James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants
Click on picture for enlargment

Aberystwyth: Later life

W P Owen characature William married Ethel Ann Robinson on Tuesday, 25 October 1892. (See newspaper report.) She was the second child of a wealthy jeweller and silversmith Henry John Robinson JP and his wife Emma of Hadnall, Shropshire, and later of Bodtalog Hall, Towyn. They had seven children: William (Billy) Henry Kenrick Owen who was killed in WWI, Olwen Ethel Owen, Violet Mary Penrhos Owen, Beatrice Nesta Owen, Hugh Wynn Owen, Edward Denstone Vaughan Owen and Sheila Joyce Owen. Sheila was born in 1908 and died, aged 4, on 10 March 1913; she and Billy are commemorated on a plaque in the Church of St. Padarn at Llanbadarn Fawr.

Ethel a matron and a strict disciplinarian, ran a nursing home called Cambria in North Parade, Aberystwyth. Cambrian News and Merionethshire Standard, 26 May 1916 reported: NURSING HOME. A medical and surgical nursing home has been opened on the North Parade by Mrs. Ethel Owen. The home is efficiently equipped for nursing and has been provided with an operating room with the latest appliances."

In 1901 the family was living at Brynleg, Llandbadarn Fawr, near Aberystwyth, but then lived for many years at Sea View, Primrose Hill, Llandbadarn Fawr, a huge house on the slopes above the town with large windows overlooking the main lawn. Eric Wynn-Owen recalled a visit to Sea View when he was a boy; he watched as William, a large, fairly jovial man, walked to the middle of the lawn and started whistling. Birds appeared from all around and fed, even from his mouth.

William became patron of the FAW in 1896 and was an Aberystwyth Town FC committee member. He was Clerk to the Talybont Justices from 1897, the Llandbadam Justices from 1920 and Registrar of the Aberystwyth County Court, a post he still held in the 1930's. He was a solicitor In Aberystwyth for over half a century. In later life, William often stayed at the Bushey Hall Hotel near where my mother’s family lived when he came to watch England v Wales football internationals. Eric Wynn-Owen recalled going with William and Aunt Mary (Tyson) to the Wembley Exhibition where William and he went down the helter-skelter together.

Like his father, William was an enthusiastic antiquarian. He was a well-known local character. He died at Sea View on Monday, 13 December 1937, on the fifth birthday of his grandson Robert.