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OWEN , LEWIS ( 1572 - 1629? ), anti-Romanist propagandist ;

b. 1572 in Merionethshire . There is no certainty about his family connexions and it is doubtful whether he was the eldest son of Gruffydd Owen of Tal-y-bont , Llanegryn , 4th son of baronLewis Owen (q.v.) of Llwyn , Dolgelley . He was admitted to Christ Church , Oxford , 14 Dec. 1590 , but left without graduating and went on a tour of the Continent . He is said to have been admitted to membership of the Society of Jesus but later became one of its most bitter enemies and was employed by the English Government as a spy . In 1626 he published The Running Register, recording a True Relation of the English Colledges, Seminaries and Cloysters in all Forraine Parts, etc. , which throws considerable light on the history of those colleges and on the Welshmen who attended them. He was also the author of The Unmasking of all Popish Monks, etc. , 1628 , dedicated to Sir John Lloyd of Aberllefenni and Ceiswyn , and Speculum Jesuiticum , 1629 . W. Llewelyn Williams says that he d. in 1629 .


  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography , and the authorities quoted therein;
  • W. Llewelyn Williams in The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion , 1901-2 , 90, 121-3, and The Making of Modern Wales (Cardiff, 1913) , 240-1;
  • Geiriadur Bywgraffyddol o Enwogion Cymru , ii, 352.


Emyr Gwynne Jones, M.A., (1911-72), Bangor

Published date: 1959