Samuel Holland Jnr.

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Born October 17th 1803, died December 27th 1892, MP for Merioneth 1870–1885, Son of Samuel Holland Snr.

In his diary he wrote scathingly about William Alexander Madocks and his set at Tremadog as the "gay and idle". [1] By about 1825 he clearly had investments in the Blaenau quarries for he sold his Rhiwbryfdir lease to the Welsh Slate Quarry Co whose board included Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston and George Homfray. [2]

He met the Irishman Henry Archer at the Pen-y-Groes Inn at the end of 1829 and advised him of the opportunity of building a railway from the Blaenau quarries to Porthmadog.[3]
On New Years Day 1830 he walked over the approximate route of the railway with Archer. He recommended that James Spooner should be engaged to survey the route and the following day they went to see him. Spooner was depressed because he had lost his eldest daughter who had recently been shot by his eldest son. Holland had to persuade him to do the job. Holland was Archer's only friend in the district.

Holland was present at the opening of the FR on 20th April 1836 and wrote an account of it.[4] Holland was back in the slate quarrying business and the terminus of the FR at Dinas was just at the point at which an incline from his quarry would arrive. He received £250 from the FR Co. towards the cost of building the incline. It was opened from his new Cesail quarry in 1839 after a legal battle with the landowners on its route. Holland's quarry was the first to send slate by the FR but from 1836 to 1839 it had to be sent by the cart road to the railway's terminus at Dinas. The business of building inclines from the quarries to the FR seems to have generated a great deal of disagreement and litigation with the several landowners.[5]

Holland lived for many years at Plas-yn-Penrhyn close to Boston Lodge and Archer had visited him there. Later he lived at Glanwilliam in Maentwrog, before ending his days at Caerdeon near Barmouth.

Holland's Cesail quarry's quay in Porthmadog was alonside a rocky promontory which jutted south from the Porthmadog end of The Cob. It was just beyond the current terminus of the FR. Later in 1862 Samuel Holland was involved in the proposal to build a branch from the Cambrian Railways to the Ffestiniog quarries because he was so anxious to break the FR's monopoly of slate transport.[6] Again in 1871 Holland was Chairman of the proposed Merionethshire Railway which was proposed to extend the Festiniog and Blaenau Railway for ten miles to a junction with the Cambrian Railways coast line near Talsarnau. It was never constructed but once again was designed to break the FR's monopoly. In a third move against the FR he was Director of the Bala and Festiniog Railway formed in 1873 to approach Blaenau from Bala. [7]

Holland was proud of his part in the introduction of steam locomotives on the FR for he recollects in his memoirs that he recommended his nephew's designs to the FR Board. [8] He complained about the FR's couplings on its slate wagons which did not disintegrate until a loaded string of them went down his quarry incline. The quarry had to bear the cost of the broken slates.[9] In 1876 he was involved with Greaves in a complaint that the FR offered lower rates for slate to the Welsh Slate Company. The FR claimed in reply that these two required more wagons per ton of slate shipped than WSC and that made the carriage of the latter's slate at a lower charge more profitable. The case was lost because the Court found that Holland's & Greaves's quarries could not use 3 ton wagons and shunting to separate the 3 ton wagons put up the FR's cost.

The Monday and Saturday quarrymen's trains were considered not sufficient by the quarrymen in 1874. The men wrote to Samuel Holland to ask for his approval as a guarantor to allow daily services to begin for those living in Penrhyn, Llanfrothen and Maentwrog. He seems to have declined. [10] He later acted as sponsor for these services up to 1881.[11]

He was also the leading light in the founding of the Carnarvonshire and Merionethshire Steamship Company Limited (Porthmadog) in 1865.(Fenton, 1989) See Porthmadog Coastal Steamers page.


See also[edit source]

References[edit source]

Fenton R S (1989) Cambria Coasters: Steam and motor coaster owners of North and West Wales, World Ship Society, Kendal LA9 7LT, ISBN 0 905617 52 5. p 56.

  1. ^ Boyd, James I.C. (1975) [1959]. The Festiniog Railway 1800 - 1974; Vol. 1 - History and Route. Blandford: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-8536-1167-X. OCLC 2074549. p 17.
  2. ^ Boyd, James I.C. (1975) [1959]. The Festiniog Railway 1800 - 1974; Vol. 1 - History and Route. Blandford: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-8536-1167-X. OCLC 2074549. p 21.
  3. ^ Boyd, James I.C. (1975) [1959]. The Festiniog Railway 1800 - 1974; Vol. 1 - History and Route. Blandford: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-8536-1167-X. OCLC 2074549. pp 23-25.
  4. ^ Boyd, James I.C. (1975) [1959]. The Festiniog Railway 1800 - 1974; Vol. 1 - History and Route. Blandford: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-8536-1167-X. OCLC 2074549. p 29 - 32.
  5. ^ Boyd, James I.C. (1975) [1959]. The Festiniog Railway 1800 - 1974; Vol. 1 - History and Route. Blandford: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-8536-1167-X. OCLC 2074549. pp 42 - 44.
  6. ^ Boyd, James I.C. (1975) [1959]. The Festiniog Railway 1800 - 1974; Vol. 1 - History and Route. Blandford: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-8536-1167-X. OCLC 2074549. pp 53 - 54.
  7. ^ Boyd, James I.C. (1975) [1959]. The Festiniog Railway 1800 - 1974; Vol. 1 - History and Route. Blandford: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-8536-1167-X. OCLC 2074549. pp 58 - 59.
  8. ^ Boyd, James I.C. (1975) [1959]. The Festiniog Railway 1800 - 1974; Vol. 1 - History and Route. Blandford: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-8536-1167-X. OCLC 2074549. p 65.
  9. ^ Boyd, James I.C. (1975) [1959]. The Festiniog Railway 1800 - 1974; Vol. 1 - History and Route. Blandford: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-8536-1167-X. OCLC 2074549. p 71.
  10. ^ Boyd, James I.C. (1975) [1959]. The Festiniog Railway 1800 - 1974; Vol. 1 - History and Route. Blandford: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-8536-1167-X. OCLC 2074549. p 123.
  11. ^ Boyd, James I.C. (1975) [1959]. The Festiniog Railway 1800 - 1974; Vol. 1 - History and Route. Blandford: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-8536-1167-X. OCLC 2074549. p 141.

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