James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Death of Susannah

It was at their home in the High Street that Susannah died on Tuesday, 1 December 1868, of heart disease (12 months) and general anasarca; anasarca is now known as oedema which is an excess of fluid in tissue often caused by heart failure. Susannah was sixty-three. She is buried near the gate in St. Idloes graveyard, just to the right of the main path.

Archival evidence about the lives of most of the women in the family is not very plentiful and so it is with Susannah. Apart from routine civil and church records the only mention of Susannah is in the writings of Elias when he recollects that she told him fairy stories. She must have shared her husband’s Christian beliefs.

We can really only ‘know her’ through her children and it is clear that on the whole she and James ensured they had genuine Christian values, were well educated, had a continuing thirst for knowledge (at least four of her sons published papers and/ or books on mainly antiquarian subjects), were compassionate and caring and had great self-belief. Almost all of them appear to have led fulfilled lives.

Had Susannah lived to see reports such as this one in the Wrexham Guardian, 31 August 1878 she might have been unable to supress feelings of pride. The article about the possibilty of Timothy Morgan Owen standing for Parliament concluded: "In regard to Mr Owen's family, we may remark that they have been remarkably successful in life, and Wales has much reason to be proud of her sons. Four brothers, which the Herald Cymraeg not long ago designated “the talented four," now occupy good positions, to which they have raised themselves by their own talents and exertions. The Rev Elias Owen, M.A., a writer of some note, is the Diocesan Inspector of Schools for St. Asaph; the Rev Elijah Owen, M A., is curate of Penmon, Anglesey and Mr T. Morgan Owen, M.A., is Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools for the counties of Denbigh and Flint, and during his university career distinguished himself in several examinations, and carried off, amongst other distinctions, an open university prize, and took a first-class at his final examination. The fourth brother, the Rev T. W. Owen, M.A., vicar of St. Nicolas, Leicester, took high honours at "moderations" and "finals," and was a scholar of his college. It may be mentioned that all four are staunch Conservatives."

Susannah clearly arranged her own “brief pattern on the page” to good effect.