HOLLAND family, of Berw, Anglesey

Towards the middle of the 15th century, the Berw estate in Anglesey was in the hands of ITHEL AP HOWELL AP LLEWELYN, a descendant of Llywarch ap Bran, lord of Menai at the end of the 12th century. 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, married 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 married 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 December 1528, but he died before 15 April 1529 (Carreglwyd Deeds, i, 2023, 2211). Little is known of EDWARD, the son who succeeded. He married Elin, daughter of Rowland Griffith of Plas Newydd, Anglesey, and died before 1561. Their son, OWEN, the next heir, married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Richard Bulkeley, thus establishing a connection with one of the most important families in Anglesey. It was this Owen, also, who established the Holland connection with the coalfields in the township of Ysgeifiog. In August 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 November 1584, and serving as sheriff in 1591 and 1599. He died 1 February 1600/01. His eldest son Rowland having died 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 November 1593, aged 16,' mentioned in Foster, Alumni Oxonienses, and who subsequently was admitted to Lincoln's Inn, 28 February 1594/5. He was returned as M.P. for Anglesey in October 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 died 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 married Jane, daughter of Pearce Lloyd of Llugwy, and by a marriage settlement of 13 February 1642/3, his uncle had settled on them all his property in Anglesey. He died 1668?, and was succeeded by his eldest son, THOMAS, who married (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 died 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 August of the same year was appointed rector of Llangeinwen, Anglesey. He married (1) Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Holling, and (2) Mary, daughter of Mutton Davies of Gwysaney. He died towards the end of 1746; his will was proved 26 November 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 married Ellis Anwyl, rector of Llaniestyn, Caernarfonshire, and their daughter Elizabeth had married Richard Trygarn of Trygarn, Caernarfonshire. It was to ELIZABETH TRYGARN that the estate now came, and after her, to her daughter MARY, born 1727, who had married John Griffiths of Carreglwyd. The old family name is perpetuated, near the (ruined) Plas Berw, by the inn and later hamlet called ' Holland Arms.'


Published date: 1959

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