Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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OWEN , HENRY ( 1844 - 1919 ), antiquary ;

b. 12 March 1844 , youngest son of William Owen J.P. , D.L. , ( 1796 - 1879 ), contractor and cabinet maker of Haverfordwest and Withybush , and Martha Hall Owen , ( 1806 - 1885 ). He was educated at Cowbridge grammar school and Corpus Christi College , Oxford ( 1862-6 ), taking the degree of B.A. in 1866 , B.C.L. in 1869 , and D.C.L. in 1900 . Joining the legal profession , he became partner, and later sole member, of Jenkinson, Owen, and Co. , a firm of solicitors in the city of London . On his retirement in 1914 , he took up residence at Poyston , near Haverfordwest . Much of his leisure was devoted to historical and antiquarian studies , particularly concerning Pembrokeshire . His works include Gerald the Welshman , 1889 (new ed. 1904 ); Old Pembroke Families , 1902 ; Index to the Historical Tour through Pembrokeshire by R. Fenton , 1894 ; and A List of Printed Books treating of the County of Pembroke , 1897 . With the assistance of scholars like Egerton Phillimore (q.v.) and Dr. E. A. Lewis , he edited Owen's Pembrokeshire , 1892 [-1936] , and A Calendar of Public Records relating to Pembrokeshire , 1911-4 . He collaborated with Edward Laws (q.v.) in the production of An Archaeological Survey of Pembrokeshire , 1896-1907 ( Tenby , 1908 ). Owen served on the Royal Commissions on Public Records ( 1910 ) and Ancient Monuments of Wales ( 1914 ). He was treasurer ( 1906-19 ), and chairman ( 1915-9 ) of the Society of Cymmrodorion , first treasurer ( 1907-19 ) of the National Library of Wales , high sheriff of the county of Pembroke ( 1902 ) a magistrate and vice-chairman of quarter sessions , Pembrokeshire . In 1916 the University of Wales gave him the honorary degree of D.Litt . He bequeathed a selection of his valuable library of period books to the N.L.W. and the remainder to the town of Haverfordwest ; all his manuscripts he bequeathed to the N.L.W. (now N.L.W. MSS. 1341-1453 ). He d. at Poyston 14 April 1919 .

Sources:

  • The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion , 1918-9 (223-9), 1919-20 (146-7);
  • West Wales Historical Records (1910–29) , x, 25-8;
  • Archaeologia Cambrensis , 1919 , 473-5;
  • Pembrokeshire County Guardian , 18 April 1919 ;
  • Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales i, 107-18.

Author:

Dr Bertie George Charles, Ph.D., (1908-2000), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959