[q. v.] He was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. 1810, M.A. 1816. After officiating for some time at Park Street Chapel, Grosvenor Square, London, he became vicar of Wellington, and rector of Eyton-upon-the-Wildmoors, Shropshire, holding these livings from 27 Feb. 1823 (Foster, Index Eccles.) till 1840. While travelling in France and Belgium, and (in 1840) in Italy, the Levant, Germany, and Switzerland, he made numerous drawings, from which he afterwards produced etchings and pictures in oils. He contributed several plates to the ‘History of Shrewsbury,’ 1825, by Hugh Owen (his father) and J. B. Blakeway, and issued the following:
- ‘Etchings of Ancient Buildings in Shrewsbury’ (with letterpress), Nos. 1 and 2 only, London, 1820–1, fol.
- ‘Etchings’ (portrait and forty-five plates), London, 1826, royal fol.; privately printed.
- ‘The Book of Etchings,’ vol. i. 1842; vol. ii. 1855.
In the latter part of his life Owen lived at Bettws Hall, Montgomeryshire. He died at Cheltenham on 15 July 1863.
[Gent. Mag. 1863, pt. ii. pp. 244, 380; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Cooper's Biogr. Dict.; Seubert's Allgemeines Künstler-Lexicon; Brit. Mus. Cat.]
OWEN, ELLIS (1789–1868), Welsh antiquary and poet, son of Owen Ellis and Ann Thomas his wife, of Cefnymeusydd, in the parish of Ynys Cynhaiarn, Carnarvonshire, was born on 31 March 1789. He went to school at Penmorfa, and was afterwards sent to Shrewsbury; on returning home he settled at Cefynmeusydd, and on his father's death took charge of the farm. He spent the rest of his life at Cefnymeusydd as a prosperous farmer of much local influence, and died there on 27 Jan. 1868. He was chiefly remarkable as a writer of ‘englynion’ (stanzas), as a local antiquary and genealogist, and as the friend and tutor of the young poets of the district. The ‘Literary Society of Cefnymeusydd,’ the precursor of many a society of the kind in Wales, met fortnightly at his house and under his presidency for eleven years (1846–57). His poetical and prose writings were published, with a biographical notice, under the title of ‘Cell Meudwy’ (‘The Hermit's Cell’) in 1877 (Tremadog). Four days before his death he had been elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.
OWEN, Sir FRANCIS PHILIP CUNLIFFE- (1828–1894), director of South Kensington Museum and organiser of exhibitions, born on 8 June 1828, was third son of Captain Charles Cunliffe-Owen, R.N., and Mary, only daughter of Sir Henry Blosset, formerly chief justice of Bengal. He was originally intended for the sea, and at the age of twelve entered the navy, but he was obliged by weak health to abandon the profession after five years' service in the Mediterranean and the West Indies. In 1854 the influence of an elder brother, Lieutenant-colonel Henry Charles Cunliffe-Owen [q. v.], obtained him a post in the Science and Art Department, then recently established through the initiative of Sir Henry Cole [q. v.] This able administrator perceived in Owen talents not unlike his own, and in 1855 appointed him as one of the superintendents, under himself, of the British section of the International exhibition held at Paris in that year. Thus commenced the work for which Owen showed a special capacity, and in the execution of which he obtained for himself a unique reputation. To Cole and Owen must be largely attributed the success which attended the establishment of international exhibitions; for, if the original idea was due to Cole, its successful development was largely the work of Owen. With less original power than Cole, Owen had an equal capacity for organisation, and an even greater facility for taking up new ideas and carrying them to a successful issue. Both had singular personal influence. Cole's masterful individuality overpowered opposition; Owen's charm of manner and natural geniality prevented it.
Owen's successful administration in Paris in 1855 led to his appointment in 1857 as deputy general superintendent of the South Kensington Museum, and in 1860 he was promoted to the post of assistant director, Cole being director of the museum and secretary of the Science and Art Department. In 1862 the second great London exhibition was held, and Owen acted as director of the foreign sections, a post for which his knowledge of foreign languages specially qualified him. In 1867 another exhibition was held in Paris, and Owen was second in command to Cole as assistant executive commissioner. So much credit did he obtain by his assiduous labours that when a commission was appointed to provide for the representation of England at the Vienna exhibition in 1873 Owen was made its secretary, and successfully coped with the special difficulties of the post. In the same year Cole retired from the two posts he held at South Kensington, and one of them, the directorship of the museum, was conferred upon Owen.
The next international exhibition was that held at Philadelphia in 1876. Owen was