Owen, George (d.1665) (DNB00)

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OWEN, GEORGE (d. 1665), York herald, son of George Owen (1552–1613) [q. v.], by his second wife, was ‘gott before marriage,’ and was born at Henllys in Pembrokeshire. He was appointed rouge croix in the place of John Bradshaw on 28 Feb. 1626 (Cal. State Papers, Dom. Ser. His patent as rouge croix is given in Rymer's Fœdera, ed. Hayne, vol. viii. pt. i. p. 214), and was promoted to the post of York herald by signet in December 1633, and by patent 3 Jan. following. He is probably to be identified with the George Owen who was admitted at Gray's Inn 4 Aug. 1633 (Gray's Inn Register). He attended the Earl of Arundel in his expedition against the Scottish covenanters in 1639, and, according to Wood (Fasti Oxon. ii. 61 n.), was despatched on a mission in the king's service to Wales in the following year. He was with the retinue of Charles I at Oxford in 1643, where, on 12 April, he was created D.C.L., and he subsequently accompanied the king when he proceeded to invest Gloucester on 10 Aug. in the same year (Phillips, Civil Wars in Wales and the Marches, i. 168), but afterwards, according to Wood (l. c.), ‘he miserably swerved from his loyalty (and attended at the funeral of the Earl of Essex, solemnised 22 Oct. 1646), and, by a scandalous agreement, got himself to be made Norroy king of arms by the usurper Cromwell’ in 1658, on which account ‘late writers on heraldic matters call him “the usurping Norroy”’ (Fenton, Pembrokeshire, p. 563). In 1660 he was reappointed York herald, and held the office until he resigned it in 1663, when he was succeeded by his son-in-law, John Wingfield (Cal. State Papers, Dom. Ser. 12 April 1663; cf. also 25 July). With Elias Ashmole [q. v.], he directed the funeral in London of Bryan Walton, bishop of Chester, on 5 Dec. 1661 (Wood, Fasti, ii. 84 n.) He married Rebecca, daughter of Sir Thomas Dayrell of Lillingstone, Buckinghamshire, by whom he had two sons, who both died without issue, and a daughter, who was married to his successor, Wingfield. He died in Pembrokeshire 13 May 1665 (Peck, Desiderata Curiosa, ed. 1732, xiv. 37).

He has been very generally confounded with his father, especially by heraldic writers (Fenton, l.c.), while both have also been confounded with George ap Owen ap Harry (Rowlands, Llyfryddiaeth y Cymry, p. 78), commonly called George Owen Harry [q. v.], who was a contemporary and near neighbour. In the Lambeth Library (MS. No. 263) there is an English translation of Giraldus's ‘Itinerarium Cambriæ’ and the first book of the ‘Cambriæ Descriptio’ (with the two prefaces addressed to Langton), from Dr. David Powel's edition (London, 1585, 8vo), by ‘George Owen, gent., 1602,’ and dedicated to George Owen the elder, that is, son and father respectively. Owen is also said (Moule, Bibl. Her. p. 606) to have ‘compiled a history of Pembrokeshire, the original MS. of which was in the possession of Howel Vaughan, esq. of Hengwrt;’ but this is only another instance of the confusion of names, as this refers to his father's work on Pembrokeshire.

Among undoubted specimens of Owen's own heraldic work are his grant of a coat-of-arms in 1654 to Colonel Philip Jones [q. v.], now preserved at Fonmon Castle, Glamorganshire (Francis, Charters of Swansea, p. 183), and the ‘Golden Grove Pedigree Parchment Roll,’ dated 1641, being the pedigree of the Vaughans, earls of Carbery, which is ‘splendidly illuminated and fully emblazoned in the most sumptuous manner’ (Arch. Cambr. 5th ser. x. 168–9). There are also at the British Museum pedigrees of Worcestershire families dated 1634 (Add. MS. 19816, ff. 100–24), and a short tract, dated 1638, ‘touching the precedency of a baronet's daughter’ (ib. 14410, f. 35).

[Owen's Pembrokeshire, ed. 1892, Introduction, pp. xii, xiii; Miscellanea Genealog. Heraldica, 2nd ser. vol. ii.; authorities cited above.]

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