Hugh Owen (1637-1699) The Apostle of the North. By Z. Mather. HERE have been three eminent Welsh Nonconformist preachers whose burning enthusiasm, and unremitting- labours, have won for them the honourable title of "Apostle." These were William Wroth of Llanfuches, Monmouthshire, "The Apostle of Wales"; Stephen Hughes of Meidrym, Carmar- thenshire, "The Apostle of the South," and Hugh Owen of Bronyclydwr, "The Apostle of the North." In fervour and heroism the last named was not a whit behind the other two. He was born in 1637 at Bronyclydwr, Merionethshire. His father being Humphrey Owen, the second son of John Lewis Owen of Llwyn, Dolgelley, M.P. for Merionethshire, who in turn was the eldest son of Baron Lewis Owen, Vice Chamber- lain of North Wales, who was murdered at Dugoed near Mallwyd, on the evening of October 11th, 1555, by Gwylliaid Cochion Mawddwy (the Red Bandits of Mawddwy) as he was returning from the Montgomeryshire Assizes, which he had been attending at Welshpool. Hugh Owen's mother was Susannah, the second daughter of Lewis Owen of Peniarth. He was thus descended from Baron Lewis Owen along two lines. Dr. John Owen (1616­1683), the eminent Puritan divine, being a grandson of Baron Owen, was Hugh's uncle. Hugh was educated at Jesus College, Oxford, and studied for the ministry. When the Act of Uniformity of 1662 was passed he moved to London, where he stayed for some time. Before long, however, he returned to Bronyclydwr, and soon became known in Merion- ethshire and throughout the adjoining counties as a gifted and popular preacher. Calamy calls him "a burning and shining light." He preached regularly in Merionethshire, and he occasionally made excursions into Carnarvonshire, each of his preaching tours lasting about three months, and after resting at home for a short time, he would start again. As a rule he travelled on horseback and could be seen, even in the depth of winter, journeying over mountains and along rough roads and wild passes, through rain, hail, and snow. As he might have lived in comfort and ease on his small patrimony all this proves to us his noble self-sacrifice, and the intensity of his zeal for the Gospel. His style of preaching was impressive and winsome, and he also exerted a mighty influence for good on others by the charm of his personal character. Although physically of a frail constitution, his inner per- sonality was one of marvellous force. On one occasion, soon after Owen's return from a preaching tour, the Undersheriff of Merioneth- shire came to Bronyclydwr to taken him to the county gaol at Dolgelley, on a charge of having broken the law by preaching in private houses. "If you will allow me a few minutes to engage in prayer," said Owen, "I will come with you; I never leave home without first kneeling in the presence of my Heavenly Father, to ask Him to watch over my family while I am away." The undersheriff having given his consent, Owen called the family and servants together, and read a psalm, and offered a touching prayer, in which he commended his wife and children and the ser- vants to God's merciful protection, and also the Undersheriff. Owen, on rising to his feet, was perfectly calm and said, "And now, sir, I am ready to go with you." But the Undersheriff trembled like the leaf of a poplar tree, and said "I cannot take you; I must return alone." Then, when Hugh Owen had walked with him to the door and bidden him a friendly farewell, he went his way wondering at the saintly man's gentle and dignified conduct. There is another interesting story told of Owen. During his imprisonment in Powys Castle everyone treated him with great kindness and respect. One day Lord Powys, who was a Roman Catholic, overheard him offering prayer, and was so grealy impressed by his fervour that he whispered to the chaplain, "He must indeed be a good Christian man." On Owen's release His Lordship gave him a cordial invitation to come to spend Christmas with him every year. In fact the Apostle of the North was always so humble and gentle and so noble in bearing that no one could help admiring and revering him. His acts of unbounded kindness and generosity were very noteworthy. His grandson, Mr Hugh Farmer, of Walthamstow, Essex, said of him "His character was strongly marked by com- passion and charity. The numerous poor in his own neighbourhood, and under his extensive pas- poral inspection, he constantly visited and re- lieved. When in his travels he met with persons suffering greatly through the severity of the weather for want of proper clothing he would spare from his own person, not without some hazard, what their pressing necessity seemed to require." One bitterly cold day when he was riding to a preaching engagement, he overtook a feeble-looking old man, scantily dressed, who was walking slowly with the help of a stick. Owen, pulling up, said to him, "It's very cold." "Yes, indeed, sir," was the old man's reply, "it is very cold, and I feel it bitterly." In a moment Hugh Owen dismounted, took off his own overcoat, gave it to him and helped him put it on. "I can do without it more easily than you can," he said. Then having said good-bye he got on to his horse again and proceeded on his journey. Needless to say the old man proudly buttoned the overcoat and walked home with a glad, firmer step. Mr Farmer mentions another similar illus- tration of Hugh Owen's character: "At a time," he says, "when the sweating sickness carried off great numbers, and the infected were in want of