James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Edwin Augustus Owen (cntd.)

In 1895 the British Government had established the Federated Malay States (FMS), a federation of four protected states in the Malay Peninsula (Selangor, Perak, Negeri Sembilan and Pahang). The United Kingdom was responsible for foreign affairs and for its defence but pledged not to interfere in matters relating to native Malay traditions and Islamic affairs. On the whole the states continued to be responsible for their domestic policies and retained their respective hereditary rulers (sultans) but each of the four states had a British Resident General who gave advice on domestic issues, which the states were bound by treaty to follow. A well-ordered administrative system was established which improved education, health, communication, roads and railways. Rubber production became a significant part of the economy which was flourishing in the early twentieth century.

Edwin returned to the United Kingdom from Singapore on 25 August 1920, aboard the liner Agapenor. According to the passenger manifest, his proposed place of permanent residence was in a 'British Possession', not in the United Kingdom, though he was going to be staying at Brithdir Vicarage.

In 1921 [Dolgelly 1921, 4th qt] he 'married' Nellie Edwards (b 20 Nov 1887), a farmer's daughter of Llywyn, Dolgellau. He declared himself a widower but records indicate that his first wife did not petition for judicial separation until 1922 and for divorce until 1925. Whatever Edwin's intention had been, he and Nellie did not go abroad. I was told they ran a hotel in Llanfyllin for a while but in 1932 Edwin, then a publican, of The Red Lion Inn, Gyfylliog, Ruthin, Denbighshire, found himself being sued for bankruptcy. There were three reports in the London Gazette of 30 August 1932 concerning the case, which may not have proceeded to a conclusion, suggesting that he might have managed to pay off his debts. Perhaps Nellie discovered that Edwin was a bigamist or perhaps it was the strain of their financial problems that led to the couple separating. In 1939 Nellie was living with her widowed, invalid, eighty-year old mother Elizabeth (aka Eliza), at Pillgr Hengwrt, Dolgelley Merionethshire (Hengwrt (meaning 'Old Court') was a mansion near Dolgellau). I believe Nellie ended her days in that area. (map).

In 1939 Edwin was a 'Domestic Gardiner' living with an elderly pair of widows at Woodside Longville, Ludlow Shropshire, next to ‘Longville Post Office’. His birth year was given as 1891, an 'error' that was maintained until his death when he was recorded as being sixty-five [Shrewsbury 1957, 3rd qt].