Holles, Denzil

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Holles, Denzil (1599–1680). Holles, a parliamentarian, achieved notoriety on 2 May 1629 when, acting in concert with Eliot, he held down the Commons' Speaker. Punished by a brief spell in prison, he was re-elected to Parliament in 1640. Though included by Charles I among the five members threatened with impeachment in January 1642, Holles advocated a negotiated settlement. This brought him into collision with the army, and in December 1648 he fled to France. Cromwell permitted him to return to England in 1654, but he took no part in political life until the restoration of Charles II, who made him a baron. His increasing distrust of Charles's catholic tendencies drew him into opposition, but he rejected the call to exclude James, duke of York, from the succession. In 1680 as in 1640 what Holles wanted was a law-abiding, unequivocally protestant king, but he died before finding one.

Roger Lockyer