OWEN, Sir Robert (1658-98), of Parc, Llanfrothan, Merion. and Clenennau, Caern.
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Family and Education
b. 16 Nov. 2658, end but 1st surv. s. of William Owen of Clenennau and Porkington, Salop by Katherine, da. and h. of Lewis Anwyl of Parc. educ. Oriel, Oxf. 1674; I. Temple 1677. m. settlement 27 Oct. 1683, Margaret (d. 10 Apr. 1727), da. and coh. of Owen Wynne of Glyn, Merion., 7s. (3 d.v.p.) 2da. suc. fa. 1678; kntd. 16 July 1678.1
Commr. for assessment, Salop, Caern., Denb. and Merion. 1679-80, 1689-90, Flints. 1689-90; j.p. Caern. 1680-Apr. 1688, Oct. 1688-96; Salop 1680-June 1688, Nov. 1688-96, Merion. 1682-Apr. 1688, Oct. 1688-96; dep. lt. Caern. and Merion. 1683-?June 1688, 1689-96; mayor, Oswestry 1686-7; sheriff, Merion. Jan.-Nov. 1688; freeman, Caernarvon by 1692.2
Owen’s great-grandfather became secretary to Sir Francis Walsingham, the Elizabethan statesman, married the heiress of Clenennau, and sat for Caernarvon Boroughs in 1597. His grandfather, Sir John Owen, fought for the King in both wars, and was sentenced to death in 1649, but reprieved. His father, though less prominent as a Royalist, suffered sequestration. Owen was returned for Merioneth at the first general election after he had come of age. No record of his activities in the Oxford Parliament survives, but he was known to oppose exclusion. He did not stand in 1685, probably in fulfilment of an electoral bargain with Sir John Wynn. He remained a devoted Anglican and a strong upholder of the monarchy, despite several rebuffs from the Court. His request for the constableship of Harlech Castle was denied, and the vice-admiralty of North Wales was granted over his head to Sir William Williams, 6th Bt. He refused his consent to the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws, and was appointed sheriff of Merioneth to prevent him from standing for the abortive Parliament. Nevertheless he offered to raise 500 men to resist William of Orange in November 1688.3
Owen was returned for Caernarvon Boroughs at the general election of 1689. In the Convention he voted to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant, but he accepted the new regime and renewed his claim to Harlech. His only committee was for a private bill. He remained a Tory, refusing to sign the Association in 1696. He died on 30 Mar. 1698, and was buried at Selattyn. The next member of the family to enter Parliament was his grandson Francis, who sat for Helston in 1774.4
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: A. M. Mimardière
- 1. Misc. Gen. et Her. n.s. ii. 291-3.
- 2. Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 2), iv. 208; CSP Dom. 1689-90, p. 477; Trans. Caern. Hist. Soc. vii. 78.
- 3. NLW, Clenennau mss 796, John Vaughan to Owen, 3 Jan. 1681; CSP Dom. 1682, p. 339; Jan.-July 1683, p. 43; HMC Downshire, i. 286; HMC 7th Rep. 348.
- 4. CSP Dom. 1689-90, p. 86; Misc. Gen. et Her. n.s. ii. 292.