Society, and treasurer, and for many years chairman of the executive committee of the National Temperance League. That society had his portrait painted, in October 1881, for inclusion in a series of portraits of temperance advocates. For a short time he sat on the London School Board, being elected to succeed William McCullagh Torrens [q. v.] for the Finsbury division in 1872.
In recognition of his ‘services to the cause of education in Wales,’ he was knighted in August 1881; but by this time his health was failing, and on 20 Nov. he died at Mentone, and was buried on 26 Nov. in Abney Park cemetery.
A statue in bronze, by Mr. Milo Griffith, has been erected by public subscription to his memory at Carnarvon, where it was unveiled on 22 Oct. 1888; and there is a bust of him, by Mr. William Davies (Mynorydd), at the Royal Institution, Swansea.
By his wife Ann Wade, who predeceased him in 1879, he had several children, of whom two sons and four daughters survived him, his eldest son being Sir Hugh Owen, K.C.B., the present permanent secretary of the local government board.
[Memoirs of Owen by Mr. Lewis Morris (in Y Cymmrodor, i. 39, 48), and Mr. Marchant Williams (in the Red Dragon for May 1882, with portrait), both of whom were closely associated with him in some of his later educational work. The authority for his early life is an autobiographical sketch published posthumously in the North Wales Chronicle; while his own evidence before the committee on Welsh education in 1880–1 (see above) gives the best account of his work in connection with Aberystwith College. See also ‘Sir Hugh Owen, his Life and Life-Work,’ by W. E. Davies (being the essay to which the prize offered by the National Eisteddfod Association was awarded at the Liverpool Eisteddfod in 1884), London, 1885, 8vo; and a Welsh memoir by T. L. (the Rev. Thomas Levi), published by the Religious Tract Society, 1883, 8vo, both of which have portraits of Owen.]
OWEN, HUMPHREY (1712–1768), Bodley's librarian and principal of Jesus College, Oxford, son of Humphrey Owen, gentleman, was born at Meifod in Montgomeryshire in 1712. On 15 Nov. 1718 he was admitted batellar of Jesus College, elected scholar 23 Dec. 1723, and fellow 13 June 1726. He took the B.A. degree in 1722, M.A. in 1725, B.D. in 1733, and D.D. in 1763. In 1744 he became rector of Tredington (second portion), Worcestershire, which he held till 1763, though recalled to Oxford by his election unopposed to the Bodleian librarianship on 10 Nov. 1747. In 1762–3 he was curate-in-charge of Kingston-Bagpuze, Berkshire, and having been, on 10 May 1763, elected principal of his college, was presented on 13 Aug. to the rectory of Rotherfield-Peppard, Oxfordshire. He died on 26 March 1768 (Oxford Journal, 2 April 1768), and was buried in Jesus College Chapel (Wood, Colleges and Halls, ed. Gutch, p. 589).
As Bodley's librarian, Owen is chiefly remarkable for his numerous appointments of Welshmen to subordinate posts. The best known of these was John Price [q. v.], who succeeded him, having been acting-librarian from 1765 to 1767. Owen superintended the removal of the Arundel marbles from the gallery to a special room in 1749, gave the rare St. Albans' ‘Fructus Temporum’ in 1750, and took over the valuable Clarendon and Carte papers, and the Walker, Ballard, Holman, and Rawlinson manuscripts; but the process of cataloguing, ‘generally inert’ in his time, was so completely paralysed by the last bequest, in 1755, that it is still in arrears (Clark, Cataloguing of MSS. in the Bodl. Libr. 1890). Letters are extant to Owen from Browne Willis and Rawlinson, 1748–1756 (Rawl. MS. C. 989); and it is clear that he was, like his correspondents, a Jacobite. There are other letters and notes to or by him in various Bodleian books, and a letter to Ducarel is printed in Nichols's ‘Illustrations of Literature’ (iv. 666).
[Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Macray's Annals of the Bodleian Library, passim; authorities above; notes from Jesus College books, kindly communicated by the Rev. Ll. Thomas, M.A., vice-principal.]
OWEN, JACOB (1778–1870), architect, was born on 28 July 1778 in North Wales. After being educated at Monmouth, he was apprenticed to William Underhill, an engineer, who was occupied on canal works in Staffordshire. In 1804 he was appointed clerk of the works to the royal engineer department at Portsmouth, and in 1832 was transferred to the Irish board of works in Dublin as principal engineer and architect, which appointment he held until 1856. His executed works were almost exclusively those connected with his public appointment. In 1848 he erected the criminal lunatic asylum at Dundrum, near Dublin (see 16th Report of the Board of Public Work, Ireland, 1848, p. 16), and in 1850 Mountjoy Prison, Dublin. He made many additions to the Four Courts and Queen's Inns in Dublin, and erected model schools and other government buildings in Ireland.
He died at Great Bridge, Tipton, Staffordshire, on 26 Oct. 1870, and was buried in Mount Jerome cemetery, Dublin.
He married the daughter of his master,