Owen, Edward (1728-1807) (DNB00)

OWEN, EDWARD (1728–1807), translator of Juvenal and Persius, third son of David Owen of Llangurig, Montgomeryshire, was born in 1728, and matriculated at Jesus College, Oxford, on 22 March 1745–6, graduating B.A. on 1 Dec. 1749, and M.A. on 1 June 1752. He was appointed headmaster of the grammar school at Warrington on 4 June 1757, incumbent of Sankey Chapel in 1763, and rector of Warrington on 14 Sept. 1767. The first and third of these offices he retained until his death. The dilapidated fabrics of school and church each received extensive repairs under his guidance, and both as master and clergyman he acquired a high local reputation. Among his pupils were George Tierney, president of the board of control; Dr. John Wright, fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford; John Almon, Dr. Thomas Barnes, and John Fitchett. He was president of the Warrington Library, which was established in 1760, and took a prominent part in the promotion of the literary and social interests of the town. Owen died unmarried in April 1807, and was buried in the chancel of Warrington parish church. His portrait is preserved in the Warrington Museum, and a silhouette portrait is given in Kendrick's ‘Warrington Worthies.’

Gilbert Wakefield speaks of Owen as ‘a man of most elegant learning, unimpeachable veracity, and peculiar benevolence of heart;’ he was, however, lampooned in Thomas Seddons's ‘Characteristic Strictures,’ 1779. His chief work is his ‘Satires of Juvenal and Persius, translated into English Verse,’ London, 1785, 2 vols. 12mo; later editions dated 1786 and 1810. He wrote also ‘A New Latin Accidence, or a Complete Introduction to … Latin Grammar,’ 1770; 5th edit., 1779; other editions, entitled ‘The Common Accidence Improved,’ 1800, 1804, 1819; and ‘Elementa Latina Metrica,’ 1796.

[Marsh's Lectures on the Literary Hist. of Warrington; Beamont's Warrington Church Notes, 1878, p. 104; Kendrick's Warrington Worthies; Wakefield's Memoirs, 1792, p. 161; Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Smith's Bibl. Anti-Quakeriana.]

C. W. S.