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).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
See also Cyndia Susan Clegg, 'Historical Introduction', Raphael Holinshed et al., The peacahle and prosperous regiment of blessed Queene Elisabeth: A Facsimile from Holinsheds Chronicles (1587), Cyndia Susan Clegg (ed.) (San Marino, 2005), 1-18, esp.
(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.
(19.) Raphael Holinshed, "Raphael Holinshed, The Third Volume of Chronicles (1587)," in Lynch, Edward II, 101-18, 116-17.
The third examination compares the accounts of the reign of Richard II by the chroniclers Edward Hall and Raphael Holinshed. Hall puts a premium on immediacy and (often invented) speeches while refusing to rely on any one source including the reports of eyewitnesses.
Modern editions of Renaissance "classics" like John Foxe's Acts and Monuments and Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles simply leave out the illustrations which were integral to the early editions of these works.
The English historian Raphael Holinshed in his Chronicles (1587) shows this mixture of scientific interest and concern in his entry for 1572:
Neither Edward Hall, nor John Stow, nor Raphael Holinshed call Ravenspur a 'town' or a 'port', and it was in fact an old name for Spurn Head.(7) There is evidence for this both in the chronicles and in Camden's Britannia (1610).
[Fiii.sup.v]-[Fv.sup.v]; Raphael Holinshed, The Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Irlande (1577), ii.
Elizabethan dramatists drew their material from the wealth of chronicle writing for which the age is renowned, notably Edward Hall's The Union of the Two Noble and Illustrate Famelies of Lancastre and York and Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotlande, and Irelande.
(11)I owe this reference to Raphael Holinshed's chronicle to Jody Mikalachi, who presented this passage in a workshop on "Representations of Women in Early Modern English Historiography," during the symposium "Attending to Women in Early Modern England," November 8--10, 1990, organized by the Center for Renaissance and Baroque Studies, at the University of Maryland.
That possibility has given some scholars pause, but Milton relied heavily on earlier writers, including Geoffrey of Monmouth, Bede, Gildas, William of Malmesbury, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and probably Raphael Holinshed and used no manuscript sources.
(11.) Raphael Holinshed, The Second Volume of the Chronicles (1586), sigs.