Goronwy Owen

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Goronwy Owen was Master of the Grammar School at the College of William and Mary from 1758-1760. Born in Anglesea, North Wales on January 13, 1722, Owen attended Jesus College, Oxford from 1742-1745. In 1745, Owen was made a curate and spent the next ten years as a school teacher and writing poetry. In order to make a better life for himself in America, Owen took the post as Master of the Grammar School on April, 7, 1758, and later married Mrs. Clayton, sister to Reverend Thomas Dawson, president of the College. Owen resigned his position as head of the Grammar School in 1760 after he and Jacob Rowe, professor of moral philosophy, were involved in a fight between the students at the College and the young men of Williamsburg. In 1761, Owen was made rector of St. Andrew's Parrish in Brunswick County, Virginia, a position he served until his death in July 1769. A Bicentennial Celebration for Goronwy Owen took place at William Mary from February 28, 1969 through March 1, 1969. The celebration included poetry readings from Owens works, Welsh music, an exhibit on Welsh and Goronwy Owem memorabilia, and installation of the Cymmrodorion plaque at Earl Gregg Swem Library.

Material in the Special Collections Research Center

  • Goronwy Owen Bicentennial Records, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
  • 'Owen, Goronwy, University Archives Faculty-Alumni File Collection, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.