OWEN, William (?1742-95), of Woodhouse, Salop and Bryngwyn, Llanfechain, Mont.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1774 - 11 Mar. 1795

Family and Education

b. ?1742, 1st s. of William Mostyn of Bryngwyn by Grace, da. of Robert Wynne of Plas Newydd, Denb. educ. Oriel, Oxf. 18 Apr. 1761, aged 18; M. Temple 1759. m. c.1770, Rebecca. da. of Thomas Dod of Edge, Cheshire, 2s. 6da. suc. kinsman John Lloyd Owen to Woodhouse 1772 and took name of Owen; fa. 1786.

Offices Held

Common councilman, Oswestry 1786, alderman 1786, steward 1786-96, mayor 1787.

Capt. Salop militia 1767.


Although Owen was originally returned for the county on the interest of the Earl of Powis, he retained the seat from 1780 with the support of the rival interest of the Williams Wynn family, whose politics he shared. On 10 Nov. 1789 he joined the Whig Club. He had accordingly opposed Pitt’s administration from the start and in the Parliament of 1790 again appeared in the minority on Grey’s Oczakov motion, 12 Apr. 1791, and Whitbread’s against the Russian armament, 1 Mar. 1792. Subsequently he did not appear in the minority lists. He was thought hostile to the repeal of the Test Act with regard to Scotland in April 1791. He was supposed a Portland Whig in December 1792, invited to, but did not attend, Windham’s ‘third party’ meetings in February 1793 and there are no further indications of political activity. Apparently he never uttered in debate. Ill health probably hindered his attendance latterly, for he died 11 Mar. 1795, at Shrewsbury, ‘whither he had removed for the convenience of medical assistance’. Although he never faced a contest after 1774, Owen was said to have been caused considerable financial embarrassment by his share in the expenses and in 1802 his heir sold the Bryngwyn estate.

Gent. Mag. (1795), i. 350; Mont. Colls. v. 255.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne