Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait of Denzel Holles 1640s

Edward Bower 

Portrait of Denzel Holles, Edward Bower
Oil on canvas
17th Century
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Denzel Holies, the radical of statesmen, was MP for St Michael in 1624, Dorchester in 1628 and later in the long parliament. He is particularly remembered in 1629 for holding the Speaker down in his chair when, contrary to the wishes of the House, the Speaker pleaded the Kings order to adjourn Parliament. God's wounds swore Holies, you shall sit till we please to rise. Two days later he was arrested, fined and sent to the tower with five other prisoners. He escaped abroad and was later compensated by the long parliament in 1641. He wasn't long out of trouble. In the following year he was one of the famous five members to be arrested by the King. A courageous soldier, he led the parliamentary regiment at Edgehill and Brentford. With Pierrepoint he was a parliamentary representative at peace negotiations but headed the Presbyterians against Pierrpoint''s Independent Party. In 1647 he was impeached by the army with eleven members and charged with intrigue with Charles I. He later escaped to France but was reinstated by Monck and appointed to the Council of State in 1660, also with Pierrpoint. He was commissioner to Charles II at the Hague, a privy councillor and was raised to the peerage in 1661. He was also ambassador in Paris between 1663 and 1666.
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