Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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HOLLAND , SAMUEL ( 1803 - 1892 ), a pioneer of the North Wales slate industry and chief promoter of the establishment of Dr. Williams's school for girls at Dolgelley ;

b. 17 Oct. 1803 in Duke Street , Liverpool , son of Samuel Holland (who was interested in lead and copper mines and slate quarrying in North Wales ) and Katherine ( Menzies ) . Educated in various schools in England and in Germany , he started to work in his father's office in Liverpool . His connection with Wales , which was to remain unbroken until his death, began in 1821 when he was sent by his father to supervise work at his new slate quarry at Rhiwbryfdir in the parish of Ffestiniog . In his autobiography in N.L.W. MS. 4983 (see also the other manuscripts named below) Samuel Holland gives details of his slate quarrying and other industrial activities in Wales ; the autobiography, for such it is, sketches Holland 's other activities; e.g. it explains how he came to be interested in Dr. Williams's School , Dolgelley . Holland represented Merioneth in Parliament (as a Liberal ) from 1870 to 1885 . He lived for years at Plas Penrhyn , near Penrhyndeudraeth and, for some years before his death, at Caer-deon , between Barmouth and Dolgelley . He d. [27 Dec.] 1892 ; his widow (née Caroline Jane Burt ) d. in 1924 .


  • NLW MSS 4543, 4983-7 and 12293 (a pedigree of the Holland family);
  • Megan Ellis , ‘A Link with D.W.S.’ in Dr. Williams' School Magazine (Dolgellau) , July 1939 ;
  • W. R. Williams , The History of the Parliamentary Representation of Wales (1895) , 118;
  • Supplement to Journal of the Merioneth Historical and Record Society , 1952 (= NLW MS 4983).


Sir William Llewelyn Davies, M.A., LL.D., F.S.A. (1887-1952), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959