Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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HOLLAND , ROBERT ( 1556/7 - 1622? ), cleric, author, and translator ;

b. at Conway (christened there 18 Jan. 1556/7 ), third son of Hugh Gwyn Holland — see Holland families (1) . He matriculated from Clare College , Cambridge , at Easter 1577 , graduated from Magdalene in 1577/1578 , and proceeded M.A. from Jesus in 1581 . On 15 Jan. 1580/1 he was ordained deacon (on a title from his father) at Bangor ; he was priested at Ely in April 1580 , and licensed curate of Weston Colville ; he was also schoolmaster at Dullingham , near Newmarket . His preferments in Wales are not easy to date with confidence (parish records are lacking), but both Stephen Hughes (in 1677 ) and Moses Williams make him parson of Llanddowror — this, presumably, would be before 1595 . Again, though the list of Pembrokeshire parsons in West Wales Records contains not a single reference to Holland , Foster 's Index of parish clergy (based on P.R.O. records) says that he was instituted at Prendergast 6 Nov. 1591 ( West Wales Records has another rector there in 1608 ), at Walwyn's Castle 5 March 1607/8 , and in addition at Robeston West in 1612 . He would seem to have d. in 1622 Foster has another incumbent at Robeston in 1622 , and West Wales Records has another at Walwyn's Castle on 15 Nov. 1622 . Holland had m. Joan Meyler of Haverfordwest , and founded the Holland family of Walwyn's Castle (see Holland families (2) ); William Holland (q.v.) was a descendant of his.

Holland published at least six books: (1) The Holie Historie of our Lord (etc.), 1592 , a metrical paraphrase of the Gospel narrative; (2) Dau Gymro yn taring yn bell o'u gwlad , a dialogue against soothsayers and conjurers , conjecturally dated c. 1595 , but known only from the reprint by Stephen Hughes (q.v.) at the end of his ed. of Canwyll y Cymru , 1681 ; (3) a translation of the Exposition of the Lord's Prayer by William Perkins (q.v. in D.N.B. ), entered (with no title) at Stationers Hall 25 June 1599 — again no copy is known earlier than Stephen Hughes 's revised reissue ( 1677 ) under the title Agoriad byrr ar Weddi'r Arglwydd, in his Cyfarwydd-deb i'r Anghyfarwydd ; (4) a book called Darmerth, neu Arlwy i Weddi , recorded by Moses Williams in 1717 as Holland 's work, published at Oxford in 1600 — the view that this was identical with (3) is not now accepted; (5) a translation of Perkins 's catechism The Foundation of Xtian Religion , also reissued, 1672 , by Stephen Hughes (as Catechism Mr. Perkins ) — he says that Holland translated it ‘some 70 years’ before; (6) Basilikon Doron , 1604 , a translation of king James 's work made with the assistance of George Owen Harry (q.v.) — this was intended to be the first part of a book including also Harry 's Genealogy of the High and Mighty Prince (etc.), but Harry published that independently, in the same year.


  • J. E. Griffith , Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families (1914) , 341;
  • Conway Par. Reg.;
  • Venn , Alumni Cantabrigienses ;
  • 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) ;
  • Journal of the Welsh Bibliographical Society , ii, 273-4, and 172, 181, 207, 211, 223, 230;
  • information furnished by the Keeper of Printed Books at N.L.W., and by Mr. Walter Morgan of N.L.W.


Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959