Born at Conway (christened there 18 January 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 January 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 November 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 died in 1622 - Foster has another incumbent at Robeston in 1622, and West Wales Records has another at Walwyn's Castle on 15 November 1622. Holland had married Joan Meyler of Haverfordwest, and founded the Holland family of Walwyn's Castle; William Holland 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 at the end of his edition of Canwyll y Cymru, 1681; (3) a translation of the Exposition of the Lord's Prayer by William Perkins (see 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 - 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.
Published date: 1959
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