Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 42.djvu/406

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Owen
Owen
400

Princes.’ Both tasks were carried on concurrently during the period 1830–40; libraries were visited, manuscripts copied, and collations made, and in 1841 the Record edition of the laws appeared in two forms, a large folio and two quarto volumes. It is remarkable not only for the care and accuracy with which the manuscripts are reproduced, but also as distinguishing for the first time the three versions (Venedotian, Dimetian, and Gwentian) of the original law of Hywel. The edition of the ‘Chronicle of the Princes’ (‘Brut y Tywysogion,’ a continuation of Geoffrey of Monmouth's work, but, unlike it, based on contemporary evidence) did not appear in Owen's lifetime. The inconsiderable portion of the ‘Chronicle’ which ends at 1066 was indeed edited by him for the ‘Monumenta Historica Britannica,’ 1848, but the bulk of his material remained unpublished, and went to the Record Office on his death in 1851. Complaint was made in ‘Archæologia Cambrensis’ (3rd ser. v. 235) that the papers thus handed over were carelessly kept, and access to them had been granted to persons who were using them without acknowledgment; and when in 1860 the Rolls edition of ‘Brut y Tywysogion’ appeared, under the editorship of the Rev. J. Williams (Ab Ithel), the reviewer in the ‘Archæologia Cambrensis’ (3rd ser. vii. 93–103) asserted that the text, the translation, and all that was valuable in the preface were the work of Owen, who was nevertheless unmentioned in the book. In 1863 Owen's transcript and translation of the so-called ‘Gwentian Brut’ (a Glamorganshire version of the ‘Chronicle’), with the introduction he had prepared for the ‘Monumenta,’ and a letter on the Welsh chronicles to H. Petrie, were printed as an extra volume by the Cambrian Archæological Association.

‘No Welsh archæologist since the days of Edward Llwyd has appeared superior to Aneurin Owen’ (Archæolog. Cambr.) He was an accurate and well-informed paleographer and an apt historical critic. With all his father's knowledge of the Welsh language, he had none of his father's eccentricities. He took a keen interest in the Welsh movements of his day, and particularly in the Eisteddfod; he was one of a committee of five appointed at the Abergavenny Eisteddfod (1838) to consider the reform of Welsh orthography, and in 1832 won a silver medal at the Beaumaris Eisteddfod for the best Welsh essay on ‘Agriculture.’ The essay was published in the ‘Transactions’ of the Eisteddfod, 1839, and also in a separate volume. Owen died on 17 July 1851 at Trosyparc, near Denbigh (Annual Register for 1851).

[Enwogion Cymru, 1870; Archæol. Cambr. 3rd ser. iv. 208–12, v. 235, vi. 184–6, vii. 93–103; Ancient Laws of Wales, 1841, Preface; Transactions of Beaumaris Eisteddfod, 1839.]

J. E. L.

OWEN, CHARLES D.D. (d. 1746), presbyterian minister, was a younger brother of James Owen (1654–1706) [q. v.] He succeeded Peter Aspinwall (d. June 1696, aged 60) as minister of Cairo Street Chapel, Warrington, Lancashire, and first appears at the ‘general meeting’ of Lancashire ministers held at Bolton on 13 April 1697. He was a member of the Warrington classis, and acted as moderator at Liverpool on 22 April 1719 and 8 Nov. 1721. He educated, or partly educated, students for the ministry, desisting for a time owing to the Schism Bill of 1714, but resuming later. His academy, though small, had considerable reputation; as it was not supported by the presbyterian fund, it is probable that he did not teach theology. Among his pupils (1733) was Job Orton [q. v.] On 8 Nov. 1728 he received the diploma of D.D. from the Edinburgh University, together with Isaac Watts and others. This was probably a tribute to his treatise on redemption (1723). Owen, however, is remembered rather as a political dissenter than as a theological writer. On the death of Queen Anne (1714) he published a sermon, the spirit of which is sufficiently indicated by the text (1 Kings, xvi. 20). His ‘Plain Dealing’ (1715) was the subject of an indictment; and, though no conviction followed, he was mulcted in heavy expenses. Most of his subsequent political publications were anonymous, but their authorship was well known, and Owen was regarded as a pillar of the Hanoverian cause in the north of England during the period which followed the rebellion of 1715. He had no love for quakers. He maintained a large congregation at Warrington for nearly fifty years, and died on 17 Feb. 1746. His funeral sermon was preached by his nephew, Josiah Owen [q. v.] His son John (d. 1775) is often described as his successor; but he was minister at Wharton, Lancashire, though living in Warrington. Owen's successor at Warrington was John Seddon (1725–1770) [q. v.]

He published, besides funeral sermons for Thomas Risley (1716) and Mary Lythgow (reprinted 1758), and other single sermons: 1. ‘Some Account of the Life and Writings of … James Owen,’ &c., 1709, 12mo. 2. ‘The Scene of Delusions. … Historical Account of Prophetick Impostures,’ &c., 1712, 12mo; translated into German, Leipzig, 1715;