MAURICE, OWEN families, Clenennau, Penmorfa, Caernarvonshire, Glyn (Cywarch), Merioneth, etc.

The careers of Sir William Maurice and colonel Sir John Owen are dealt with separately; here only a very general survey of the family is attempted. Sir John Wynn says in his The history of the Gwydir family (and it should be remembered that Sir John's ancestors came from Eifionydd, which is the south-eastern part of Caernarvonshire): 'You are to understand that in Evioneth there were two sects or kindred, the one lineally descended of Owen Gwynedd, prince of Wales, consisting then and now of four houses, viz., Keselgyfarch, y Llys ynghefn y fann, now called Ystymkegid, Clenenny, and Brynkir, Glasfryn or Cwmstrallyn; the other sect descended of Collwyn [ap Tangno], wherof are five houses or more, viz. Whelog, Berkin, Bron-y-foel, Gwynfryn, Talhenbont, and the house of Hugh Gwyn ap John Wynne ap William, called Pennardd, all descended of their common ancestor, Ievan ap Einion ap Griffith.'

MORRIS (or MAURICE), eldest son of JOHN AP MEREDYDD, Eifionydd, married Angharad, daughter of Ellis ap Griffith ab Einion, and had by her eight children, amongst whom were (a) William Lloyd ap Maurice, ancestor of the Lloyd family of Rhiwedog, near Bala; (b) Ellis ap Maurice (below); (c) Margaret, wife of Meredydd ab Ievan ap Robert, Gwydir, and (d) Ellen, wife of John Wynn ap Meredydd, Gwydir, sheriff of Caernarvonshire, 1544-5. The first wife of ELLIS AP MAURICE (died 1571, aged 78 - he is often named Elisa or Eliza Morris) was Catherine, daughter of Piers Stanley, who was sheriff of Merioneth from 1485 until 1509. Catherine became the mother of MAURICE AB ELLIS (died 18 October 1575 at the age of 58). By his second wife, Jonet, daughter of Sir James Owen, Pentre Evan, Pembrokeshire, Ellis ap Maurice was the father of (a) James Maurice (living in 1595), rector of Llandwrog, Caernarfonshire, and Llanfwrog, Denbighshire, and chancellor of Peterborough; (b) a daughter, Catherine, who married Robert Wynn ap John, Glyn (Cywarch), Merioneth, and (c) Mary, the wife of Morris ap Robert, Llangedwyn.

The eldest son of Maurice ap Ellis and his wife (Ellen, daughter of Sir John Puleston) was Sir William Maurice (1542 - 1622), whom, as his first wife, Margaret, daughter of John Wynn Lacon, Porkington (now called Brogyntyn) and Llanddyn, and one of the children of this marriage was captain ELLIS MAURICE (1568 - ?), who fought for queen Elizabeth in Ireland; the heiress of Ellis Maurice was Margaret, who married (1) John Jones, Wern, Penmorfa - see Wynn family of Peniarth; and (2) Ellis Anwyl, Parkie, Caernarfonshire

Sir William Maurice was succeeded at Clenennau by his grand-daughter, ELLIN MAURICE (1578 - 1626), heiress of Clenennau, Porkington, and Llanddyn, daughter of William Wynn Maurice (who had died in 1568, i.e., before his father, Sir William Maurice), and Mary, daughter of John Lewis, Chwaen, Anglesey. Ellin Maurice married (1) John Owen, secretary to Sir Francis Walsingham, and son of Owen ap Robert, Bodsilin, Caernarfonshire, and (2) Sir Francis Eure (died 1621), chief justice of North Wales. By her first husband she was the mother of three sons and five daughters. The three sons were colonel Sir John Owen (died 1666), colonel WILLIAM OWEN (died October 1670, buried at Selattyn, 11 October 1670), Porkington, who defended Harlech castle for Charles I, and Maurice Owen, to whom his mother gave lands in Anglesey. The heir of Sir John Owen was WILLIAM OWEN (buried 30 January 1667/8). He married Catherine, only child of Lewis Anwyl, Parc, Llanfrothen; his heir was Sir ROBERT OWEN, Clenennau, Porkington, and Llanddyn. Sir Robert Owen was Member of Parliament for Merioneth from 1681 to 1685 and member for Caernarvonshire at the time of his death. His wife was MARGARET, eldest daughter and heiress of Owen Wynne, Glyn (Cywarch), Merioneth. For references to later members of the Owen family, i.e., descendants of Sir Robert and Lady Owen, see Wynne and Owen families, Glyn (Cywarch) and Brogyntyn, and for a detailed study of the manner in which the Clenennau estate was formed and consolidated, see the work by T. J. Pierce mentioned below.



Published date: 1959

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