Robert Hollond

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Robert Hollond
Robert Hollond.jpg
from a painting by John Hollins
Born 5 January 1808
Died 1877
Resting place Great Stanmore
Residence Stanmore Hall
Nationality English
Education Corpus Christi
Occupation Politician
Known for Balloonist
Spouse(s) Ellen Julia Hollond
Parent(s) William and Harriet Hollond

Robert Hollond (1808–1877) was an English balloonist and politician. He funded and then took part in establishing a distance ballooning record with Thomas Monck Mason and Charles Green. He later served as a Whig politician representing the constituency of Hastings.


Hollond was born in 1808 to William Hollond who was a wealthy civil sevant in Bengal. Hollond studied law at Corpus Christ College in Cambridge and despite his enthusiasm for ballooning he had become a lawyer by 1834.[1] Hollond channelled his ballooning interest into funding a record balloon attempt in 1836 by the experienced aeronaut, Charles Green. Charles Green, a professional balloonist and aeronaut planned the record attempt which set out from Vauxhall Gardens in London on 7 November 1836 at 1:30 p.m. Hollond, Green and Thomas Monck Mason travelled 500 miles in eighteen hours.[2]

Walter Prideaux - lawyer John Hollins ... who painted this William Milbourne James - Lord Chief Justice Robert Holland ... who funded the trip Charles Green the Aeronaut Thomas Monck Mason - entrepreneur Use a cursor to explore or press button for larger image & copyright
A Consultation prior to the Aerial Voyage to Weilburgh, 1836 A painting by John Hollins[3] The people can be identified using a cursor.

In 1836, Thomas Monck Mason wrote an Account of the Late æronautical Expedition from London to Weilburg which detailed the journey. This book was dedicated to Hollond.[4]

The commemorative painting (illustration, left) that shows a consultation before the journey is by John Hollins who later became an Associate of the Royal Academy. The painting portrays, from left to right, Walter Prideaux a lawyer friend, John Hollins who painted the portraits, William Milbourne James, later Lord Chief Justice, Charles Green the balloonist, Thomas Monck Mason, the other passenger, and Hollond at the centre.

Besides the painting and the book, the humorous poet Thomas Hood also wrote a comic poem to celebrate the epic journey to Nassau. The Ode to Messrs Green, Hollond and Monck on their late Balloon Adventure, includes the following lines

            Two legged high fliers
              What upper stories you must have to tell
            And nobody can contradict you well
              Or call you liars[5]

In 1837, Hollond served as a Whig politician representing the constituency of Hastings.[6] According to official parliamentary records, Hollond served from 1837 until 1852, but he did not speak for nearly his first ten years in the House of Commons.[7] Hollond bought Stanmore Hall in Middlesex in 1847. This house had previously belonged to his father-in-law, Thomas Teed, but had been resited in order that the views could be improved.[8]

In 1840 Hollond married Ellen Julia Teed, an author and philanthropist. Ellen Hollond gave a François Boucher painting called "Pan and Syrinx" to the National Gallery. The liberals of the time attended her salon in Paris.[9] Her portrait in the National Gallery, London, entitled "Mrs Robert Hollond", is by the French academic painter, Ary Scheffer. Ellen Julia Hollond was said to be the founder of London's first crèche.[8]


  1. ^ "Hollond, Robert (HLNT827R)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ The Race to the Stratosphere, U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission, accessed May 2009
  3. ^ John Hollins, National Portrait Gallery, London, accessed May 2009
  4. ^ Account of the Late æronautical Expedition from London to Weilburg, Thomas Monck Mason, 1836, accessed May 2009
  5. ^ The complete poetical works of Thomas Hood, Thomas Hood, p 49, 1906, accessed May 2009
  6. ^ Robert Hollond, National Portrait Gallery, London, accessed May 2009
  7. ^ Robert Hollond, Hansard, accessed May 2009
  8. ^ a b 'Great Stanmore: Introduction', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5: Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham (1976), pp. 88-96. URL: Date accessed: 12 May 2009.
  9. ^ Mrs Robert Hollond, National Gallery, accessed May 2009

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Howard Elphinstone Bt
Frederick North
Member of Parliament for Hastings
With: Musgrave Brisco 1844-1852
Joseph Planta 1837-1844
Succeeded by
Patrick Francis Robertson
Musgrave Brisco