Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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OWENS , OWEN ( 1794 - 1838 ), leader of the ‘Little Wesleyan’ movement .

He lived at Caer-gron , Llaneilian ( Amlwch ), and was a Wesleyan local preacher in 1816 . The Wesleyan local preachers in North Wales were at the time kicking against the authority of the ordained ministers , and in 1831 twelve of them, with Owens at their head, met to consider the situation. On 6 Oct. 1831 they decided to secede from the Wesleyan Connexion and to set up a new connexion. Owen Owens was the prime mover, and he travelled extensively in Caernarvonshire , Montgomeryshire , and Cardiganshire on behalf of the new connexion, not without a good measure of success — and of loss to the Wesleyan churches . His death, at his own home, 10 March 1838 , aged 44, was a heavy blow to the seceders, who were already in financial difficulty. Their members gradually returned to the bosom of Wesley's Connexion , or joined other ‘Wesleyan Reform’ movements , or, some of them, joined congregations of older Nonconformist bodies.


  • A. H. Williams , Welsh Wesleyan Methodism, 1800-1858 its origins, growth and secessions (1935) , chapter vii. 98.


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

Published date: 1959