That this family was of great antiquity in the county of Lancaster is evident from the register of Cokersand Abbey, to which religious house some of its members were benefactors in King John's time. The first person of the name of any note was Robert de Holand, who was in the wars of Scotland, 31st Edward I  and who owed his advancement to his becoming secretary to Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, for previously he had been but a "poor knight." In the 1st Edward II , he obtained large territorial grants from the crown, viz., the manors of Melburne, Newton, Osmundeston, Swarkeston, Chelardeston, Normanton, and Wybeleston, in the county of Derby, and the same year had a military summons to march against the Scots. In the 8th Edward II , he was first summoned to parliament as a baron; and in the 10th and 12th, he was again in the wars of Scotland, in which latter year he had license to make a castle of his manor house of Bagworth, co. Leicester. Upon the insurrection of his old master, Thomas, Earl of Lancaster (15th Edward II), his lordship promised that nobleman, to whom he owed his first rise in the world, all the aid in his power, but failing to fulfill his engagement, Lancaster was forced to fly northwards and was finally taken prisoner at Boroughbridge, when Lord Holand rendered himself to the king at Derby and was sent prisoner to Dover Castle. For this duplicity he became so odious to the people that, being afterwards made prisoner a second time, in a wood near Henley Park, toward Windsor, he was beheaded on the nones of October, anno 1328, and his head sent to Henry, Earl of Lancaster, then at Waltham Cross, co. Essex, by Sir Thomas Wyther and some other private friends.
His lordship m. Maud, one of the daus. and co-heirs of Alan le Zouch, of Ashby, and had issue, Robert, Thomas, Alan, Otho, Jane, and Mary. Robert, Lord Holand, was s. by his eldest son, Sir Robert Holand, 2nd baron. [Sir Bernard Burke, Dormant and Extinct Peerages, Burke's Peerage, Ltd., London, 1883, pp. 278-9, Holand, Barons Holand]