James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Maurice Handel Owen (1875 - 1948) ... 1

Maurice Handel Owen was born in 1876 [Newtown 1876, 2nd qt]. In 1891 and in 1901 he was living with his widowed mother at 30 High Street, Llanidloes, and was an estate clerk (a "surveyor’s clerk" in 1901).

It would appear that he and his brother, Oswald, had several interests in common. Both were active members of the local Young Men's Friendly Society (YMFS) whose performances entertained large audiences; Maurice was one time secretary. The Montgomery County Times and Shropshire and Mid-Wales Advertser reported events they staged, such as, in November 1895, a mock town council election, in which eight members of YMFS were ‘candidates’, Maurice receiving the most votes, early in 1896, a mock murder trial in which he was a counsel for the defence and, a month later, a mock breach of propmise trial in which he was foreman of the jury. Both young men played cricket for Llanidloes CC - the above newspaper reported that Maurice took two catches in a game in June 1895 – and both were involved with the town football team. In December 1897, both attended a meeting at the Conservative Club, Llanidloes, to hear an address from the Borough M.P., Major E. Pryce-Jones. In the 1900 General Election, in which Pryce-Jones doubled his majority, Maurice acted as one of his ‘personation agents’ (over-viewing a polling station). E. Pryce-Jones, M.P. became Lieutenant-Colonel of the 5th Volunteer Battalion, the South Wales Borderers and in March 1901, Maurice was the first of twenty-one recruits enrolled into it’s A Company at Llanidloes. With the continuation of the Boer War, training of such volunteers became more intense.

Thus, Maurice was an active member of his community, prepared to take on various responsibilities. As well as the above, in 1899 he was on the committee of the Working Men's Institute And Library and in 1898, when Oswald left Llanidloes, Maurice took over his role of secretary to the local Church Choral Society. Maurice was clearly a talented singer as he was often the soloist in local performances; for example, in November 1900, as part of the festivities to mark the inauguration of planting the trees in the streets of Llanidloes (One of the distinguished, ceremonial planters expressed the hope that the trees would be flourishing a hundred years hence; they may have had to be replaced but those who have visited Llanidloes will have appreciated the wide, tree-lined streets.)

Incidentally, on 26 August 1897, the Aberystwyth Observer listed the four Owen brothers - Maurice, Albert (aka Herbert), James and Oswald - as staying at 5 Cambrian Place, Aberystwyth, presumably on holiday.