Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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OWEN , WILLIAM ( fl. c. 1486-1574 ), lawyer ;

son of Rhys ab Owen of Henllys, Pembs. , and Jane , daughter of Owen Ellyott , of Earwere , in the same county, and father of George Owen of Henllys (q.v.) . He was a near cousin of Sir Thomas Elyot . After a suit lasting nineteen years he successfully established his claim to the barony of Kemes (Cemais) in Pembs. He was a member of the Middle Temple and shared chambers with Sir Anthony Fitzherbert , one of the justices of Common Pleas . He brought out two editions of a small abridgement of the laws which were published by Pynson in 1521 and 1528 respectively. It is not certain that an edition dated 1499 was by him, although the supposition that it was is not ruled out by its early date, for it is said that when Owen d., on 29 March 1574 , hale and hearty to the end, he was over 100 years old, and so would be about 25 in 1499 . He m. Elizabeth , daughter of Sir George Herbert , brother of William , 1st earl of Pembroke (q.v.) .


  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ;
  • Geiriadur Bywgraffyddol o Enwogion Cymru , ii, 340;
  • Owen , A calendar of the public records relating to Pembrokeshire (1911-18) ;
  • Cambrian Register (1795–1818) , ii (1796);
  • Richard Fenton , A Historical Tour through Pembrokeshire .


John James Jones, M.A., (1892-1957), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959