Select Owen Miscellany
- Sir John Owen the Royalist
- Hugh Owen Played Both Sides
- Owens in Llanidloes
- Owen Owen in Liverpool
- Owen and Owens Surname Incidence
- William Owen of Braintree, Massachusetts
- The Owen Colony in New Brunswick
- The Owens of Bladen County
Sir John Owen the Royalist
One of the warmest supporters of the Royalist cause in Wales was Sir John Owen of Bodsilin (whose grandfather had been secretary to Walsingham). By 1648, although the cause of his royal master seemed almost hopeless, he raised an army of infantry and cavalry and confronted the Parliamentary army at a place called Dalar Hir. A fierce engagement took place. At first fortune seemed to favour Sir John. But the tide of battle soon turned, his troops fled, and he was dragged from his horse and made prisoner.
Sir John was conveyed to Windsor Castle, where he was put on trial. In his defense, he stated that:
Eventually he was condemned to lose his head, for which, with humorous intrepidity, he bowed to the court and gave his humble thanks.
He was, however, disappointed of this honor. After a few months' imprisonment, he was pardoned following the intercession of the Spanish and Dutch ambassadors. He returned to Wales where he sought unsuccessfully to regain his estates. He died in 1666.
Hugh Owen Played Both Sides
At the outset he favored the Parliament and was taken prisoner by Sir Henry Vaughan when he had evacuated Haverfordwest after the Royalist defeat at Pill in 1644. Later he was said to have resorted to the king at Oxford and to have abandoned Pembrokeshire for Anglesey. In 1648 he was alleged to have countenanced the Royalist resistance of Poyer and Laugharne in Pembroke.
However, he made his peace with the victorious Parliament party and served as sheriff of Pembrokeshire under the Protectorate.
Hugh Owen Played Both Sides
Owens in Llanidloes
The Owen name cropped up a lot in 19th century Llanidloes, Montgomeryshire. Among these Owens were:
Abraham Owen was one of the leaders of the Chartist agitation in Llanidloes in the 1840's. When the law cracked down, many of the leaders fled. But Abraham Owen - along with Lewis Humphreys, John Ingram,and James Morris - were captured and brought to trial. They were each sentenced to seven years transportation to Australia.
Evan Owen was another Owen who fell foul of the law. His crime was the theft of three geese in 1844 and he was also sentenced to seven years transportation to Australia. He was sixty years old when sentenced and never returned.
James Owen, born in 1808, served with the police force in Llanidloes for thirty five years. He married twice and had either eleven or thirteen children (accounts vary) and numerous grandchildren. One branch of this family set sail for South Africa in 1902.
John Vaughan Owen
Dr. John Vaughan Owen lived at Glascoed, Llanidloes. His fifth son Cecil, a writer, continued to live there through much of the 20th century.
Owen Owen in Liverpool
Owen Owen, the draper and property developer, was born at
Machynlleth in Montgomeryshire, the son of a tenant farmer. He
moved to Liverpool in 1868 where he set up his own drapery business,
leasing premises on the London Road. His business expanded so
rapidly that, by 1873, he had over one hundred and twenty employees -
most of whom were from Wales - and a quarter of an acre floor space.
Owen's was one of the first major retailers to introduce a weekly half day holiday for staff and by 1900 he had set up the Owen Owen Trust to help retired employees. Owen's trademark was to offer a courteous service and good quality merchandise at low prices. Following his marriage in 1891, he moved to London while continuing to supervise his Liverpool store, which, by the early 20th century, was to become one of the largest of its kind in northern England.
Throughout his life Owen was supportive of Welsh causes,
particularly in the field of education and the arts, and was
influential in both Liverpool and London Welsh societies. He died
of cancer at his London home in 1910. His ashes were scattered on
the family grave in Machynlleth.
Owen and Owens Surname Incidence
Both Owen and Owens exist as surnames. The table
below shows the current incidence of these names in the UK and
elsewhere. Owen predominates, except in Ireland and
||Owen + Owens
The Owens surname originated in Ireland from the Irish
personal name Eoghan (which
sounded like Owen in Gaelic). Most Owens in Ireland could trace
their ancestry to two clans: one, a Dukassian tribe as the same stock
as the O'Neills of Thomond; the other, a Fermanagh family who were
noted administators of ecclesiastical lands around Lough Erne.
Owens are now most numerous in Ulster.
In America, Owens probably meant Irish origin, Owen Welsh
origin - but not necessarily. This was one 19th century version
of Owen and Owens in the South:
William Owen of Braintree, Massachusetts
The ship Hopewell, which cleared from the port of London for Barbados in 1634, contained among its 150 passengers a William Owen aged 23, a John Owen aged 20, and an Owen Williams aged 21. The following April the ship Elizabeth, sailing from London to New England, carried among its 28 passengers, mostly women, Margaret Davies aged 32 and her three children of whom the youngest was the one year old Elizabeth.
It is probable that the William Owen of the Hopewell was the same as that appearing fifteen years later at Braintree (where he took the freeman's oath in 1651). The infant Elizabeth Davies on the Elizabeth is known to be the same as the one who married William Owen there. Her mother Margaret became the wife of Charles Grice of Braintree who in his will described William as "his son" and included him as his beneficiary in recognition of "the filial care and love expressed to me in my aged condition."
The Owen Colony in
It had been started by Captain William Owen, a retired
naval officer with a colorful history (he had lost an arm in India and
an eye in England during an election riot). Then in 1767 he
received the grant of an outer island in Passamaquoddy Bay, New
Brunswick. Three years later he took possession of his island,
naming it Campobello, and brought with him 38 indentured servants from
Owen kept a journal during his two year residence on the
island which has been preserved. He left the island in 1771 and
was never to return. When he was killed in India in 1778, his
nephew David Owen inherited the island.
The Owen family subsequently ran Campobello as something
of a feudal estate for close on a century. It is now something of
a tourist attraction. Owen House - built in 1835 - still stands,
with much of the original furnitiure, quilts and fireplaces.
The Owens of Bladen County
"Across the river to the south stood Owen Hill
plantation, high upon a Cape Fear bluff, the home of men of substance,
men whose lives were intertwined with the emergence of America.
A colonel Thomas Owen was much more: gentleman with
wealth and land; provincial Congree delegate; and Bladen county
John his son was born at Owen Hill and, like his father,
lived a life of service to the Cape Fear region and the state, becoming
the governor in 1828.
A planter who owned slaves, John Owen was famed locally
not only for his roles in politics, but also for Moreau, a captured
Arab prince who chose to stay at Owen Hill when freed; and when he
died. Moreau was buried with the family - a tale fantastic and true."
Thus were described the Owens of Bladen county, North
Carolina in Francis T. Butler's The
Cape Fear Saga: A History in Poetry of Bladen County's River Road.