OWEN, ROBERT (Eryron Gwyllt Walia; 1803 - 1870), Calvinistic Methodist minister, and poet

Name: Robert Owen
Pseudonym: Eryron Gwyllt Walia
Date of birth: 1803
Date of death: 1870
Spouse: Ellen Owen (née Owen)
Parent: Anne Owen (née Roberts)
Parent: Griffith Owen
Gender: Male
Occupation: Calvinistic Methodist minister, and poet
Area of activity: Poetry; Religion
Author: John Ellis Caerwyn Williams

Born 3 April 1803 at Ffridd-bala-deulyn, near Tal-y-sarn, Caernarfonshire, son of Griffith Owen, a native of Waun-fawr, and Anne his wife, daughter of the house of Ffridd and sister of the preachers, Robert Roberts of Clynnog and John Roberts of Llangwm. Shortly after he was born his parents moved to Caernarvon, where he was brought up. He attended the school kept by Evan Richardson, where he received a better education than was customary in those days, and was later apprenticed to a house-painter; he continued to work as a painter until he retired some five years before his death. While he was still a boy at Caernarvon he experienced the emotions of the Beddgelert revival (1817-8) and John Elias made a profound impression on his mind. About the same time he began to take an interest in literature; he sought the company of the local poets and was given instruction and encouragement by the master poet, Dewi Wyn. Towards the end of April 1824, when he was 21, he went to London. He became a member of the chapel at Jewin Crescent where he came into prominence as a teacher at the Sunday school and later as its superintendent. In 1832 he married Ellen Owen, whose sister was the wife of the eminent actuary, Griffith Davies. He was ordained at the Holywell Association in 1859. He appears to have been celebrated for his addresses. He was also notable for his intimate knowledge of the Bible, for his ability to apply that knowledge, and for his interest in Puritan theology. He wrote a considerable amount of poetry, mainly of a religious nature, in both the classical and the ‘free’ forms. For some time he refused to join the Gwyneddigion Society because of its ‘irreligious’ atmosphere; but in 1833 he was its official poet. The same reason kept him from attending eisteddfodau, although he occasionally competed in them. One of his literary friends was Thomas Edwards (Caerfallwch). He died 22 August 1870.

Author

Published date: 1959

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