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Welsh outlook


Vol. 10, No. 5 May 1923

The militia razor (D.E., F.F.,and A.T.)

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that crystal stream, that had hitherto never known
tragedy, tinctured with human gore.
My friend was more successful, for he had pro-
fited by my experience, but he, too, bore grim
signs of the fray. The bleeding had stopped, but
there were many surface gashes, and our faces
tingled. I parted with my friend at the stile, and
I made for home, feeling my cheek and chin with
the tips of my fingers. By a miracle I managed
Goronwy Owen.
We are glad to be able to reprint from the
American Welsh newspaper, "Y Drych," the follow-
ing letter written by the Librarian of William and
Mary College, Virginia, on the subject of Goronwy
Owen's connection with the college-his first field of
activity after leaving England. The letter not only
contains one or two facts which are new to most of
us but it also throws some light on a recent dispute
as to one of the many vicissitudes of Goronwy Owen's
career. It also contains a very pertinent suggestion
to the effect that Welshmen should put up in the
chapel of the college some memorial to the poet. We
feel certain that our American kinsmen (of whom
there are thousands interested in the poet) will res-
pond generously to this invitation in this bicentenary
year of Goronwy's birth. We are glad to hear that
arrangements are being made for a memorial to be
put up to him in Northolt Church, Middlesex, where
he spent his last few months in England.-EDITOR.
College of William and Mary,
(Founded in 1693)
Williamsburg, Virginia.
DEAR SIR,-Your letter of January 30th, in
regard to the Reverend Goronwy Owen,
addressed to Dr. Chandler, has been re-
ferred to me for answer. We are very
much interested in Owen for the reason, as you
know, that he was connected at one time with
the college. I have examined the minutes of the
faculty and find that on April 7th, 1758, he sub-
scribed his assent to the Articles of the Church
of England, and took the oath in faculty meeting.
It is stated in the minutes of this same meeting
thnt he had entered on his duties April 5th, 1758.
as master of the grammar school. You will
observe that he was not principal or president of
the college, but master of the grammar school,
which was run in connection with the
college in Colonial days. Masters of the gram-
mar school had a seat in the faculty meetings
with the other professors, and he was considered
on a par with them.
While here he married his second wife, Mrs
Clayton, who was the sister of President Dawson
of the college. Mrs Clayton lived hardly a year
after the marriage. She must have died before
August 28th, 1759, for on August 28th, 1759, I
find in the minutes of the faculty meeting the
statement that Mrs Martha Bryan was appointed
housekeeper in the place of Mrs Owen, deceased.
At the time that Owen married Mrs Clayton, she
to dodge into the parlour unnoticed, though the
kitchen was full of men. The looking glass re-
vealed the many red marks running in strangely
parallel lines on one cheek especially, but I hoped
that in the kitchen dusk no one would notice; so
I ventured back. I was doomed to disappoint-
ment, for this is how father greeted me, "Hello,
what have you been up to? Why! your face is
like a page of old notation
was housekeeper, and undoubtedly had retained
that position after her marriage.
In one of his convivial moods, Owen, together
with Mr Jacob Rowe, the professor of moral
philosophy in the college, headed the college boys
in a fray between town and gown. It is probable
that he resigned on account of this escapade.
"On August 14th, 1760, William Webb was
chosen master of the grammar school in place
of Mr Goronwy Owen, resigned."
Through the influence of Governor Fauquier,
he was appointed minister of St. Andrew's parish
in Brunswick County, Virginia, which at that
time was a frontier county bordering on North
Carolina. He married for his third wife, Joanna
Simson, of Brunswick, by whom he had two sons,
John and Richard B. Owen. Goronwy Owen was
buried in Brunswick County. There is no St.
Andrew's Churchyard in Williamsburg. Our
parish is known as Bruton Church. In regard
to the site of his burial, I would suggest that you
address a letter to the clerk of the court, Lawrence-
ville, Brunswick County, Virginia. He may be
able to put you in touch with someone there who
is interested in this subject.
We are very proud of the fact that Owen was
connected with this college. Some of us have
been very much interested in his history. You
will find in the William and Mary College His-
torical Magazine, Vol. 9, pages 152 to 164, a long
article about Goronwy Owen, written by a former
president of this college. This sums up nearly
all of our historical information, I believe, which
has been discovered about him. This also gives
his will. It occurs to me that in connection with
any celebration this college would be very glad
to have some representative present.
About a year ago, I suggested through one of
our professors in the college, whose brother-in-
law lives in Philadelphia, and who is of Welsh
descent, that some effort be made bv people of
Welsh birth to erect a memorial in the chapel
of our college to Owen-a marble or bronze tab-
let, or something of that nature. It seems to
me that it would be very fitting here, and I
know that I speak for all the author-
ities of the college when I say we would be very
glad to have some such memorial of the great
Welsh poet, even though his career here was
somewhat unfortunate. — Yours very truly,
The Reverend Alun Arwel Hughes, B.D.,
Manheim, Pa.
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