Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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OWEN , MARGARET (‘ Peggy ’; 1742 - 1816 ),

friend of Hester Lynch Piozzi ( Thrale ) (q.v.) and Dr. Samuel Johnson , was the daughter of Lewys Owen ( 1696 - 1746 ), younger son of Sir Robert Owen of Porkington ( Brogyntyn ), Salop (see Wynn and Owen of Glyn and Brogyntyn ), and Elizabeth , daughter of Richard Lyster of Penrhos , Montgomeryshire , and Moynes Court , Monmouthshire . Her father, a Fellow of All Souls College , Oxford , was rector of Barking , Essex ( 1735-46 ), and Wexham, Bucks. ( 1742-6 ). She was b. at Barking in 1742 and christened there on 28 Nov. After the death of her mother, c. 1756-8 , at Penrhos , where the family lived after the father's death, she and her troublesome brother, John Owen ( 1741 - 1823 ), were brought up by their aunt, Susanna Lyster . She made her home at Shrewsbury but spent much of her time in the company of Mrs. Thrale , a distant relation and childhood friend. It was through Mrs. Thrale that she came into contact with the prominent literary figures of the day. By 1777 she was on friendly terms with Dr. Johnson , Dr. Charles Burney , Samuel Boswell , Fanny Burney , William Seward , and others. Some of the letters written to her by Dr. Johnson , Mrs. Thrale , and Fanny Burney are preserved in the Brogyntyn collection in the N.L.W. In 1777 Sir Joshua Reynolds painted a portrait of her. She d., unmarried, at Shrewsbury on 25 Oct. 1816 , and was buried at Penrhos on 6 Nov.


  • Cornhill Magazine (London) , Sept. 1939 , 334-51;
  • J. L. Clifford , Hester Lynch Piozzi (Mrs. Thrale) (Oxford, 1941) , 1941 ;
  • Thraliana the diary of Mrs. Hester Lynch Thrale (later Mrs. Piozzi) 1776-1809 (Oxford, 1942) (ed. K. C. Balderston );
  • The Gentleman's Magazine , May 1833, 418 ;
  • P. Merritt , The True Story of the So-called Love Letters of Mrs. Piozzi 'in defence of an elderly lady' (Cambridge, 1927) , 75;
  • Index to the Private papers of James Boswell from Malahide castle in the collection of Lt.-Colonel Ralph Heyward Isham (London, 1937) (ed. Scott and Bottse ), vols. ii, 14;
  • The Queeney Letters. Being letters addressed to Hester Maria Thrale by Doctor Johnson, Fanny Burney and Mrs. Thrale-Piozzi (London, 1934) (ed. by the Marquis of Lansdowne, 1934 );
  • A. Dobson , Fanny Burney (Madame D'Arblay) 1903) ;
  • The Intimate Letters of Hester Piozzi and Penelope Pennington, 1788-1821 (London, 1913) (ed. O. Knapp , 1914 );
  • The Early Diary of Fanny Burney (ed. A. R. Ellis );
  • The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL. D comprehending an account of his studies and numerous works, in chronological order, a series of his epistolary correspondence and conversations with many eminent persons, and various original pieces of his composition, never before published the whole exhibiting a view of literature and literary men in Great Britain, for near half a century, during which he flourished in three volumes (Dublin, 1792) (ed. G. Birbeck Hill , rev. by L. F. Powell ).


Dr Bertie George Charles, Ph.D., (1908-2000), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959