Grave of Elizabeth Holland, Conwy

Grave of Elizabeth Holland

Elizabeth Holland (d.1850)

This gravestone bears englynion (a form of verse) written by three bards in tribute to Elizabeth Holland, who died aged 23 in 1850. Her husband was Joseph Holland, commander-in-chief of the ship Hopewell.

The poems are by Dewi Einion, Meurig Idris and Myrddin. Meurig Idris was the bardic name of Morris Jones of Harlech (1819-1875). Myrddin was Thomas Roberts of Conwy, whose grave nearby is next in our churchyard tour.

If you look closely at each englyn on the tombstone you’ll see that the first line in each case features a couple of words after a dash. Every englyn must also employ internal rhyme and the unique Welsh system of alliteration called cynghanedd, which you can hear if you listen to our reading of the first poem, composed by Dewi Einion:

Yn nychu gan wan iechyd – a loes
Bu Elizabeth ennyd:
Buan ar hafddydd bywyd
I’r bedd diangodd o’r byd.

Here’s a rough translation:

Weakened by poor health – and pain
Was Elizabeth for a while:
In the summer’s day of life,
To the grave she escaped from the world.

To hear the poem read by Gerwyn Wiliams, press play:Or, download mp3 (132KB)

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