It appears that in 1760 he lost his mastership through riotous conduct, afterwards became minister of St. Andrew's, Brunswick County, Virginia, and died in this position about 1769. A letter he sent in July 1767 to Richard Morris, enclosing an elegy upon Lewis Morris, gives some particulars of his life at this period, and from this it seems that he had married a third time, and had then three children besides Robert (born at Donnington in 1749).
Few Welsh poets have shown a greater mastery of the language than Owen, whose classical training is reflected in the purity and suppleness of his Welsh style. He wrote entirely in the strict metres, favouring especially the ‘cywydd’ form. His letters are models of racy, idiomatic Welsh prose. The following editions of his works have appeared: 1. ‘Diddanwch Teuluaidd’ (1st edit. London, 1763; 2nd edit. Carnarvon, 1817), containing the bulk of his poetry. 2. ‘Gronoviana,’ Llanrwst, 1860, containing the poetry and correspondence, preceded by a life and critical notices. 3. ‘Poetical Works of Rev. Goronwy Owen,’ edited by the Rev. Robert Jones, 2 vols. London, 1876, a similar compilation on a somewhat larger scale.
[The biographies in the second edition of Diddanwch Teuluaidd, 1817, the Llanrwst edition of the works of Owen, and the edition of the Rev. Robert Jones; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1715–1886.]
OWEN, GRIFFITH (d. 1717), colonist and doctor, was son of Robert Owen (d. 1684) of Dolsereau, Dolgelly, by Jane, his wife, born in Merionethshire. Having been educated for the medical profession, he emigrated in 1684, with his parents, to Pennsylvania, where he was one of the first doctors in the new colony founded by William Penn [q. v.] He settled in Philadelphia, and became a member of the executive council, a justice of the peace, and a commissioner for the disposal of land. In the autumn of 1699, Philadelphia being visited by a malignant disease called by Isaac Norris ‘the Barbadoes distemper,’ which carried off 220 persons between August and 22 Oct., Owen and a son, who commenced practice at that time, distinguished themselves by their devotion and skill.
Owen undertook long journeys, both alone and with English ministers, to distant meetings of the quakers in America, and worked among the Indians. He was much esteemed in the colony, and Penn, when troubled about his son William, expressed his wish that the young man's confidence might be gained by ‘tender Griffith Owen, for he feels and sees’ (Private Life of W. Penn, Pennsylvania Hist. Soc. iii. 98). Owen died at Philadelphia in 1717. His son the physician died on 7 March 1731–2. Owen wrote, with some others, ‘Our Antient Testimony renewed,’ &c., against George Keith (1639?–1716) [q. v.], London: printed and sold by T. Sowle, 1695; reprinted in the appendix (pp. 31–40) to Gerard Croese's ‘History of Quakers,’ 1696.
[Morris's Contributions to Med. Hist. in Mem. of the Hist. Soc. of Pa. pp. 339–43; Journal of Thomas Story, pp. 173, 176–7, 227, 240, 241; Index to Obituary Notices in Pennsylvania Gazette; Pennsylvania Mag. x. 67, 237, 344, xiii. 169 n.; Penn and Logan Correspondence, Pennsylvania Hist. Soc. ix. 161, 162, 171, 177, 181, 201, 206, 214, 220, 250, 256, 268; Janney's Hist. of Friends, iii. 53, 187–8; Proud's Hist. of Pennsylvania, ii. 99, 100; Smith's Catalogue; Gordon's Hist. of Pennsylvania, p. 592.]
OWEN, HENRY (1716–1795), divine and scholar, was son of William Owen, a gentleman of good estate, whose house was situated at the foot of Cader Idris, near Dolgelly, Merionethshire, where the son was born in 1716. He was educated at Ruthin school, Denbigh, and entered Jesus College, Oxford, on 10 April 1736. He graduated B.A. 1739, M.A. 1743, M.B. 1746, and M.D. 1753. In 1746 he was ordained deacon and priest, and was appointed to a curacy in Gloucestershire, where he at the same time practised medicine for three years; ‘but neither his feelings nor his health would suffer him to continue that profession.’ He subsequently became chaplain to Sir Matthew Featherstonhaugh, to whom he dedicated, in 1755, ‘The Intent and Propriety of the Scripture Miracles,’ and by whom he was presented in 1752 to the vicarage of Terling in Essex. Contemporaneously he acted as curate to Sir Ralph Thoresby, rector of Stoke Newington (cf. Parish Reg. August 1757 to April 1760). In April 1760 he resigned Terling in Essex on being presented to the rectory of St. Olave, Hart Street, London. Shortly after he became chaplain to Dr. Shute Barrington, then bishop of Llandaff, to whom he dedicated many of his works, and from whom he received, in 1775, the vicarage of Edmonton, Middlesex, which he held by a special dispensation with the rectory of St. Olave's. He was Boyle lecturer from 1769 to 1771, and published his sermons, which again dealt with the scripture miracles. In April 1794 he resigned St. Olave's in favour of his son.
Owen's reputation for learning is amply attested by contemporaries. Bowyer acknowledged his indebtedness to Owen in his edition of the New Testament, and left him