Sir Henry Thurston Holland was a barrister and Conservative MP for Midhurst and later for Hampstead. He married firstly, in 1852, Margaret Hilbert (d. 1855) and secondly, Margaret Jean Trevelyan in 1858. In 1888 Holland acquired the title of Baron Knutsford, of Knutsford, Cheshire; in 1895 he was created a viscount.
Holland was called to the bar in 1849 and practised until 1867 when he was appointed legal advisor to the Colonial Office and later assistant under-secretary for the Colonies. He resigned the post in 1874 to become an MP. He continued his career in the Colonial Office, becoming Secretary of State for the Colonies from 1888-1892.
He also served on a number of royal commissions and as a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery. He apparently knew Whistler in the late 1880s.
Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford, 1997; Who Was Who, London, 1898.