son of Griffith Owen and Ann his wife; b. at Ysgubor Wen, Llanengan, Caerns., 24 Aug. 1854. Educated at Botwnnog grammar school, he won in 1872, a mathematical scholarship at Jesus College, Oxford, and after obtaining second class honours in both classical and mathematical moderations, was placed in the second class in the final mathematical school in 1876. He proceeded to the degree of B.A. in 1876 and M.A. in 1879. After three years’ teaching at Appleby grammar school he returned to Wales, in 1879, as Welsh professor and classical lecturer at S. David's College, Lampeter. In the same year he was ordained deacon by bishop Basil Jones, and received priest's orders in 1880. He spent six years at Lampeter before succeeding A. G. Edwards as warden of Llandovery College. When his predecessor became bishop of S. Asaph in 1889, he appointed John Owen as dean; but in 1892 the dean returned to Lampeter as principal. In 1897 he was appointed bishop of S. David's, and he held the see till his death in London, 4 Nov. 1926.
John Owen was a thorough Welshman, in language and sympathy. He was a vigorous controversialist but this did not impair his esteem of his opponents nor theirs of him. He was deeply interested in the Welsh educational system and its development, and one of his last public acts (apart from his church work) was to act as chairman of the departmental committee which published, in 1927, the report on Welsh in Education and Life. He was also closely associated with the national eisteddfod and the Welsh Council of the League of Nations Union.
He m., 1882, Amelia, daughter of J. Longstaff of Appleby, who survived him, and by her he had four sons and six daughters. He was buried at Abergwili, and there is an effigy of him in the Lady Chapel at S. David's Cathedral.
Published date: 1959
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