Nicholas Owen matriculated from Jesus College , Oxford , on 30 June 1769 , and graduated in 1773 ( Foster ). His failure, in those easy days for a man of his attainments, to get a fellowship, may have been due to intractability. He was ordained in 1773 , and got a curacy somewhere. In 1777 he published a volume of antiquarian miscellanea, British Remains (on which see Llyfryddiaeth y Cymry , 581). By 1779 he had moved to a curacy at Winslow (Bucks.) , where he published ( 1783 ) a sermon advocating Sunday schools ; it must, however, be added that his opinion of these fluctuated, for in 1789 we find him writing to the bishop of London that the pupils tended to become ‘ sectaries or Methodists ,’ and that ‘ ignorant and enthusiastick clergy ’ misused the schools ( Bangor MS. 2408 — in his answer, the bishop disagrees). Owen indeed was at all times severe towards uneducated clerics and ‘sectaries,’ whom he attacked in the press under the pseudonym ‘ Observator. ’ It would seem that he kept school (or took pupils) at Winslow , for in 1785 he published a school book, Select Phrases from Horace . At the end of 1788 his vicar d.; Owen was disappointed of the living, and by Oct. 1789 had moved to Bangor to live with his mother. He had for some time been bombarding patrons of livings (the archbishop of Canterbury , the bishops of Bangor and of Chester , lord Bulkeley , etc.), and had tried for Llandyfrydog (three times), Llanbeblig , Pentir , etc. — there are copies of the correspondence in Bangor MS. 2408 ; Owen 's letters can hardly be called plaintive, for indeed he was ever insisting, scolding, and challenging, so much so that he had to make a public apology to the bishop of Bangor , and to endure a severe dressing-down from Bulkeley . At last, on 17 Nov. 1790 ( Pryce , op. cit., 42), the dean of Bangor made him perpetual curate of Llanfihangel Ysgeifiog and Llanffinan . In 1792 he published Carnarvonshire, a Sketch of its History, etc. On 30 Oct. 1800 ( Pryce , 46) he was given the rectory of Mellteyrn with Botwnnog but continued to live at Bangor ( Llyfryddiaeth y Cymry , 582). He d., unmarried, 30 May 1811 , and was buried at Llandyfrydog . He is one of the several authors who have been credited with the authorship of the History of the Island of Anglesea , 1775 (see John Thomas , 1736 - 1769 ).
Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor
Published date: 1959