Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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OWEN , JOHN (d. 1759 ), poet, harpist, letter-writer ,

nephew of the Morrises of Anglesey ; b. probably at Holyhead during the early thirties of the 18th cent. (the parish records before 1737 are missing), the son of Owen Davies and Ellen Morris . When a young boy he went to live with Lewis Morris in Cardiganshire and rendered service to his uncle both in that county and subsequently in London in connection with the industrial undertakings and the litigation in which the latter was involved. A strained relationship developed between the two, however, and while in London John Owen associated with Richard Morris and assisted him in the preparation of Goronwy Owen 's works for the press. About thirty of his letters survive in addition to some verse in the cywydd metre. In 1758 he was appointed clerk on a man-of-war , and he d. of fever at Gibraltar in July 1759 .


  • The Letters of Lewis, Richard, William, and John Morris, of Anglesey, (Morrisiaid Môn) 1728-1765 (1907–9) and Additional Letters of the Morrises of Anglesey (1735-86). Y Cymmrodor , xlix, (1947-9) (index by Hugh Owen );
  • Llythyrau at Ddafydd Jones o DrefriwNational Library of Wales Journal, Appendix, vol. 3. no. 2., 1943) (ed. G. J. Williams ) (supplement to The National Library of Wales Journal , 1943 ), 33;
  • Llenyddiaeth Cymru o 1450 hyd 1600 , i, 60.


Professor Alfred Owen Hughes Jarman, M.A., (1911-98), Cardiff

Published date: 1959