Dictionary of Welsh Biography



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WYNNE , OWEN ( 1652 -?), civil servant , was the second son of Hugh Gwyn (alias Hugh ap John Owen ) of Gwaenfynydd , Llechylched , Anglesey , who claimed descent from Hwfa ap Cynddelw , the 12th cent. lord of Llifon , and of Elin , daughter of Robert ap John ap William of Tre'rddolphin . He entered Jesus College , Oxford (matriculated 10 July ) in 1668 , and graduated B.A. in 1672 . At some subsequent date he qualified as a doctor of laws , and probably became an advocate of Doctors' Commons ( 10 Jan. 1694 ). He was confidential secretary to Sir Leoline Jenkins (q.v.) during the latter's tenure of the secretaryship of state ( 1680-5 ), and retained the office of undersecretary under Jenkins 's successors till c. 1690 ; in this capacity he served as secretary to the commissioners sent by James II to treat with William of Orange ( Nov. 1688 ). He is thus an early example of the permanent civil servant ; a contemporary account of his duties (which included custody of all papers and translations of those in Latin , French , Spanish , Italian , and Dutch ) is printed in F. M. G. Evans , The Principal Secretary of State ( 1923 ), 192, where his salary is given as £140 with board and lodging or £200 without. Among his other offices were those of warden of the Mint ( to 1690 ) and secretary to the commissioners for prizes ( Jan. 1693 ). He kept his North Wales acquaintances, especially Sir Robert Owen , of Porkington and Clenennau (see Owen , Sir John ), posted with the latest court news in James II 's day.

His eldest son, WILLIAM WYNNE ( 1693 - 1765 ), lawyer and author , followed him to Jesus College (matriculated 23 Jan. 1709 ), graduated B.A. 1712 , M.A. 1723 , entered Middle Temple in 1718 and was made a serjeant at law in 1736 . Inheriting from his father the private papers which Jenkins had bequeathed, he published in two volumes, in 1724 , The Life of Sir Leoline Jenkins . He d. on 16 May, 1765 , and was buried a week later in Westminster Abbey .

Bibliography:

  • W. R. Williams , The history of the Great Sessions in Wales, 1542-1830 together with the lives of the Welsh judges, and annotated lists of the chamberlains and chancellors, attorney generals, and prothonotaries of the four circuits of Chester and Wales , Brecknock, 1899 , 140;
  • J. E. Griffith ; Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families , 1914 , 111;
  • Foster , Alumni Oxonienses ;
  • Evans , The Principal Secretary of State. A survey of the office from 1558 to 1680 , Manchester, 1923 , 155-6, 164, 192;
  • Reports of the Historical Manuscripts Commission , 6 th R. , app.;
  • N.L.W. Brogyntyn MSS. at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth , letters 1656, 1695 , and unscheduled letter 8 Jan. 1684 .

Author:

Emeritus Professor Arthur Herbert Dodd, M.A., (1891-1975), Bangor