George Owen of Henllys
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He was born the eldest son to Elizabeth Herbert and William Owen in Henllys of the parish of Nevern, which is located near Newport, Pembrokeshire. William Owen (c. 1486-1574) was a successful Welsh lawyer who purchased the Lordship of Kemys.
Lordship of Kemys
George Owen was educated in law at the Inns of Court in London. After his father's death he inherited the estate, included the Lordship of Kemys. However he spent considerable time fighting a series of lawsuits against family enemies in the county over ownership of manorial franchises.
During his life span he collected antiquarian information about Wales, including the heraldry, genealogy and historical buildings and structures. He also studied the topography of the county of Pembrokeshire and other parts of Wales. During his studies he performed observations of the geology of Wales, including the strata of limestone and coal. Although he did not actually form geological theories about the formations of these strata, he has earned a certain reputation as the progenitor of British geology.
He was a literary man who was reflective of this period of interest in history and antiquities during the Elizabeth era. He associated with a small circle of writers in Pembrokeshire, and was the patron to numerous Welsh bards.
From 1587 until 1590 he served as the Deputy Lieutenant of Pembrokeshire, and he reprised this role from 1595 until 1601. In this service he was responsible for the military defensive, including the fortification of Milford Haven against possible Spanish invasion, and he trained the local militia for the county. He also served as the High Sheriff of Pembrokeshire in 1587 and 1602.
- A Dialogue of the present Government of Wales, 1594.
- The Number of the Hundreds, Castells, Parish Churches and ffayres...in all the Shiers of Wales later more commonly called the Description of Wales, 1602.
- The Description of Penbrokshire, 1603. Reprinted in Cambrian Register, Volume 2, 1799
- a map of Pembrokeshire (1602), which was published in the sixth edition of the Britannia (1607).
- B. G. Charles, George Owen of Henllys: A Welsh Elizabethan (NLW, 1973).
- "The National Library of Wales: Dictionary of Welsh Biography". Retrieved 10 February 2018.
- Lee, Sidney, ed. (1895). "Owen, George (d.1665)". Dictionary of National Biography. 42. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Owen on Welsh Biography Online
- Owen manor house excavation by the University of York
- Works by or about George Owen in libraries (WorldCat catalog)