Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 42.djvu/420

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

inspector-general of fortifications at the war office, and in April 1856 deputy inspector-general of fortifications under Sir John Fox Burgoyne [q. v.] The latter post he held until August 1860, when he was appointed commanding royal engineer of the western district. Owen had been promoted brevet lieutenant-colonel on 6 June 1856, and on 22 Nov. 1861 he was promoted brevet-colonel. On 1 April 1862 he became a regimental lieutenant-colonel. During his command in the western district the important land and sea fortifications for the protection of the dockyard and naval base at Devonport, converting the place into a first-class fortress, were commenced, as well as the defences of the Severn at Breandown and at Steep and Flat Holmes, which were also in his district. The Plymouth defences absorbed most of Owen's time and attention, and it was while engaged in inspecting the progress of some of these works that he caught a chill, from the effects of which he died on 7 March 1867. He was buried in Plymouth cemetery. A stained-glass window was erected to his memory in the chancel of St. James's Church, Plymouth.

Owen married in 1855, in London, Agnes, daughter of Lewis Cubitt, esq., by whom he left a son Edward, born 1 Jan. 1857. His widow married, in 1872, the Rev. Henry Edward Willington, M.A.

Owen was a man of charming manner, and a most pleasant companion. A hard worker and devoted to his profession, his sympathies were broad and many-sided. He was a good man, and generally loved. He was a high churchman, a friend of Edward Bouverie Pusey [q. v.], and one of the original founders of the English Church Union. There are in the possession of his son a sepia drawing of him as a child, and a life-sized medallion of him in later life done by Francis Adams. Owen contributed the following papers to the ‘Professional Papers of the Corps of Royal Engineers,’ in vol. ix. new ser., ‘Experiments in Breaching a Merlon of Masonry at Gibraltar in 1859;’ in vols. xii. and xiii., ‘Fortifications versus Forts;’ in vol. xiv., ‘Remarks on Expense Magazines.’

[Despatches; Royal Engineers' Records; War Office Records; private information.]

R. H. V.

OWEN, HUGH, verè John Hughes (1615–1686), jesuit, born in Anglesea in June 1615, was admitted a student of the English College at Rome on 25 Dec. 1636, was ordained priest in the church of St. John Lateran on 16 March 1640–1, and left Rome for England on 28 Sept. 1643. He entered the Society of Jesus at Watten, near St. Omer, in 1648, and returned to the English mission in 1650. In a catalogue of jesuits for 1655 he is mentioned as then serving the college or district of St. Francis Xavier, comprising South Wales, Monmouthshire, Herefordshire, and Gloucestershire. Subsequently he was stationed at Holywell, where he died on 28 Dec. 1686.

He was the author of: 1. A report, in Welsh, of Roger Whetstone's cure at St. Winefrid's well; manuscript at Stonyhurst College. 2. ‘On the Grievousness of Mortal Sin, especially of Heresy’ (anon.), London, 1668. 3. The prayer-book called ‘The Key of Heaven’ (anon.), London, 1670. 4. A catechism in Welsh, London, 1688.

[De Backer's Bibl. des Écrivains de la Compagnie de Jésus, ii. 1663; Foley's Records, iv. 518, vi. 343, vii. 560; London and Dublin Orthodox Journal, 1836, ii. 82, 83 n; Oliver's Jesuit Collections, p. 152.]

T. C.

OWEN, HUGH (1639–1700), of Bronclydwr, Merionethshire, nonconformist preacher, born in 1639, was the son of Humphrey Owen, the son of John Owen, the son of John Lewis Owen, member for Merioneth in the third parliament of Elizabeth, and son of Lewis Owen (d. 1555) [q. v.] Hugh was intended for the church, and entered Jesus College, Oxford, matriculating on 21 July 1660 (Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714); but the passing of the Act of Uniformity in 1662 and the ejection of such clergy as would not conform disturbed his plans, and, after a short residence in London, he returned to Bronclydwr to spend the rest of his days as a nonconformist preacher. There being no independent church in his district, he was ordained a teaching elder of the Wrexham church (Palmer, Older Nonconformity of Wrexham, p. 44), with authority to preach where he could in Wales. His preaching tours, which extended into the neighbouring counties of Carnarvon and Montgomery, often lasted for three months at a time, and laid the foundation of the later nonconformist churches of the district. On the issue of the declaration of indulgence in 1672 his house was licensed for independent preaching, and in a few years a church had been formed there, of which Owen retained the oversight until his death. During the reign of James II he was for a short time confined in Powis Castle, but on the whole he was not subjected to much persecution. Owen bore a high character for temperance of life, generosity to the poor, and charity towards those who differed from him. He died on