Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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OWEN , JOHN ( 1616 - 1683 ), Puritan (Independent) divine ,

who ‘ with Baxter and Howe , stands in the front rank of Puritan divines ’; b. in 1616 , d. 24 Aug. 1683 . His career is recounted in the D.N.B. , and has nothing to do with Wales , except that generations of Wales 's most famous Calvinistic preachers were nurtured on Owen 's works. But he was of Welsh blood. He was the son of Henry Owen , vicar of Stadhampton, Oxon. , and thus grandson of Griffith Owen of Talhenbont , Llanegryn, Mer. , and great-grandson of baronLewis Owen (d. 1555 ) (q.v.) . He was also first cousin to the mother of Hugh Owen of Bronclydwr ( 1639 - 1700 ) (q.v.) — see J. E. Griffith , Pedigrees , 323. These facts have been rather fancifully embroidered by some who have claimed that Hugh Owen 's Dissent resulted from his ‘uncle's’ influence upon him during his Oxford career; but the cold fact is that Hugh Owen did not go to Oxford until the middle of 1660 , when John Owen had already left it. There is indeed no proof that the great divine was in any contact with his relations in Wales . Yet, contemporary Welsh Dissenters certainly knew of the relationship, for Henry Maurice ( 1634 - 1682 ) (q.v.) refers to it.


Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959