Owen, Charles (DNB00)

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OWEN, CHARLES D.D. (d. 1746), presbyterian minister, was a younger brother of James Owen (1654–1706) [q. v.] He succeeded Peter Aspinwall (d. June 1696, aged 60) as minister of Cairo Street Chapel, Warrington, Lancashire, and first appears at the ‘general meeting’ of Lancashire ministers held at Bolton on 13 April 1697. He was a member of the Warrington classis, and acted as moderator at Liverpool on 22 April 1719 and 8 Nov. 1721. He educated, or partly educated, students for the ministry, desisting for a time owing to the Schism Bill of 1714, but resuming later. His academy, though small, had considerable reputation; as it was not supported by the presbyterian fund, it is probable that he did not teach theology. Among his pupils (1733) was Job Orton [q. v.] On 8 Nov. 1728 he received the diploma of D.D. from the Edinburgh University, together with Isaac Watts and others. This was probably a tribute to his treatise on redemption (1723). Owen, however, is remembered rather as a political dissenter than as a theological writer. On the death of Queen Anne (1714) he published a sermon, the spirit of which is sufficiently indicated by the text (1 Kings, xvi. 20). His ‘Plain Dealing’ (1715) was the subject of an indictment; and, though no conviction followed, he was mulcted in heavy expenses. Most of his subsequent political publications were anonymous, but their authorship was well known, and Owen was regarded as a pillar of the Hanoverian cause in the north of England during the period which followed the rebellion of 1715. He had no love for quakers. He maintained a large congregation at Warrington for nearly fifty years, and died on 17 Feb. 1746. His funeral sermon was preached by his nephew, Josiah Owen [q. v.] His son John (d. 1775) is often described as his successor; but he was minister at Wharton, Lancashire, though living in Warrington. Owen's successor at Warrington was John Seddon (1725–1770) [q. v.]

He published, besides funeral sermons for Thomas Risley (1716) and Mary Lythgow (reprinted 1758), and other single sermons: 1. ‘Some Account of the Life and Writings of … James Owen,’ &c., 1709, 12mo. 2. ‘The Scene of Delusions. … Historical Account of Prophetick Impostures,’ &c., 1712, 12mo; translated into German, Leipzig, 1715; answered in 1723 by John Lacy (fl. 1737) [q. v.] 3. ‘Hymns Sacred to the Lord's Table. Collected and Methodiz'd,’ &c., Leverpoole, 1712, 8vo (the first book known to have been printed in Liverpool). 4. ‘Donatus Redivivus; or a Reprimand to a Modern Church-Schismatick,’ &c., 1714, 8vo; reprinted, with the title ‘Rebaptization Condemned,’ &c., 1716, 8vo (an attack on two clergymen who had rebaptised a conforming dissenter). 5. ‘The Amazon Disarm'd,’ &c., 1714, 8vo (defence of No. 4 against a reply by Jane Chorlton). 6. ‘Plain Dealing; or Separation without Schism,’ &c., 1715, 8vo; 12th ed., 1727, 8vo. 7. ‘The Validity of the Dissenting Ministry,’ &c., 1716, 8vo. 8. ‘A Vindication of Plain Dealing from … two Country Curates,’ &c., 1716, 8vo (anon.). 9. ‘Plain Dealing and its Vindication Defended,’ &c., 1716, 8vo (anon.). 10. ‘The Dissenting Ministry still Valid,’ &c., 1716, 8vo (anon.) (in defence of James Owen's ‘History of Ordination,’ 1709). 11. ‘The Jure Divino Woe,’ &c., 1717, 8vo (thanksgiving sermon at Manchester on anniversary of battle of Preston, 14 Nov. 1715, with appendix). 12. ‘Plain Reasons (1) For Dissenting … (2) Why Dissenters are not … guilty of Schism,’ &c., 1717, 8vo (anon.); 23rd ed., 1736, 8vo. 13. ‘The Dissenters' Claim … for Civil Offices,’ &c., 1717, 8vo (anon.). 14. ‘The Danger of the Church and Kingdom from Foreigners,’ &c., 1721, 8vo (anon.). 15. ‘The Wonders of Redeeming Love,’ &c., 1723, 12mo; abridged as ‘Meditations on the Incarnation,’ &c. (Rel. Tract Soc.), 1830, 12mo. 16. ‘An Alarm to Protestant Princes and People,’ &c., 1725, 8vo (anon.). 17. ‘Religious Gratitude; Seven Practical Discourses,’ 1731, 12mo. 18. ‘An Essay towards the Natural History of Serpents,’ &c., 1742, 4to. Posthumous was 19. ‘The Character and Conduct of Ecclesiastics in Church and State,’ &c., Shrewsbury, 1768, 12mo (edited by F[rancis] B[oult]). He also edited ‘The Validity of the Dissenting Ministry’ and other posthumous works of his brother, James Owen.

[Funeral Sermon by Josiah Owen, 1746; Orton's Letters, 1806, i. 159; Williams's Life of Matthew Henry, 1828, pp. 143 seq., 263; Bogue and Bennett's Hist. of Dissenters, 1833, ii. 224; Autobiography of William Stout, 1851, pp. 39 seq.; Beamont's Jacobite Trials (Chetham Soc.), 1852, p. 53; Notes and Queries, 19 Nov. 1853 p. 492, 31 Jan. 1874 pp. 90 seq., 1 May 1875 p. 355, 17 Feb. 1894 p. 135; Cat. of Edinburgh Graduates, 1858, p. 239; Transactions of Hist. Soc. Lanc. and Cheshire, 1861, p. 121; Halley's Lancashire, 1869, ii. 321 seq., 351; Turner's Nonconformist Register, 1881, p. 85; Minutes of Manchester Presbyterian Classis (Chetham Soc.), 1891, iii. 358 seq.; Nightingale's Lancashire Nonconformity [1892], iv. 214 seq.; manuscript Minutes of Warrington Classis (1719–22) in Renshaw Street Chapel Library, Liverpool.]

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