OWEN, Sir Hugh, 2nd Bt. (c.1645-99), of Orielton, Pemb.
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Family and Education
b. c.1645, 3rd but 1st surv. s. of Sir Hugh Owen, 1st Bt., being 1st s. by 2nd w.; bro. of Arthur Owen II. educ. Christ Church, Oxf. matric. 7 Dec. 1660, aged 15; I. Temple 1662. m. (1) 1664, his cos. Anne, da. and h. of Henry Owen of Bodowen, Anglesey, 8s. (5 d.v.p.) 5da.; (2) Katherine (d. Feb. 1698), da. of William Griffith of Cefnamwlch, Caern., wid. of Lewis Anwyl of Parc, Llanfrothan, Merion., s.p. suc. fa. c. Oct. 1670.1
Commr. for assessment, Anglesey 1663-80, Pemb. 1664-80, Anglesey, Pemb. and Merion. 1689-90; j.p. Pemb. 1665-87, Oct. 1688-d., Anglesey 1670-bef. 1680, Haverfordwest 1677-d., custos rot. Pemb. 1665-87; dep. lt. Pemb. 1674-Feb. 1688, Caern. and Pemb. 1689-?d.; sheriff, Anglesey Jan.-Nov. 1688.
Owen studied at Oxford under Locke. After reuniting the family estates by his first marriage he stood for Haverfordwest in 1666 against the court candidate Sir Frederick Hyde, but he did not succeed in entering the Cavalier Parliament until ten years later, when he was returned for Pembroke Boroughs. He was not an active Member, with only four committees, two of which were concerned with private bills, but he was classed as ‘doubly worthy’ by Shaftesbury.2
Owen was returned for the county at both elections of 1679 but remained inactive, though Shaftesbury again marked him‘worthy’ In the first Exclusion Parliament he was named to the committee of elections and privileges and those to consider expiring laws and the renewal of the Irish Cattle Act. He voted for exclusion. In the next Parliament he was appointed only to the committee on the bill for abolishing the court in the marches. He had probably changed his politics, for in 1681 he stood down in favour of William Wogan, an opponent of exclusion, and he remained on the Pembroke-shire commission of the peace until 1688. He was included among the opposition to James II in 1687 as ‘considerable for interest’ By pleading sickness, he avoided answering the questions about the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws. But he was removed from the Pembrokeshire lieutenancy and appointed sheriff of Anglesey to prevent him from standing for the abortive Parliament. Before the landing of William of Orange, it was reported that Owen’s yacht had carried eight chests of silver to Rotterdam, camouflaged as coal, and had returned ‘to carry advice’. It was ordered that he should be ‘strictly observed’. He was elected to the Convention, but he was appointed only to the committee to consider abuses in the coinage, and did not vote for the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations. He died on 13 Jan. 1699, aged 53, and was buried in St. Augustine’s, Bristol. His son, the 3rd baronet, sat for either county or borough seat as a Whig from 1695 to 1727, with one brief intermission.3