James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants
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Interests

At Glanogwen Elijah was treasurer of the Glanogwen Literary Society. In April 1864, at one of its meetings, he gave an illustrated lecture on the "Physiology of Man", explaining the different organs of the body; "The lecture was most instructive and interesting, and bore evident proofs that Mr. Owen was thoroughly acquainted with his subject." [N Wales Chronicle, 23 Apr 1864] I believe this society may have been superceded (1969) by the local Church Literary Institution of which Elijah was the first President and to which Elias belonged. They were both eloquent speakers. Elijah could be relied upon to provide an interesting and aposite discourse when called upon to make a presentation, for which he occasionally composed some verses, or to "say a few words", for example during the interval at a school concert N Wales Chronicle (7 Dec 1893).

Following a teachers' meeting in Beaumaris in 1871, the members had time to explore the locality: "With the help of two amateur botanists, Mr Elijah Owen and Mr Jackson, a rich treat was enjoyed amongst the "Floralia" in the vicinity of the town. The multifarious forms of wild plants and ferns were dilated upon in grandeloquent terms. Archaeolgy found worthy exponents in the persons of Messrs Owen. A "Sarcophagus", an old ruin, the ancient castle, or the smallest remnant of antiquity was viewed with a great amount of interest." [N Wales Chronicle, 2 Sep 1871]

Penmon Priory Elijah shared his brother, Elias's, interest in antiquity; Elias, in the preface to his book on Welsh folklore, thanked Elijah for helping him to collect material. Amongst Elijah’s published works was "Notice of The Discovery of Ancient British Sepulchral Remains at Penmon, Anglesey (right)", Archaelogia Cambriensis (Vol 6, p59; 1989). Elijah contributed 45 small Greek coins to a Bangor exhibition of local antiquity in November 1887; he had been a member of the subcommittee of the Menai Society of Natural Science and Literature which organised the event and his brother Elias gave the exhibition's inaugural address. Elijah was collecting material for a book on the history of Beaumaris at the time of his death.

Newspaper reports show just how much Elijah was respected and appreciated within his community. He always sought to involve himself in activities and issues; he was not afraid to speak his mind. One of the last occasions may have been on 18 April 1893 in a meeting at Beaumaris Town Hall to protest against the Welsh Suspensory Bill. Elijah proposed this resolution which was unanimously adopted, and copies were forwarded to the Prime Minister, to Lord Salisbury, and to Mr. Balfour."