James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Remarriage and Retirement

It was something of a surprise to learn that on Tuesday, 5 Apr 1870 James remarried; he was by then a sixty-three year old sergeant of police and the children of his first marriage were grown up. One of three witnesses of the marriage was William Davies, probably a work colleague who by 1881 was Inspector of Police in nearby Newtown. His bride was the twenty-two year old Mary Morris, a domestic servant living at the time of their marriage in Long Bridge Street, Llanidloes and the daughter of an innkeeper, John Morris and his wife, Jane, of the New Inn, Trefeglwys, a village about 8 km north of Llanidloes and 12 km west of Newtown.

It was another fruitful union. Almost certainly they had a son James Morris (or Maurice) Owen born in 1871 [Newtown 1871, 1st qt] who died young. They also had sons John Oswald and Llewellyn Bernard who were born in 1872 [Newtown 1872, 3rd qt] and 1873 [Newtown 1873, 3rd qt], respecively.

In January 1875, after 35 years service and in his 68th year James retired from the constabulary; technically he was certified medically unfit for further duty. He was superannuated at £49-10s-8d; his retirement pay was two thirds of his original salary. Of the original twelve constables of the Constabulary, only two served to pensionable age and James was the longest serving of them all.

Sadly James and Mary’s first son, James, died at the age of 5 [Newtown 1876 1st qt]. That same year Mary gave birth to another son, Maurice Handel Owen [Newtown 1876, 2nd qt], and, two years later, to a fourth son who for some time I knew only as Herbert U. Owen [Newtown 1877, 4th qt]. I discovered the ‘U’ stood for “Ultimus”, an indication that James had a sense of humour but wishful thinking for in February 1881 James’s fourteenth child to survive into adlthood, James Darwin Owen, was born [Newtown 1881, 2nd qt]. The choice of names of his first family were biblical, those of his second suggest James was a cultured man; that of ‘Darwin’ is somewhat surprising as many Christians have taken issue with Darwin’s views on evolution.