Holland House, Kensington, whose "turrets and gardens," as Macaulay wrote, "are associated with so much that is interesting and noble, with the courtly magnificence of Rich, with the loves of Ormond, with the counsels of Cromwell, with the death of Addison . . . which was the favourite resort of wits and beauties, of painters and poets, of scholars, philosophers, and statesmen." The house was built in 1607 (attributed to John Thorpe, architect) by Sir Walter Cope, gentleman of the bedchamber to James I. and one of the Chamberlains of the Exchequer, and was known as Cope Castle.
Cope's daughter and heir, as Clarendon says, by the intervention of James I. married Henry Rich (second son of Robert, Earl of Warwick), who was created Baron Kensington in 1622 and Earl of Holland. He was in arms for Charles I.; took part in the last royalist fight at Kingston-on-Thames; was shortly after captured, tried, convicted, and, March 9, 1649, beheaded in Palace Yard, Westminster. Until the rupture between Charles and the Parliament Rich lived here in great splendour. He built (1622-1624) the wings and arcades which add so much to the picturesque character of the exterior, and employed the best artists of the time to decorate the interior. When Fairfax was marching with his army into London the Lords and Commons met him, August 6, 1647, at Holland House.
---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.
An image of the exterior described above.
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.