          1846 Jan 18         ALS       6p
               Mar 11    ALS       2p
               Mar 19    ALS       3p
               Aug 13    ALS       3p
               Aug 28    ALS       4p
               Nov 13    ALS       4p
               Dec 18    ALS       1p

          1847 Feb 26         ALS       3p
               Apr 22    ALS       1p

          Poems, 1846 and [n.d.]
          Supplement to Dryburgh Abbey and Other Poems (which
               includes "The Waterfall Glen at Poynings" and "The
          "Poesy" (three-page autograph poem, dated 1/21/1846,
               initialed by Holland and bearing his autograph

          Essay, [n.d.]
          Autograph essay on the sun by an unidentified person.

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