OWEN, LEONARD (1890 - 1965), administrator in India, treasurer of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion

Name: Leonard Owen
Date of birth: 1890
Date of death: 1965
Spouse: Dilys Owen (née Bryan)
Parent: Mary Owen (née Roberts)
Parent: David Owen
Gender: Male
Occupation: administrator in India, treasurer of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion
Area of activity: History and Culture; Public and Social Service, Civil Administration
Author: Mary Auronwy James

Born at Bangor, Caernarfonshire, 1 October 1890, son of David Owen, solicitor, and Mary (née Roberts) his wife. He was educated at Friars School and the University College of North Wales (1909-14), Bangor, where he played an active part in sport, was president of the literary and debating society and graduated B.A. with first-class honours in French in 1912 and M.A. 1914. He entered the Indian civil service in 1914 but World War I, in which he served in the Royal Field Artillery, delayed his taking up his appointment as assistant magistrate in Meerut until 1919, becoming district magistrate of Benares in 1924, settlement officer at Bara Banki in 1927, deputy commissioner for Kumaon division in 1934 and district magistrate at Cawnpore in 1936. He became chief government whip in the Indian Legislative Assembly (1935), and was made a C.I.E. in 1938 in recognition of his meritorious service to India. During World War II he worked in the Ministry of Home Security (1939-44), Ministry of Supply (1945), and Board of Trade (1946-52), subsequently devoting his time to humanitarian and cultural activities. He was chairman of the National Society for Epileptica, a member of the court of governors and the council of the National Library of Wales, and served the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion as treasurer (1952-64). He had a great gift for translating Welsh poetry into English, some of which was published in The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion together with several valuable articles written by him on aspects of the history of north Wales. His transcripts of early north Wales taxation records are at the University College of Bangor and the National Library of Wales. He also translated very many articles from Y Bywgraffiadur Cymreig hyd 1940 for inclusion in The Dictionary of Welsh biography down to 1940.

He married in Bombay, India, in 1923, Dilys daughter of Joseph Davies Bryan, under BRYAN, ROBERT) and they had one son and one daughter. He died 4 November 1965 at his home, 15 Ethorpe Close, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire.


Published date: 2001

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