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Owen
Owen
407

appointed executive commissioner for Great Britain, and visited America for the purpose of making the preliminary arrangements. Circumstances, however, led to his resignation of the appointment, which was afterwards filled by Sir Herbert Sandford. In 1878, however, he again had charge of the British section at the exhibition held in Paris. There he was extremely popular, alike with his own countrymen, the French officials, and the representatives of other countries. At the close of the exhibition he was created a K.C.M.G. and C.I.E. (he had received the C.B. after Vienna), and was also the recipient of many foreign decorations, including that of grand officer of the Legion of Honour.

Owen subsequently turned his foreign experiences to useful account in his own country. When a scheme was put forward for a fisheries exhibition in 1883, its promoters were glad to secure his assistance. The proposal, as it came to him, was no more attractive than the scheme for annual exhibitions which had collapsed in Sir Henry Cole's hands in 1874. Owen introduced an element of amusement and popularity, and the Fisheries exhibition became the fashionable lounge of London for the summer of 1883. He followed this up with the Health (1884) and Inventions (1885) exhibitions on a similar scale, and completed the series with the Colonial and Indian exhibition of 1886. For this a royal commission was appointed, with the Prince of Wales as president and Owen as its executive officer. The plan was well received in the colonies, and the exhibition proved in every way, pecuniarily, socially, and politically, a great success. Owen was made a K.C.B., but a serious disappointment followed. The Colonial and Indian exhibition developed into the Imperial Institute, founded in 1887, on the occasion of her Majesty's jubilee, and it was anticipated that its management would have been given to Owen. The direction of the institute was, however, placed in other hands.

In 1893 Owen retired, after some years of failing health, from his post at the South Kensington Museum. Though he made no pretence to expert knowledge, and never professed any special enthusiasm for art, he took great interest in his official work, and found in it abundant scope for his administrative powers. It was, however, in the more public life connected with exhibitions that Owen's real happiness lay. The popularity he deservedly obtained was a keen pleasure to him, and he always seemed restless when, in the intervals between one exhibition and another, his energies were confined to the routine work of the museum. He died at Lowestoft on 23 March 1894.

He married, in 1854, Tenny, daughter of Baron Fritz von Reitzenstare, of the royal Prussian horse-guards, and had a family of two sons and six daughters.

Lady Cunliffe-Owen died at Kirkley Cliff, Lowestoft, on 24 Oct. 1894, aged 63.

[Obituary notices in Times 24 March 1894, Standard 24 March 1894, Journal Society Arts 30 March 1894; notice in the World, 23 Oct. 1878; personal knowledge.]

H. T. W.

OWEN, GEORGE (d. 1558), physician, was born in the diocese of Worcester, and was educated at Oxford. He became probationer-fellow of Merton College in 1519 (Brodrick, Memorials of Merton College, p. 251), and graduated M.A. in 1521, M.B. in 1525, and M.D. in 1528 (Oxford Univ. Register, Oxford Hist. Soc. i. 20). In 1525 he received a license to practise his profession, and apparently at first settled at Oxford; but soon after his graduation he was appointed physician to Henry VIII, and frequently visited the court. He, together with John Chambre and William Butts, attended the birth of Prince Edward, afterwards Edward VI, in 1537, and signed the letter to the council announcing the serious condition of the child's mother, Jane Seymour. The statement that he performed the Cæsarian operation upon her is untrue. Through 1537 and 1538 he was often summoned to prescribe for the prince (cf. Nichols, Lit. Remains of Edward VI, pp. xxv, xxxv). The king proved a generous client, and made him many grants of lands and houses in Oxford and its neighbourhood, to which Owen added by extensive purchases. In 1537 he was given the manor of Yarnton, Oxfordshire. In 1541 he received the site of Rewley Abbey, which soon passed to Christ Church; and he acquired Inn Hall and St. Alban Hall, which had formed part of Cardinal Wolsey's property. These buildings were subsequently sold to Merton College. In 1546 he acquired Cumnor Place. Godstow Abbey also fell into Owen's hands, and there he often resided. He was one of the subscribing witnesses to the will of Henry VIII, who left him a legacy of 100l. (cf. Ellis, Orig. Letters, 3rd ser. iii. 233).

Edward VI continued him in his office of royal physician, and treated him with as much liberality as his father. In 1550 he bought the rectory and chapel of St. Giles, Oxford (Wood, City of Oxford, ii. 70). By letters patent, dated 4 Feb. 1552–3, Edward gave to him, jointly with Henry Martin of Oxford, Durham College, which they sold