Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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OWEN , ROBERT ( 1820 - 1902 ), cleric and author ;

b. in 1820 , third son of David Owen of Dolgelley . He went up to Jesus College , Oxford , 22 Nov. 1838 , ‘aged 18,’ graduated [with 3rd class honours in Lit. Hum.] in 1842 ( B.D. 1852 ), was Fellow , 1845-64 , held various college offices , and was examiner in law [and history] in the university in 1859 [and 1860 ]. Ordained by bishop Bethell of Bangor in 1843 , he refused all preferment. He was a pronounced Anglo-Catholic and in 1851 published An Apology for the High Church Movement on Liberal Principles . A volume of verse by him, The Pilgrimage to Rome , appeared in 1863 ; and he published various other books — on the saints, the canon law, and other matters; one only of these works concerns WalesThe Kymry, their Origin, History, and International Relations , 1891 . He supported the disestablishment and disendowment of the Established Church in Wales , regarding this as essential so that the Church could assert its independence and retain its ‘Catholicism.’ He lived for many years at Vron-y-graig , Barmouth (he had a small estate in the neighbourhood), and d. there 6 April 1902 , ‘aged 82.’


  • Foster , Alumni Oxonienses ;
  • [ Oxford Honours 1220-1894 being an alphabetical register of distinctions conferred by the University of Oxford from the earliest times (1894) ];
  • Crockford's Clerical Directory ;
  • Bye–Gones, relating to Wales and the Border Counties , 1902 , 350.


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

Published date: 1959