Raphael Holinshed

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Holinshed, Raphael

(hŏl`ĭnz-hĕd', hŏl`ĭn-shĕd'), d. c.1580, English chronicler. He was a translator who also assisted Reginald Wolfe in the preparation of a universal history, which was never finished. In 1577, four years after Wolfe's death, appeared Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland, which he wrote with the assistance of William Harrison and Richard Stanihurst. Many Elizabethan dramatists drew plots for plays from the book in this and later editions. Shakespeare used it for several plays, especially Macbeth, King Lear, and Cymbeline.


See study by S. Booth (1968).

Holinshed, Raphael


(also, Hollingshead). Died circa 1580. English chronicler.

Holinshed compiled The Chronicles of England, Scotlande, and Irelande, better known as The Chronicles of Holinshed (vols. 1–3, 1577). A number of historians and antiquarians were connected with the work, such as J. Stow and W. Harrison; the latter’s Description of England was first published in the Chronicles. Holinshed himself wrote the sections on the history of England (to 1575), Scotland (to 1509), and Ireland (to 1547), for which he drew on the historical works of T. More, Polydore Vergil, E. Hall, and others.

While closely resembling medieval chronicle writing in methodology—for example, the compilatory nature of most of the sections and the year-by-year exposition of events—the Chronicles, nevertheless, clearly reflect the humanistic ideas and the political thought of 16th-century England. The Chronicles were widely known among contemporaries and served as a source for the plots of the historical plays of Shakespeare. Hol-inshed’s Chronicles are filled with factual information, including reference material, such as tables and texts of official documents.


The Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland, vols. 1–6. London, 1807–08.


Boswell-Storle, W. G. Shakespeare’s Holinshed. New York [1968].
References in periodicals archive ?
9) Raphael Holinshed, The Third Volume of Chronicles (London, 1587; STC 13569), 632; Stow, Chronicles, 652; John Trussel, A Continuation of the Collection of the History of England (London, 1636; STC 24297), 151; for other examples, see D.
9 Raphael Holinshed, The First and second volumes of Chronicles (London, 1587), sigs.
The two historians to whom Briton Moniments is most indebted, Raphael Holinshed (1577) and John Stow (1580), both recognized the problem, Holinshed placing the rival versions side by side (often pointing to Geoffrey's errors), and Stow simply replacing Geoffrey's entire Roman Britain section with Roman history.
The story of Lear's kingdom--his division of it among his daughters and the consequences of his action--was told in Geoffrey of Monmouth's early 12th-century Historia regum Britanniae(History of the Kings of Britain), from which Raphael Holinshed borrowed material when compiling the early part of his Chronicles (1577).
If the bills of complaint of 1450 do not mention any hostility for written culture as such, the reports of the 1381 rebellion as given by Richard Grafton or Raphael Holinshed depict the rebels's burning of all legal records and instruments and the destruction of the Savoy and of the Inner Temple (which is anachronistically ordered by Cade to his company entering in London: "Now go some and pull down the Savoy; others to th' Inns of Court.
Closer to home Shakespeare owed a huge debt not only to his favourite chronicler of British history, Raphael Holinshed, but also to Foxe's protestant polemic The Book of Martyrs.
In it, Patterson clarifies why Raphael Holinshed included such a lengthy transcription of the trial in a four volume, multi-author, chronicle of the three separate political entities, England, Scotland, and Ireland.
Collected by Raphael Holinshed, & continued till the yeare 1547, by Richard Stanyhurst (North America: Dolmen Editions, Humanities Press Inc.
Most notably, she interrogates the retrospective teleological narratives constructed on propagandistic grounds by John Foxe, Raphael Holinshed, and William Camden, which assume that Elizabeth was destined for "greatness" from her youth.
See also Raphael Holinshed, Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland, 6 vols.
Raphael Holinshed, Holinsheds Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland (London.