James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Effie Rosina Owen (1869 - 1929)

Elisha and Harriet’s eldest child, Effie Rosina Owen (see family photo), was born in 1869 [reg. Clun 1869, 2nd qt.] in Bishop’s Castle, where she was christened on 4 April 1869. She would have been about five when her little brother and two young sisters contracted scarlet fever and died.

In 1901 she was living at Maenol, Tennyson Road, Aston, Birmingham, and acting as housekeeper to her widowed uncle, Edward Owen who owned and ran an outfitters and hosiers. She may well have served an apprenticeship there. In 1911, she was resident with a vast number of people, including drapery assistants, porters and clerks in one of the 'Dickins & Jones' properties, probably in Argyll Street or Little Argyll Street though its main store was at 226-244 Regent Street (photo 1, photo 2, photo 3). Most of those listed were employed in 'Drapery' but a male steward and two 'housekeepers', Effie and another lady, were listed as working in a 'Drapery house'. It is not known whether she remained there after 1914 when Dickins & Jones was taken over by Harrods.

Effie's address on her will, dated 1927, was 41 New Bond Street (Bond Street and Regent Street are linked here by Conduit Street (see map) which was where her cousin Reginald Wynn Owen went in 1907 to defend his good name (see here)) and I had been told that, in later life, Effie ran a Bond Street dress shop. Effie's brother Norman was chairman of the company "Nigel Ltd" at 41 New Bond Street when it went into liquidation in 1932, three years after Effie's death, though Effie had bequeathed her shares in "Nigel Ltd" to her sister Vera (see next page); someone who knew the family suggested that Vera also worked there for a while so the degree of involvement in the business of each sibling is unclear. I suspect that the driving force behind the business was Effie; evidence suggests that it had been a great success until Effie died (see here)

Then, as now, this area was a bustling mecca for shoppers who, from 1900, could arrive by the Central London Railway; other rail links soon followed. Its shops were patronised by the gentry and by heads of state. Members of the British royal family and of the aristocracy, as well as foreign dignitaries, including Kaiser Wilhelm, the Tsar of Russia and King George of Greece, were customers of the distinguished hat maker, Herbert Johnson, at 45 New Bond Street. >