Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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OWEN , EDWARD ( 1853 - 1943 ), journalist, barrister, and antiquary ;

b. at Menai Bridge , Anglesey , 9 Mar. 1853 , only son of Edward and Sarah Owen , a former deputy chief constable of Anglesey , he was educated locally, and at a private seminary in Dublin . He was the first Welshman to enter the Civil Service by public examination and was appointed to the India Office c. 1873 , where he remained until his retirement in 1913 . During his stay of over sixty years in London , he spent almost all his leisure evenings working in the British Museum and the Public Records Office . He contributed regularly to the Trans. Hon. Cymm. Soc. and Arch. Camb. ; the former society published his Catalogue of the MSS. relating to Wales in the British Museum. , Parts I-IV. In 1896 , his work on changes in land tenure in mediaeval Wales appeared as an Appendix to the Royal Commission 's Report on Land in Wales , followed by the publication ( 1910 ) of Ancient tenures of land in North Wales and the Marches jointly with A.N. Palmer ( DWB , 727-8) of Wrexham . When the Royal Commission on the Ancient Monuments of Wales was established in 1908 , he became its first secretary and editor of its volumes and inventories, and continued as such until about 1927 . He was Reader in Welsh Mediaeval Antiquities at the University of Liverpool ( 1921-43 ), hon. M.A. 1921 ; and he received the Cymmr. Medal in 1923 . He d. 8 Nov. 1943 aged 91 and was buried three days later in St. Seiriol 's Churchyard, Holyhead , where his first wife and young daughter had been buried many years before.


  • Transactions of the Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club , 1943 , 19-20;
  • Western Mail , 11 Nov. 1943 ;
  • Who's who in Wales (1921) .


Hugh Owen, M.A., F.S.A., (1880-1953), Llanfair-pwll, Anglesey

Published date: 2001