Saturday, August 10, 2013

Captain Richard Owens Owings (1662-1716)

Flag of Wales

The period in Wales, from 1660 to 1689 has rightly been called 'The Heroic Age of Dissent '. In caves barns and stables Catholic priests were hanged, drawn and quartered, and Quakers were cruelly beaten and left to rot in stinking holes called prisons. Those who had sought to turn the world upside down during the revolutionary years found themselves forced on to the defensive and obliged to come to terms with the considerable hostility and resentment of their political enemies.
Refusal of Friends to swear the Oath of Allegiance and pay tithes brought them into direct conflict with established authority. The iniquitous Quaker Act of 1662 was especially damaging to Friends hopes for the future since it prohibited them from meeting together to worship and threatened those who offended thrice with transportation. Similarly, the Conventicle Act of 1664 was deliberately designed to cut the roots of a movement like Quakerism. From the spring of 1660 onwards, however, Montgomeryshire Friends faced considerable hostility with cheerful good humor and astonishing courage. By November, eight Friends were languishing in Welshpools 'old Crib, a wretched hovel in the hands of a foul-tempered and hard-hearted gaoler. Friends were forced to sleep on wet straw or cold floors, and were periodically showered with urine and excrement falling from a chamber above where common felons were housed. Like many of their brethren elsewhere in England and Wales, they froze during the cold months of winter and sweated profusely on hot summer days.

Unlike most of their fellow Dissenters, Friends made no effort to conceal their evangelizing activities or evade the rigors of the law. They were more liable than most, therefore, to be seized by bullying constables and beaten without mercy. Armed posses apprehended itinerant Quakers and left them to rot in overpopulated cells and dungeons. Those who publicly and faithfully maintained their testimony against tithes, oaths and. carnal weapons lived in constant peril. In 1660, soldiers armed with swords and staves burst into a meeting in Radnorshire, abused Friends, and 'one of them with his Sword struck a Friend on the Head, and cut his Hat almost through. In August 1660 groups of Quakers in Merioneth, many of them clad only in shirts and petticoats, were dragged from their beds by constables and driven, barefoot, to Bala.
 The spirit of vengeance was abroad in Wales after 1660, and landowners and churchmen were determined to launch and sustain a witch-hunt against erstwhile radicals.   Nursing bitter memories, loyalists in mid-Wales were determined to pay off old scores.

When constables and bailiffs came to distrain (confiscate) property and belongings, Friends stood back passively and watched as cattle, sheep, oxen, horses,. brass pots and pans, pewter dishes, iron bills and bars, books and bibles were carried away. 
Thomas Lloyd championed the cause of liberty of conscience and collaborated intimately with Richard Davies in a bid to shield Friends from the worst rigors of the law. His decision to join William Penn’s Holy Christian community in 1683 was a severe blow to the Quaker cause in Wales, for Lloyd had impressed his antagonists as a learned and courteous disputant and had inspired his colleagues with his vision of a world in which swords were beaten into ploughshares. Wales’ loss proved to be Pennsylvania’s’ gain, for Lloyd became one of the patrician pillars of the Quaker community in Philadelphia.

The Quakers of today are a far cry from the radicals of the seventeenth century.  We have a rich Quaker heritage, but our progenitors left their faith and converted to other religions and were stalwarts in fighting for our country.

Richard Owings was born about 1662. He was the fourth son of Owen Humphrey of Llwyn-du, gentleman, whose entailed estate was in the township of Llwyngwril in the parish of Llangelynin, county of Merioneth in North Wales. He (Richard) was paternally descended from Ednowain ap Bradwen of Llys-Bradwen (living in 1194) progenitor of the fifteen noble tribes of North Wales and Powis. He was named for Richard Davies, a Quaker minister and friend of Owen Humphrey (Richard’s father).
• Emigrated: to William Penn’s Pennsylvania and then to Anne Arundel Co., Maryland, before March 1685.
• Borrowed: from Christopher Randall, Bef 20 Mar 1685. A considerable amount owed by Richard Owings was listed in the estate inventory of Christopher Randall.
• Purchased: "Range" from Thomas Lightfoot and his wife Rebecca, 12 Sep 1685. "Range" was in Anne Arundel County about a mile from the head of the Anne Arundel River, by the line of Richard Warfield's land, by a tract called the "Marsh."
• Sold: 384 acres to Jabez Pierpont for 4500 pounds of tobacco, Fall 1686. Richard's wife released her dower right in it. Jabez Pierpont was a planter of Baltimore County.
• Had surveyed: "Owen's Adventure," 10 Oct 1694. This was 450 acres on the west side of the Patapsco, on the north side of Col. Taylor's land. The tract had originally been patented 10 November 1695.
• Served: as Captain in Maryland militia, 1695.
• Captain: of Rangers for the defense of Maryland Province, Abt 16 Oct 1697. Fifteen men were raised "to strengthen the Garrison and frontiers at Potomak."
• Signed: Receipt for arms and equipment received from the Governor, Abt 30 Oct 1697.
• Listed: Under the command of Col. Ninian Beale, 6 Feb 1699 to 6 May 1700. Paid 3/4d per day, for a total of £15.03.04.
• Patent for Owen's Adventure: granted to Richard by Lord Baltimore, 3 Apr 1700. Alternate spelling appears as "Owings Adventure."
• Conveyed: 225 acres out of the 450 in "Owen's Adventure" to Col. Edward Dorsey for £40, 13 Mar 1704. Transaction may have taken place in August 1704.
• Carpenter, 1 Jun 1708.
• Sold: 100 acres from "Owing's Adventure" to Richard Acton, planter, 1 Jun 1708. Richard's wife, Rachel, gave her consent.
• Land grant for "Owens Outland Plains": made to Capt. Richard Owings, 10 Sep 1725. Grant consisted of 480 acres in Baltimore County.

On his retirement Captain Owings settled, prior to Midsummer, 1702, in the Upper Part, North Patapsco Hundred, Baltimore County, where he had previously surveyed, on 10 October 1694, two neighboring plantations. These were "Long Acre", 225 acres, on the north bank of the Patapsco, halfway between Elk Ridge Landing and the present Ellicott City, and "Owings' Adventure," 450 acres, directly back in the woods and at or near the southeast corner of what is now Catonsville. On the former tract he built a small frame dwelling with brick chimneys at either end, a separate kitchen house, several tobacco barns, and other structures. Of the latter tract, he sold the northwest half to Col. Edward Dorsey, 13 August 1704.

Richard Owens Owings Capt. (1662 - 1716)
is our 7th great grandfather
daughter of Richard Owens Owings Capt.
son of Mary Eleanor Owings *
son of John Long *
daughter of John Read Long *
son of Nancy Jane Long *
daughter of Levi Springer *
daughter of Mary Mariah Springer *

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