Born at Menai Bridge, Anglesey, 9 March 1853, only son of Edward and Sarah Owen, a former deputy chief constable of Anglesey, he was educated locally, and at a private seminary in Dublin. He was the first Welshman to enter the Civil Service by public examination and was appointed to the India Office c. 1873, where he remained until his retirement in 1913. During his stay of over sixty years in London, he spent almost all his leisure evenings working in the British Museum and the Public Records Office. He contributed regularly to the Trans. Hon. Cymm. Soc. and Archæologia Cambrensis; the former society published his Catalogue of the MSS. relating to Wales in the British Museum., Parts I-IV. In 1896, his work on changes in land tenure in mediaeval Wales appeared as an Appendix to the Royal Commission's Report on Land in Wales, followed by the publication (1910) of Ancient tenures of land in North Wales and the Marches jointly with A.N. Palmer of Wrexham. When the Royal Commission on the Ancient Monuments of Wales was established in 1908, he became its first secretary and editor of its volumes and inventories, and continued as such until about 1927. He was Reader in Welsh Mediaeval Antiquities at the University of Liverpool (1921-43), hon. M.A. 1921; and he received the Cymmrodorion Medal in 1923. He died 8 November 1943 aged 91 and was buried three days later in St. Seiriol's Churchyard, Holyhead, where his first wife and young daughter had been buried many years before.
Published date: 2001
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