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George Owen 's life was much troubled by a succession of lawsuits with his enemies in the county, chief among whom were Sir John Perrott (q.v.) and William Warren of Tre-wern . He and his mother were involved in much litigation over their claims to manorial franchises in the lordship of Cemais . He took a prominent part in public affairs and served as sheriff of Pembrokeshire in 1587 and 1602 . As deputy vice-admiral for the counties of Pembroke and Cardigan , deputy-lieutenant , and justice of the peace over a number of years, he was active in the affairs of the militia and strove to persuade the authorities to fortify Milford Haven in face of the persistent fears of a Spanish invasion. He was one of the commissioners appointed by the crown to survey Sir John Perrott 's property on the latter's attainder in 1592 . He d. 26 Aug. 1613 , and lies buried at Nevern .
George Owen , was deeply influenced by the great awakening of interest in history and antiquities which marked the age of Elizabeth in Wales as well as England . Not only was he a student of the work of Humphrey Llwyd (q.v.) , David Powel (q.v.) , Sir John Price (q.v.) , and their contemporaries in England , but he was on familiar terms with William Camden , whom he helped, Lewys Dwnn (q.v.) , Thomas Jones (‘ Twm Sion Cati ,’ q.v.) , and other antiquaries and genealogists of his day. He was the centre of a small group of writers in Pembrokeshire which included George Owen Harry (q.v.) , Robert Holland (q.v.) , and George William Griffith (q.v.) , and he gave his patronage and the hospitality of Henllys to many of the Welsh bards of the period. His most important work is ‘ The Description of Penbrockshire ’ which appears to owe something of its design to Richard Carew 's Survey of Cornwall ( 1602 ). The ‘ First Booke ,’ a general history of the county, was completed on 18 May 1603 ; only a fragment of the ‘ Second Booke ’ (published in N.L.W. Jnl. , v), a detailed history of the county parish by parish, has survived and it is doubtful whether Owen ever completed his ambitious scheme. He had already written ‘ A Dialogue of the present Government of Wales ’ in 1594 . Other works of his are ‘ A Treatise of Lordshipps Marchers in Wales ,’ ‘ The Number of the Hundreds, Castells, Parish Churches and ffayres…in all the Shiers of Wales ’ ( 1602 ), which is commonly known as the ‘ Description of Wales ,’ a fragment called ‘ A Cataloge and Genelogie of the Lordes of the Baronye of Kemes, Lordes of Kemes ,’ ‘ Prooffes that the Lordship of Kemes is a Lordshippe Marcher ’ (in ‘ Baronia de Kemeys ’ in Arch. Camb. , supplement, 1862 ), ‘ Pembrock and Kemes ’ (partly published), and several tracts on the barony of Cemais , ‘ A Pamphelett conteigninge the description of Milford havon,’ … 1595 , and other writings on the same subject. There is a transcript of the ‘ Treatise of Marie ’ ( 1599 ) in the ‘ Vairdre Book ’ in N.L.W. (Bronwydd collection) . He also compiled a commonplace book called ‘ The Taylors Cussion ’ (ed. E. M. Prichard , 1906 ). A miscellaneous collection of his antiquarian notes and historical records of Cemais known as the ‘ Vairdre Book ’ as well as the ‘ Register Book of Kemes ’ (published in Arch. Camb. , supplement, 1862 ) were made under his direction. Owen was an able and industrious genealogist and armorialist who came under the influence of the College of Arms , but most of his work in this field remains in manuscript (see Trans. Cymm. , 1948 , 378-82). He also produced a map ( 1602 ) of Pembrokeshire which Camden included in the sixth edition of the Britannia ( 1607 ).
Dr Bertie George Charles, Ph.D., (1908-2000), Aberystwyth
Published date: 1959