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 by his 2nd w.; bro. of Arthur Owen I*. 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 d.v.p.); (2) Katherine (d. 1698), da. of William Griffith† of Cefnamlwch, Penllech, Caern., wid. of Lewis Anwyl of Parc, Llanfrothan, Merion., s.p. suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. c.Oct. 1670.1
Custos rot. Pemb. 1665–87; sheriff, Anglesey Jan.–Nov. 1688.
Owen, who studied under John Locke at Oxford, had probably been a supporter of Exclusion at first, moderating his political stance by 1681. Listed among the opposition to King James ‘in the country’ in 1687, he excused himself from answering the questions about the repeal of the Penal Laws and Test Act on the grounds of ill-health, but was still purged from the Pembrokeshire lieutenancy and pricked as a sheriff to prevent him from standing for the projected Parliament in 1688. He was reported to have been in touch with William of Orange before the invasion, sending a yacht to Holland purportedly laden with coal but in fact carrying silver. Returned as knight of the shire to the Convention, he did not vote for the disabling clause in the corporations bill. Nevertheless, he was classed as a Whig by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) in an analysis of the 1690 Parliament. In Robert Harley’s* list of April 1691 he was noted as an opponent of the Court. Further mention of a ‘ship’ belonging to him, in this case having been commandeered at Plymouth for use in victualling, occurs in Treasury papers in 1692. Owen did not stand at the 1695 election, and his desire to leave public life was evident in 1697 when he requested to be left out of Pembrokeshire’s land tax commission. He died in Bristol on 13 Jan. 1699, aged 53, and was buried there.2