Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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MORGAN , OWEN ( Morien ; 1836? - 1921 ), journalist and miscellaneous writer ,

who d. on 16 Dec. 1921 ( Western Mail ), was then said to have been over 80, and to have been a son of Thomas T. Morgan and his wife, Margaret , of Pen-y-graig , Rhondda . He had sedulously concealed his age. But the bishop's transcripts for Ystradyfodwg parish record the christening on 23 Feb. 1836 of ‘ Owen , son of Thomas and Margaret Owen of Dinas [Rhondda] , collier ’, and it seems pretty certain that this is our man, for Dinas adjoins Pen-y-graig . He asserted connection with the families of Morgan of Llantarnam (qq.v. on p. 635) and Thomas of Llanmihangel, Glam. (see under Edwin family on p. 201). As a journalist , he worked chiefly for the Western Mail , from 1870 to 1899 , when he retired. His books, such as Pabell Dovydd (on Druidism), Kimmerian Discoveries (on the ‘Chaldean origins’ of the Kymry), A Guide to the Gorsedd , etc., reflect the influence of Iolo Morganwg 's fictions, and more immediately Morien 's close association with Myfyr Morganwg (q.v. on p. 123), on whose death he assumed the title of ‘ archdruid ,’ in succession. His History of Pontypridd and the Rhondda Valleys ( Pontypridd , 1903 ), an odd jumble of ‘Druidism,’ mythology, topography, local history and biography, is yet not without value, for its information on the 19th cent. development of the valleys.


  • His own account in Who's who in Wales , 1921 edn.;
  • articles in Y Geninen , 1922 , 100-3;
  • information from the Keeper of Printed Books in the National Library of Wales.


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

Published date: 1959