Dictionary of Welsh Biography



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OWEN , RICHARD ( 1839 - 1887 ), revivalist, Calvinistic Methodist minister ; b. in 1839 , son of John and Mary Owen of Ystum Werddon , Llangristiolus , Anglesey . Richard 's education was spasmodic for his father d. when he was 11 years of age and his brother d. a year later. When he made known his desire to enter the ministry the authorities were dubious because it was felt that he would need a lot of training. As he grew up the little chapel of Cana , tucked away in a corner of the district, asked for his help and he came to feel the attraction of that small and homely church. Dafydd Morgan's revival (see Morgan, David , 1814 - 1883 ), as it was called, impelled him to offer himself officially as a candidate for the ministry. The authorities saw fit to give him a field of seven churches in which he might preach , and he was given £10 for a course of education at the British School , Llangefni . In 1863 he went to Bala C.M. College , but it was very difficult, if not impossible, for one who was already a regular peripatetic evangelist to make much progress as a student. When the good people of Ffestiniog arranged for the principal and the simple student to preach in the same meeting, Dr. Lewis Edwards banished from his mind all adverse criticism of Richard Owen . In 1867 he m. Ellen , sister of the Rev. Robert Evans , the missionary . They lived at Rhos-cefn-hir , near Pentraeth , for four years — the wife keeping a shop while he went out preaching . He then went to London for a time and, on his return in 1873 , was ordained. After he had settled at Pen-y-sychnant , Penmaenmawr , his powers developed and his influence spread throughout Wales . A simpler and more unassuming man never entered the pulpit. He had neither eloquence nor liveliness of gesture, and yet when he stood face to face with his congregation, and the inspiration of the moment was upon him, the lucidity of his thoughts and the vividness of his descriptions had an overwhelming effect. He lived at Denbigh for a short time, and later at Aberystwyth . He d. at Tŷ Croes , Pentraeth , Anglesey , 16 Feb. 1887 .

Bibliography:

  • W. Pritchard , Cofiant a Phregethau y Parch. Richard Owen, y ‘Diwygiwr‘ , Amlwch, 1889 , 1889 ;
  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present , 1908 ; Y Traethodydd , 1888 , 296-310.

Author:

Rev. Richard Thomas, B.A. (1872-1950), Caernarfon