Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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OWEN , ROBERT ( 1858 - 1885 ), schoolmaster and poet ;

b. 30 March 1858 at Tai Croesion , a small farm not far from Llanaber church, Merionethshire ; son of Gruffydd Owen , boatman and farmer , and his wife Margaret . The particulars given here are taken from the biography written by ( Sir ) Owen M. Edwards for the selection made by him of the poems by Robert Owen , published in 1904 at Llanuwchllyn . When he was four years old, Robert Owen moved with his parents to Llwyn Gloddaeth , a farm about a mile inland from Barmouth . The father did not succeed as a farmer and the family lived later in Barmouth . Here Robert Owen went to the newly-opened British School , becoming in time, an assistant teacher at that school. He also learnt some French , German , Italian , and Spanish , being assisted by a Frenchman , a good linguist , who had settled in Barmouth . He did not go to Bangor to receive training as a schoolmaster because, owing to the death of his parents, the care of a younger brother and two young sisters fell upon his shoulders. He became assistant master at Jasper House School , Aberystwyth , and later at Bourne College , BirminghamM . Because he was now beginning to suffer from tuberculosis he decided to sail for Australia in the hope of having his health restored. He reached Melbourne on 7 April 1879 , secured a post as private tutor in a household of Irish people — living on a farm called Mullagh , near Harrow , Victoria , and d. there 23 Oct. 1885 . He has been rightly called (by O. M. Edwards ) ‘a poet of the sea .’


Sir William Llewelyn Davies, M.A., LL.D., F.S.A. (1887-1952), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959