OWEN, Hugh (?1731-86), of Orielton, Pemb.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



20 Mar. 1770 - 16 Jan. 1786

Family and Education

b. ?1731,1 1st s. of Sir William Owen; cos. of Hugh Owen.  educ. Dr. Newcome’s acad., Hackney; Christ’s, Camb. 17 May 1749, aged 18.  m. 16 Sept. 1775,2 Anne, da. of John Colby of Bletherston, 1s.  suc. fa. as 5th Bt. 7 May 1781.

Offices Held

Ld. lt. Pemb. Feb. 1778- d.


In October 1760 Owen was nominated for Anglesey on the Bulkeley interest. He immediately applied to Newcastle for support, and at the same time asked to be appointed constable of Beaumaris castle.3 He did not obtain the office, and was overwhelmingly defeated at the election. On the death of Sir John Philipps in June 1764 he began canvassing Pembrokeshire. Both he and his father appear to have approached Grenville with promises that he would support Administration in Parliament in return for backing at the election,4 but ministerial support was given to his opponent, and Owen was defeated. He petitioned, and on 16 July 1765, congratulating Newcastle on the new Administration, asked for its support in his petition:5

Some of the late ministry exerted the hand of power most violently against me in regard to my election for the county of Pembroke and no reason could be alleged but that I had expressed a strong attachment to your Grace and friends.

In the end he withdrew his petition, but again contested the county in 1768. Defeated, he petitioned once more, and when the election was declared void in 1770 was returned unopposed.

In Parliament he voted with the Opposition till 1774, and though in Robinson’s list of September 1774 he was classed as ‘hopeful’, he again voted with the Opposition on Wilkes, 22 Feb. 1775. He does not appear in any of the minority lists between 1775 and 1779; was described as ‘pro, out of town, query doubtful’ on the contractors bill, 12 Feb. 1779, and though he voted with the Opposition on Dunning’s motion, 6 Apr. 1780, and the motion against prorogation, 24 Apr. 1780, he was classed by Robinson in July 1780 as ‘pro’. He did not vote in the crucial divisions of February-March 1782, nor on Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, 18 Feb. 1783, but in Robinson’s list of March 1783 he was counted as a follower of North, and he voted for Fox’s East India bill, 27 Nov. 1783. Robinson’s list of January 1784 puts him as ‘Opposition’, and though he was described in Stockdale’s list of 19 Mar. as ‘absent’, in Adam’s of May he was again described as Opposition, and he voted against Pitt’s Irish propositions, 13 May 1785.  He died 16 Jan. 1786.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Peter D.G. Thomas


  • 1. Wm. Owen to Newcastle, 17 July 1761, Add. 32925, f. 189.
  • 2. Ex inf. Cdr. C. H. H. Owen, R.N.
  • 3. Add. 32915, f. 45.
  • 4. Grenville to Hugh Owen, 28 Aug. 1764, Grenville letter bk.
  • 5. Add. 32968, f. 19.