Owen, Corbet (DNB00)

OWEN, CORBET (1646–1671), Latin poet, son of William Owen, a clergyman, of Pontesbury, Shropshire, was born at Hinton in that county in 1646. He was sent to a private school kept by a ‘loyal parson’ named Scofield at Shrewsbury, where he made rapid progress in learning; but his friends soon sent him to France, and afterwards to Flanders, to be touched by Charles II for the cure of the king's evil, from which malady he was so great a sufferer that he went about on crutches. In May 1658 he was sent to Westminster School, and in the following year he was admitted a king's scholar. Here ‘it was usual with him to speak forty or fifty smooth and elegant verses extempore, in little more than half an hour.’ In 1664 he was elected a student of Christ Church, Oxford, and ‘in a short time was well versed in the most crabbed subtilties of philosophy.’ He became a student of Lincoln's Inn in 1665 (Foster, Alumni Oxon. early ser. iii. 1098). After graduating B.A. on 21 May 1667 he studied medicine, and he took the degree of M.A. on 23 March 1669–70 (Wood, Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 297, 308). Wood says he was ‘the most forward person of his age in the university for his polite learning.’ He died about 18 Jan. 1670–1, and was buried in the church at Condover, Shropshire.

He was the author of: 1. ‘Carmen Pindaricum in Theatro Sheldoniano in solennibus magnifici operis encæniis recitatum,’ Oxford, 1669, 4to, reprinted in ‘Musarum Anglicanarum Analecta,’ 1721, vol. i., and in ‘Musæ Anglicanæ,’ 1741, vol. i. Dr. Johnson says that in this poem ‘all kinds of verse are shaken together.’ 2. ‘Divers Poems, in Manuscript, with Translations of Poetry, particularly the “Otho” of M. de Corneille, which he rendered into English Verse.’

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. iii. 924; Wood's Annals (Gutch), ii. 801; Welch's Alumni Westmon. (Phillimore), p. 157; Foster's Alumni Oxon.]

T. C.