OWEN family of Cefn-hafodau and Glangynwydd in Llangurig later of Glansevern in Berriw, Montgomeryshire

This family, of South-Welsh origin (pedigree in Mont. Coll., iii, 232), emerges into notice towards the middle of the 18th century, when it produced two successive generations of noteworthy men.

DAVID OWEN (1700 - 1777), who m. Frances Rogers of Cefn-y-berain (Kerry), had four sons, of whom three claim notice here:

1. OWEN OWEN (1723 - 1789), sheriff of Montgomery, 1766,

m. Anne, daughter and heiress of Charles Davies of Llifior (Berriw), and had three sons:

(a) Sir ARTHUR DAVIS OWEN (1752? - 1816), sheriff of Montgomery LawPublic and Social Service, Civil Administration, 1814,

a lawyer, took an active part in the public life of his shire (deputy-lieutenant, chairman of the quarter sessions), and was second in command of its Yeomanry Cavalry from 1803 till his death, childless, 18 October 1816. He lived at Glansevern, Cefn-hafodau having been sold.

(b) DAVID OWEN

He was bapt. 16 September 1754 in Berriew church. The father was described as a ‘gent. of Keel’ and the family owned much property in the area. He attended his uncle's school at Warrington before going up to Trinity College, Cambridge where he was a Senior Wrangler in 1777 and won the principal Smith Prize in the same year. He gained his M.A. degree in 1780, and became a Fellow of his college. He took orders, but afterwards settled in New Brunswick, where he died, unmarried, on 10 December 1829.

(c) WILLIAM OWEN (1758 - 1837),

He. was bapt. 22 August 1758 in Berriew church. He was educated at Warrington under his uncle Edward (2, below), went to Jesus College, Oxford, for a short period, and at Trinity College, Cambridge (fifth Wrangler, 1782, and Fellow), was called to the Bar (K.C. 1818); after the death of his brother, Sir Arthur, he inherited Glansevern and became a distinguished figure in the county, and chairman of quarter sessions. A Whig, he strongly supported the abolition of the ‘Great Sessions of Wales,’ and rallied his county to the support of the Reform Bill of 1832. He died 10 November 1837; his widow, Anne Warburton Owen (Montgomeryshire Worthies, 214), died 1876, left Glansevern to his great-grand-nephew, A. C. Humphreys, who thereupon changed his name to Humphreys-Owen (he is separately noticed). There are monuments to all three at Berriw.

2. EDWARD OWEN (1729? - 1807), schoolmaster, is separately noticed.

3. WILLIAM OWEN (died 1778 at Madras)

entered the Navy as a boy in 1750, and was at Plassey (1757) and at the taking of Pondicherry (1760) while still a midshipman; he became captain c. 1770. He had two sons, who attained high rank in the navy :

(a) admiral Sir EDWARD CAMPBELL RICH OWEN (1771 - 1849),

who took part (as commander) in the Walcheren expedition of 1809, was knighted in 1815, was vice-admiral on the East India Station, 1828-32, and in the Mediterranean, 1841-5, became admiral in 1846, and died 8 October 1849.

(b) viceadmiral WILLIAM FITZWILLIAM OWEN (1773 - 1857),

who was in the ‘First of June’ action of 1794 and at the Spithead mutiny of 1797, after which he was commissioned. In the 1803-15 war he fought in many actions (he was prisoner of war 1808-10), but both then and afterwards, he was chiefly famed as a hydrographer; his charts were of high repute. He carried out surveys in many parts of the world. In 1847 he was given flag rank, and in 1855 retired, as vice-admiral. He died 3 November 1857, in New Brunswick, which had long been his ‘shore’ residence, as he had acquired the lands there which belonged to his cousin David (1 (b) above).

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Published date: 1959

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