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estate, title, claim, interest, and demand in all those messuages, houses, and lands in Berrowe yssa, Berrowe ywcha, Tree Byrthe, tree Varthyn, Bodlewe, tree Yvan, Rascolyn, or elsewhere in Anglesey, which the said Owen then occupied,” under a lease previously granted to him by Sir John. On the 20th February, 1522, a similar release was made by Sir John to Owen of "all the lands in Berrowe yssa, etc.,” which descended to him on the death of his father, Owen ab Ithel, or of his brother, Hugh Owen. Under date 31 June, 1523, Owen Holland executed a settlement of the entire
property, in which he described himself as Sheriff of Anglesey. This office Garter King of Arms has certified that he held for life, by letters patent under the seal of Kings Henry VII and Henry VIII. This appointment appears to have devolved upon Owen Holland in succession to Rys ap Llewelyn ap Hwlcyn of Bodychen, who earned it by his services on Bosworth field.
Owen Holland acquired a good deal of property by purchase, one of his title-deeds being signed by no less a person than the bard, Sir Dafydd Trevor, parson of Llanallgo. It bears date in 1524. The lease already quoted, and other similar documents, lead us to suppose that Mr. Holland did not reside at Berw. Perhaps his cousin, Sir John Owen, made the place disagreeable to him, in his rivalry of, or dislike to, the English blood which flowed in the Sheriff's veins. In 1528 Holland granted a lease of a mill at Berw for so long a term as forty years, with a condition that he might redeem the lease by paying compensation, at any time, “ If he happen to come and live continually at his place at Berw.” Very possibly the duties of his office made it convenient to live among the thoroughly English community in Beaumaris. His wife was English, Awdrey or Ethelrede, widow of Richard Hampdune, of Kimble, Esquire. She is a silent witness of the futility of her husband's proviso about the mill at Berw. One year only after lease was granted “ Ethelrede, widow and executor of Owen Holland," appointed an agent to collect her rents
at Berw. She never resided there, it would seem, and it was not until 1547 that the mill lease was surrendered. In that year Owen Holland's son, Edward Holland, took a surrender of it. It is, therefore, reasonable to suppose that he was born before 1526, and may have been four or five years of age at the time of his father's death. Ethelrede soon found another husband, one Griffith Richard ; and forth with Sir John Owen renewed his claim upon Berw, desiring apparently to repudiate all the deeds he had signed in the lifetime of Owen Holland. The matter at last took so serious a form that it was formally referred to Sir John Pakyngton, Justice of North Wales, to say who should own the estate. His award, dated in 1536, commences by reciting
“Whereas certaine suits, debats, and stryffe have of long time ben had and dependynge between John Owen Clerke, son and heir of Owen ap Ethell, late of Berrow, on the one party, and Griffith Richard and Ethelrede, his wife, late wife of Owen Holland, Esquyer, decessed, and Edward Holond, son and heir of the said Owen Holond, on the other partie--upon the right title interest and possession of certen messuage landes and other hereditaments in Berrow yssa, Berrow yucha, trebyerth, trewarthen, Bodlew, tre Ifan, Rascollyn, Porthamell, Gwydryn, and Llangewenny-which late were of the inheritance of the said Owen ap Ithell—for the pacifying whereof the said parties have submitted themselves to the award—of me the said John Pakyngton.” And continues, " I awarde, that the said parties from henceforth shall be lovers and friends,” and then (after reciting many deeds and transactions, and the will of Owen Holland, leaving all the lands to his wife for life),
“I awarde that the said Gruff, and Ethelrede, his wife, shall quietly and peaceably have possess and enjoy the said messuage, landes, etc., duringe the life of the said Ethelrede, and after her decease the said Edward shall have the premises to him and his heires and assigns for ever, according to the last will and testament of the said Owen Holland.”
He also awarded that Gruffudd Richard should pay to John Owen fifty marks, in addition to eighty pounds, which Owen Holland had paid to him in his lifetime.
Sir John Owen forth with ratified this award by a deed executed in London, " in the strete called flete strete, and the dispute was finally set at rest.
Edward Holland married Elin Griffith, daughter of Rowland Griffith, of Plasnewydd. Whether he married young or old, his married life was but short, for in 1561 we find his widow married again to William Hampton of Henllys. She had two children, and her second husband, a widower, had a family of his own. That communications had been kept up between the Hollands and the relations of Mrs. Owen Holland, who had court influence, would appear from the following curious letter, written in 1561, which also bears upon the social history of that period in Anglesey :
Right Worshipful, o' duetyes, with most hertye comendacons humbly premised, trustynge that ye mastershippe is in good healthe wherein yo may long continue to the pleasure of God, as yor little nephew Owen Holland and his sister your nece with all others yo' well willers and faithful friends in these quarters were at the making hereof. These may be and signifye unto yo' mastershippe that when yo' mother (whose soule God pardon) during her lyef tyme held certeyn lands in this countrey in her joynture by her husband Owen Holland y father in lawe, she by her l'res willed Thomas Lloyd her servaunt and baylyff wi thassent of yor sayd nephews mother and graundfather Roland gruf deceased to sett and lett those her lands here att ther pleasure during her tyme to the best advantage and comodytie of yr said nephew in tyme to com and to remove suche tenants as he thought good amongst the which one Rythergh ap dd Esquyer held a porcon of the sayd lands att fyve shillings rent by the yere allthough hitt was worth foure or five nobles rent yerely whom the sayd Thomas Lloyd thought to remove for certeyn unkynde demeanors practysed here towards the said hollands lands) yett of a wholle consent and att the request of the said Rythergh ap dd who was neare akynne to lyttle holland and promysed to behave hym sellff kyndely aneynst the said holland touchynge other lands, he was promised to have the sayd lands which is comonly called ynys ferw with the apptces sett and lyinge in the Townshippe of berw and countye of Anglesey during his natural lyef the which he had accordingly (and now hitt hath pleased God to call for the said Rythergh ap davydd to his mercye) after whose death the sayd Thomas Lloyd in the right and behalf of yo' said
lyttle nephew repayred to the sayde landes and withstode one Eve verch Meredithe late wyf and executrice unto the sayd Rythergb ap Davydd to occupy and enioye the sayd landes and drove away her catell from thens, at which doynge one Richard ap Rytherche sonne and heyre unto the sayd Rythergh beinge a Justice of the Peace in this sayd countye came to the same land and highely threatened the sayd l'homas Lloyd saying that for ether Hampden or hawtrys he would putt the said Thomas by the heeles in yrons yf hee wold intermeddle with the sayd lands agaynst hym, and his sayd mother in lawe, with many other opprobryowes wordes, wherefore we thought good to signiffie yor mastershippe hereof that you might send Îres out of the chauncery against the sayd Richard ap Rethergh and Eve verch Meredith and then they will shewe what they have whereby to clayme the said landes (yf they have anythinge) for here wee may not stryve with them, because that there is never a Justice of the Peace in this countye butt is akynne unto them att the second degree at the furthest and many which be nearer, ether by kynredde or allyaunce, and for the most part redy (yf nede be) to swear what the other will say, the more is the pyttye, and this Richard is one of them hymsellfe as I sayd beffor, and at the tyme of ther apperence Thomas Lloyd himself shall give his attendance upon your mastershippe to give you full notice and instruccons herein as shall be necessary, and the charges herein susteyned shalbe payd when Thomas Lloyd cometh to you" mastershippe, and this bold to trouble your mastershippe wee comytt you to the kayres of all mightie God who kepe you. ffrom berowe the xxviijth day of Aprell 1561.
“Yo' to comand to the uttmost of ther powers
“Wyllam hamton ffather in lawe to lyttle holland
and in his fathers will.
“ Thomas lloyd. “To the Right Worshipfull Mr. Richard hampdune Esquyer
clerke of the quenes maiestyes most honable kitching,
delyur this." These Prytherchs of Myfyrian were near neighbours of the Hollands, and, as the letter says, “near akynne.” The mother of Rhydderch ap Dafydd was Mallt, sister to Elinor, the wife of John Holland. Richard ap Rhydderch, mentioned in the letter, was afterwards first representative in parliament of the borough of Beaumaris.
He married, strange to say, the mother of his father's second wife, that Eva of Bodowir, who is named by Mr. Hampton in his letter.
One can easily imagine that gentleman with his wife and his co-signitaries sitting in close confabulation about the framing of this epistle, but it is not quite so easy to assign the probable scene of their literary labours. Probably the first mansion of the Hollands had become too small and too old fashioned for them. Adjoining it there still remain the ruins of a more pretentious structure having mullioned windows and wide handsome doorways. Probably it was in some part of this edifice that the conclave sat. It has long been in ruins, and last suffered from fire. Together with the old square tower it forms the south-west side of a little enclosed garden, of which the north-west is the present house, and the remainder simply walls or railings. A stone with the initials o. h. is built into a portion of this structure, but it is difficult even to guess which Owen Holland caused it to be carved, and still more so to explain how it got into its present condition.
The following extracts from Crown Rentals give some idea of the extent of the estate at Berw, about the time that William Hampton lived there in preference to his own place at Henllys, near Beaumaris. We cannot quite safely conclude from the use of the name Owen Holland that Edward's son was of age, as this
may only be a reminiscence of his grandfather, who bore the same
Villa de Bryngwyn. Richard
Gruff pro terr Owini Holland, viijd.
Villa de Berw Ichaf.