Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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OWEN , LEONARD ( 1890 - 1965 ), administrator in India, treasurer of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion ;

b. at Bangor, Caerns. , 1 Oct. 1890 , son of David Owen , solicitor , and Mary (née Roberts ) his wife. He was educated at Friars School and the University College of North Wales ( 1909-14 ), Bangor , where he played an active part in sport , was president of the literary and debating society and graduated B.A. with first-class honours in French in 1912 and M.A. 1914 . He entered the Indian civil service in 1914 but World War I , in which he served in the Royal Field Artillery , delayed his taking up his appointment as assistant magistrate in Meerut until 1919 , becoming district magistrate of Benares in 1924 , settlement officer at Bara Banki in 1927 , deputy commissioner for Kumaon division in 1934 and district magistrate at Cawnpore in 1936 . He became chief government whip in the Indian Legislative Assembly ( 1935 ), and was made a C.I.E. in 1938 in recognition of his meritorious service to India . During World War II he worked in the Ministry of Home Security ( 1939-44 ), Ministry of Supply ( 1945 ), and Board of Trade ( 1946-52 ), subsequently devoting his time to humanitarian and cultural activities . He was chairman of the National Society for Epileptica , a member of the court of governors and the council of the National Library of Wales , and served the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion as treasurer ( 1952-64 ). He had a great gift for translating Welsh poetry into English , some of which was published in Trans. Cymm. together with several valuable articles written by him on aspects of the history of north Wales . His transcripts of early north Wales taxation records are at the University College of Bangor and the National Library of Wales . He also translated very many articles from Y Bywgraffiadur Cymreig hyd 1940 for inclusion in The Dictionary of Welsh biography down to 1940 .

He m. in Bombay , India , in 1923 , Dilys daughter of Joseph Davies Bryan ( DWB , 56 , under BRYAN , ROBERT ) and they had one son and one daughter. He d. 4 Nov. 1965 at his home, 15 Ethorpe Close , Gerrards Cross, Bucks.


  • Who was who? ;
  • D. Ben Rees , Cymry adnabyddus, 1952-1972 (Liverpool, 1978) ( 1978 );
  • The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion , 1966 , part 1, 238.


Dr Mary Auronwy James, Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001