He was of the same family as ' baron ' Lewis Owen, the great divine Dr. John Owen (1616 - 1683), a distant relative, the chief people of Merioneth amongst his friends and acquaintances. He matriculated at Oxford (Jesus College, 1660), began to preach, but he was silenced (to use Calamy's word) by the Act of Uniformity, 1662. He joined the Puritan congregation of Wrexham, becoming a teaching elder; in 1668 he married Martha Brown, daughter of one of its more prominent members, once one of the seventy-one commissioners under the Propagation Act of 1650; and before 1672 he was overseer of the Independent nonconformists of Merioneth from his headquarters at Bron-y-clydwr in Llanegryn parish, the lands that fell to his mother from the Peniarth heritage. In May of that year he secured a licence under the Indulgence to preach in his own house; in September Henry Maurice, (1634 - 1682) called on his journey to Llyn; early in 1676 James Owen paid him a visit on his way to the militant Independents of Eifionydd, doubtless not without delivering a sermon in secret to Hugh Owen and the other six nonconformists who were counted in Llanegryn and district in archbishop Sheldon's census of that year. About the same time Hugh Owen was busy distributing the books that were published by Thomas Gouge and the Welsh Trust; no less than twenty-four of these, the works of Charles Edwards for the most part, came to Llanegryn alone. His lot was a hard one, says the Nonconformist's Memorial, until the coming of the Toleration Act, though he was saved from the heaviest penalties by the influence of his many friends and relatives. Under that Act he enjoyed a wide liberty, preaching to many small groups of Independents and free-communion Baptists in Merioneth and Montgomery. The controllers of the London 'funds' for the support of weak churches heard of his work, and for some years allowed him £8 a year gratuity. He died on 15 March 1699/1700, an almost perfect example of an upright Christian, and a diligent preacher of great serenity of temperament. Of his children his son JOHN OWEN became a preacher like his father - a young man of great promise, who died in 1700; his daughter Susannah married Edward Kenrick of Wrexham, a minister who supervised the Independents of Merioneth till his death in 1741; his daughter Mary was grandmother to the Rev. Hugh Farmer of Walthamstow who supplied many details about Hugh Owen's life to the Memorial. For more about the family, see Owen family, Peniarth.
Published date: 1959
Article Copyright: http://rightsstatements.org/page/InC/1.0/
The Dictionary of Welsh Biography is provided by The National Library of Wales and the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. It is free to use and does not receive grant support. A donation would help us maintain and improve the site so that we can continue to acknowledge Welsh men and women who have made notable contributions to life in Wales and beyond.
Find out more on our sponsorship page.