Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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HOLLAND family, of Berw , Anglesey .

Towards the middle of the 15th cent. , the Berw estate in Anglesey was in the hands of ITHEL AP , a descendant of Llywarch ap Bran , lord of Menai at the end of the 12th cent. Ithel had a daughter named ELINOR and a son called OWEN . The Holland family first became connected with Berw when JOHN HOLLAND , described as one of the household servants of Henry VI , m. Ithel 's daughter Elinor . The marriage is believed to have taken place between 1470 and 1480 . John Holland was succeeded by his son OWEN HOLLAND , who was appointed sheriff of Anglesey for life, March 1504/5 . He m. Ethelrede , daughter of Richard Hampdene of Kimble, Berks. Between 1520 and 1522 , Owen succeeded in persuading his cousin, Sir John Owen , to convey to him a large part of the Berw estate , which had gone to his uncle, his mother's brother Owen ( N.L.W. Carreg-lwyd Deeds, i, 2041, 2160, 2338 ). His name appears as a party to a lease of Berw Mills 18 Dec. 1528 , but he d. before 15 April 1529 ( Carreglwyd Deeds, i, 2023, 2211 ). Little is known of EDWARD , the son who succeeded. He m. Elin , daughter of Rowland Griffith of Plas Newydd , Anglesey , and d. before 1561 . Their son, OWEN , the next heir, m. Elizabeth , daughter of Sir Richard Bulkeley , thus establishing a connection with one of the most important families (q.v.) in Anglesey . It was this Owen , also, who established the Holland connection with the coalfields in the township of Ysgeifiog . In Aug. 1596 he obtained from Sir Henry Bagnall , an assignment of a moiety of the township of ‘ Eskyviog ,’ with coal mining rights therein ( Carreglwyd Deeds, i, 1750, 2109, 2113 ). He also took an active part in the public life of the island, being returned as M.P. for Anglesey in Nov. 1584 , and serving as sheriff in 1591 and 1599 . He d. 1 Feb. 1600/01 . His eldest son Rowland having d. without issue, he was succeeded by his second son THOMAS . He is probably the ‘ Thomas Holland , of co. Anglesea , gent., S. Edmund Hall , matric. 3 Nov., 1593 , aged 16,’ mentioned in Foster , Alumni Oxon. , and who subsequently was admitted to Lincoln's Inn , 28 Feb. 1594/5 . He was returned as M.P. for Anglesey in Oct. 1601 , and served as sheriff in 1609 , 1622 , and 1640 . He is frequently mentioned as captain of the trained bands of the hundred of Dindaethwy . There is no positive information about his knighthood , but it is believed he was so honoured about 1621-2 . He succeeded in obtaining for the family a lease of the other moiety of the township of Ysgeifiog , with the mining rights appertaining thereto. He d. 1643 or 1644 , unmarried, and was succeeded by his nephew OWEN , a son of Owen ( Sir Thomas 's brother) and Mary , daughter of Michael Evans of Plas Llandyfrydog . He had m. Jane , daughter of Pearce Lloyd of Llugwy , and by a marriage settlement of 13 Feb. 1642/3 , his uncle had settled on them all his property in Anglesey . He d. 1668? , and was succeeded by his eldest son, THOMAS , who m. (1) his cousin Catherine , daughter of Pearce Lloyd of Llugwy , and (2) Lumley , daughter of Thomas , lord Bulkeley . He was sheriff of Anglesey in 1681 . He had a son called Thomas , but both father and son had d. before 1708 . One of them was buried at Llanfihangel Ysgeifiog , 12 March 1701/2 . The next heir was the Rev. THOMAS HOLLAND , son of John Holland (brother of the Thomas who had succeeded in 1668? ), of Caernarvon , and Elizabeth Levitt . Having taken holy orders , he had gone out to the Bermudas in 1703 , and served there as a clergyman until he returned to this country in 1706 ( Carreglwyd Deeds, i, 1770, 1850 ). In 1708 he inherited the Berw estate , and in Aug. of the same year was appointed rector of Llangeinwen , Anglesey . He m. (1) Elizabeth , daughter of Robert Holling , and (2) Mary , daughter of Mutton Davies of Gwysaney . He d. towards the end of 1746 ; his will was proved 26 Nov. 1746 ( Carreglwyd Deeds, i, 2016 ). He was the last of the name to inherit the estate, as two sons had predeceased him. His sister Jane had m. Ellis Anwyl , rector of Llaniestyn, Caerns. , and their daughter Elizabeth had m. Richard Trygarn of Trygarn, Caerns. It was to ELIZABETH TRYGARN that the estate now came, and after her, to her daughter MARY , b. 1727 , who had m. John Griffiths of Carreglwyd . [The old family name is perpetuated, near the (ruined) Plas Berw , by the inn and later hamlet called ‘ Holland Arms .’]

Sources:

  • J. Williams , The History of Berw, 1861 (Llangen, 1915) ;
  • Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series , 1630 ;
  • ibid 1639-40 ;
  • ibid 1641-3 ;
  • Archaeologia Cambrensis , 1866 , 1867 , 1868 ;
  • Annals and Antiquities of the Counties and County Families of Wales ;
  • Public Record Office, List of Sheriffs for England and Wales … to A.D. 1831 (1898) (P.R.O.);
  • W. R. Williams , The History of the Parliamentary Representation of Wales (1895) ;
  • E. Breese and W. W. E. Wynne , Kalendars of Gwynedd … (1873) ;
  • E. G. Jones in Transactions of the Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club , 1940 ;
  • W. O. Williams in ibid., 1948 ;
  • Carreglwyd Papers at the National Library of Wales in N.L.W.;
  • J. E. Griffith , Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families (1914) , 110, 24;
  • A. Ivor Pryce , The Diocese of Bangor in the sixteenth century being a digest of the registers of the bishops, A.D. 1512-1646 (1923) ;
  • Heraldic Visitations of Wales and Part of the Marches (1846) ;
  • The Records of the Honorable Society of Lincoln's Inn (London, 1896) ;
  • NLW MSS 1511, 1512, 1513, 1518, 1520, 1525, 1526, 1536, 1546, 1588, 3069;
  • The Records of the Diocese of Bangor in the National Library of Wales in N.L.W.;
  • Lists of Members Parliament Pt. 1. Parliaments of England, 1213-1702; Pt. 2. Parliaments of Great Britain, 1705-1796. Parliaments of the United Kingdom, 1801-1874. Parliaments and Conventions of the Estates of Scotland, 1357-1707. Parliaments of Ireland, 1559-1800 (London, 1878) , 1203-1712 .

Author:

Griffith Milwyn Griffiths, M.A., Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959