Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 42.djvu/429

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Owen
Owen
423

second action took place at Llandegai. Owen was ultimately defeated, dragged from his horse, and made prisoner by one Captain Taylor, who was voted by the commons 200l. out of Owen's estate (Commons' Journals, v. 592, 10 June 1648). A few days before, on 3 June 1648, Sheriff Lloyd's family had been voted a sum of 1,000l. out of Owen's estate (Calendar of Committee for Compounding, p. 1842). Owen was committed close prisoner to Denbigh Castle (Hist. MSS. Comm. 7th Rep. p. 123), but was ordered by the commons to be sent for as a delinquent by the serjeant-at-arms on 14 June 1648, and on 26 July he was committed to Windsor Castle on a charge of high treason (Commons' Journals, v. 600, 648; see Gardiner, Civil War, iv. 251, and Carlyle, ii. 76, for an account of Cromwell's anger at the parliament's order for his removal to London).

The commons (10 Nov. 1648) and the lords (14 Nov.) passed, independently, an ordinance for the banishment of Owen along with James, earl of Cambridge, Henry, earl of Holland, Arthur, lord Capel, and George, lord Goring (Lords' Journals, x. 588), but it was subsequently determined to put them on their trial. On 3 Feb. 1648–9 they were ordered to appear for trial (see List of Judges of the Court, Brit. Mus. 669/83, f. 13), and on 6 March following all received sentence of death (Clarendon, xi. 256). Clarendon (vii. 261) asserts that, preferring to be beheaded in such good company, Owen made no effort to save his life, and that his sentence was remitted owing to Ireton's contemptuous charity. As a matter of fact, Owen petitioned for his life (Commons' Journals, vi. 158) on 7 March 1648–9, and a petition was also presented on his behalf on 8 March, when the vote for his respite passed by 28 to 23 (ib. p. 159), and he acknowledged the parliament's grace in a very humble epistle (Warburton, Prince Rupert, iii. 409; Hist. MSS. Comm. 7th Rep. p. 72). According to Sir Edward Nicholas, Owen was reprieved at the suit of the Spanish and Dutch ambassadors, and on the threat of his countrymen that they would slay a hundred of the parliamentary men in revenge if he were executed (Carte, Original Letters, i. 247). When the Restoration took place, Owen interceded on behalf of Edmond, a son of the regicide, James Chaloner [q. v.], alleging that he had been the only instrument under God of the preservation of his life.

Owen returned to his native county. But in 1659 he attempted to raise Anglesey, Carnarvon, and Merioneth, at the same time that Sir George Booth raised Cheshire. He failed, and his estates were again ordered to be sequestered, as he was ‘known to be fled,’ unless he appeared within ten days (Calendar of Committee for Compounding, p. 3250, 30 Sept. 1659 and 26 Jan. 1659–60). At the Restoration he petitioned for redress and revenge, but with what result does not appear (cf. Commons' Journals, viii. 180, 200, November 1660). In March 1663 he received, along with others, a grant of the overplus of prizes taken by the privateer Richard Pettingall from the Dutch for 20,970l. (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1663).

Owen died in 1666, and was buried in the church of Penmorva, Carnarvonshire, where Pennant saw an inscription to him (Tour, p. 263). His estates still belong to his lineal descendant, Mrs. Ormesby Gore, by whom his portrait is preserved at Porkington (engraved in 4to edition of Pennant's ‘Tours,’ where is also a copy of his funeral inscription). An engraving of Owen by T. Caldwell is mentioned by Bromley.

Owen married, in 1617, Janet, daughter of Griffith Vaughan, sheriff of Merioneth (for whom see Dwnn, Visitations, ii. 219.) His eldest son, William, suffered sequestration in the wars (Lloyd, Memoirs, p. 569).

Owen's brother, Colonel William Owen, was governor of Harlech in Merionethshire, and was the contriver of the general insurrection in North Wales in 1648. He was captured at Nottingham in August of the same year, and suffered sequestration and banishment.

[Domestic Entry Book, 48A, Record Office (Catalogue of Knights); List of the Judges, &c. 1648–9; Conway taken by Storm, 19 Aug. 1646; Weekly Account for 12 Aug. 1646; Clarendon Rebellion, vii. 133, xi. 252, 256, 261; Gent. Mag. 1865, i. 75; Warburton's Prince Rupert, ii. 401, 425, iii. 61, 237, 409; Tanner MSS. lix. 471, 493, 562, 575, 580, 612; Old Parliamentary Hist. xv. 2, 171; Cary's Civil War, i. 177; Carlyle's Cromwell, i. 304–7, 424–427; Lloyd's Memoirs, p. 568; Pennant's Tour in Wales, i. 262, 263; Williams's Dict. of Eminent Welshmen; Dwnn's Heraldic Visitation of Three Counties of North Wales, ii. 219; Rushworth II. iv. 1146, 1130; Commons' Journals, v. 592, 600, 648, vi. 158–9, viii. 180; Lords' Journals, x. 588–600; Addit. MS. 5847, ff. 397, 444; State Papers, Dom. 1645; Calendars, 1645–65; Calendar of Committee for Compounding; Hist. MSS. Comm. 2nd Rep. p. 86 (account of the Ormesby Gore MS., from which Warburton drew largely, and which contains numerous references to Sir John Owen), 7th Rep. pp. 71, 123, 8th Rep. p. 200; Fairfax Correspondence, II. ii. 65; Gardiner's Civil War, iii. 393, 515, 521; The Cruel and Bloody Murthering of Mr. Lloyd, High Sheriff of Merioneth, 1648; A Perfect Diurnall, 16 Nov. 1646; Hacket's Scrinia Reserata, ii. 218; Carte's Original Letters, i. 247.]

W. A. S.