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HOLLAND, ROBERT (1557–1622?), clergyman and poet, the third son of Hugh Holland, by Jane, daughter of Hugh Conway of Bryneurin, was born in 1557 at Conway, where the Holland family, though of English origin, had already been settled for many generations. They eventually became owners of most of the town, including the castle, as well as of good estates in the neighbourhood. Robert Holland studied at Cambridge as a member of Clare, Magdalene, and Jesus Colleges successively, graduating B.A. in 1578, and M.A. in 1581. We learn from the dedication of his paraphrase of the gospels that ‘the race of his youth was unadvisedly run,’ but that, after he had been ‘four years or more tossed with sundry troubles,’ the hearts of his friends had been stirred up ‘to favour his innocency, and to grant him breathing time after his travels.’ In 1591 he was presented to the rectory of Prendergast, in 1607 to that of Walwyn's Castle, and in 1612 to that of Robeston West, all in Pembrokeshire, and in the gift of the lord chancellor. He was also rector of Llanddowror in Carmarthenshire. He died about 1622. By Jane, daughter and heiress of Robert Meylir of Haverfordwest, he had six sons, of whom Nicholas was rector of Marloes, Pembrokeshire. Holland was the author of: 1. ‘The Holie Historie of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's Nativitie, Life, Actes, &c., gathered into English meter, and published to withdraw vayne wits from all unsaverie and wicked rimes and fables, to some love and liking of spirituall songs and holy Scriptures,’ London, 1594, 12mo. 2. ‘Darmerth, neu Arlwy Gweddi, &c. (i.e. a prayer, preparation, or feast, conceived with a view to the great exaltation of godliness and the increase of the knowledge and the desire of the ignorant willing rightly to serve the true God),’ Rhydychain (i.e. Oxford), 1600, 4to. 3. ‘Dav Cymro yn taring yn Bell o'u Gwlad, ac ymgyffwrdd ar fynydd, &c.’ (Stories told by two Welshmen meeting on a mountain, about all they had seen and heard with regard to conjurers, wizards, and the like).

[L. Dwnn's Visitations of Wales, i. 113, ii. 117; manuscript authorities cited in Archæol. Cambrensis, 3rd ser. xiii. 183; monuments in Conway Church; Rowlands's Llyfryddiaeth y Cymry, ed. S. Evans.]

T. E. H.