The Bowen family web presents:
The Bowens of Camrose
by Jon Hudson
Camrose is a small village located in the south western corner of Wales in the county of Pembrokeshire .
Any list of the well-known families of the parish must begin with the Bowens.
Over the generations the family have owned lands in various parts of the Parish such as at Roblestone, Wolfsdale and Leweston though the family's main seat has long been at Camrose house.
The family have a long history and are an offshoot of the Bowens of lockmyler who claimed descent from Bleddyn, Prince of Powys, who lived in the 11th century.
The Bowens came to reside in Camrose through marriage into the Roblyn family. Records from 1251 show that a Knight called William Roblyn held "half a Knights fee into the Vill of Roblyn" (Roblestone).
Later in 1324 Alexander Roblyn is recorded as holding part of a Knights fee there. It seems that Jane Roblyn, who was probably Alexander's daughter and the last heir of the family, married John ap Owen sometime between 1413 and 1599 in the reign of King Henry the fourth.
John ap Owen and his wife, Jane Roblyn, had a son, Maurice Bowen who married Isabel Cheverell.
Maurice Bowens son, Roger Bowen married Jane Martin the daughter of William Martin of Brawdy.
Isabel Cheverell died and Morris remarried and had another son, David Bowen, who via family agreement came to hold the old lockmyler property.
Roger and Jane Bowen had to a son, John Bowen who married Jane the daughter of Thomas Butler, Serjeant at Arms to King Henry the 7th and 8th. Their son was Mark Bowen, who had a son and named Thomas Bowen. It is known that Thomas Bowen married the daughter of Owen Laugharne of St Bride's.
Thomas Bowen is the earliest member of the Bowen family for whom there is much detailed. Thomas Bowen lived at Roblestone and is mentioned in the 1577 survey of Haverfordwest as holding "The capital messuage of Roblinston and five carucates of land", belonging to the Queen, being part of the Lordship of Haverfordwest. He also held two and-a-half bovates of land in "Wester Pelcomb" as well as three bovates in North Camrose and three more in South Camrose. From the 1577 survey it is clear that by this time the Bowens had acquired Camrose house, Though it was obviously in a very bad state and indeed the survey says that Thomas as son and heir of Mark Bowen held "a ruined messuage and nine bovates of land near to the church of St Ambrose in Camros". Thomas also held five parts of Camrose mill as heir of Mark Bowen and the sixth-part has heir of walter Waddyng.
Before his death in 1623 Thomas and his wife had had eight children, the eldest of whom was Morgan Bowen, married to Dorothy Steadman. Their eldest son was John Bowen of Wolfsdale. Morgan seems to have been a volatile character, accused of the murder of a local man who died from a blow to the head from a stick.Morgan also of attacked his father with a sword and his wife was attacked and nearly killed, having been stabbed in the chest with sheaf-picks.
One of their younger sons was Matthew Bowen who was in business in Pembroke and who was Sheriff of the county between 1698 and 1699.
Matthew Bowen had several children and one of his Hugh Bowen married Mary Lort. The oldest son of Hugh and Mary Was Charles Bowen, born in 1683, who later married the daughter of Colonel John Wheeler and who in 1714 became the first of the Bowens to be Vicar of the Parish.
Charles second son, Hugh, succeeded his father as vicar of Camrose and who was to go. One of Hugh Bowens nieces, a lady named Elizabeth, married a man called Price Wright who in 1778 to became vicar of Camrose.
In 1801 Hugh Webb Bowen succeeded to the Camrose estate and was high sheriff. After the death of Hugh Webb Bowen in 1837, his son Charles Wheeler Townsend Webb Bowen succeeded to the estate, whilst his other son William had, in 1833 become vicar of Camrose. Colonel Lewis Penn married Anne, granddaughter of Hugh Webb Bowen, who was his last heir, his son Charles Wheeler Townsend Webb Bowen having died a bachelor in 188?. So it was that the Camrose estate passed from the Bowens to the Penn family.
The information placed here was graciously contributed by Jon Hudson of Wales.
As part of a local history project Mr. Hudson has researched and authored a web site concerning the Village of Camrose, during his research he has discovered the information detailed above and made it available to us, an act of which we are very appreciative of.
After reading this work , why not take a trip to the Village of Camrose, in the County of Pembrokeshire Wales, an old home of the Bowen family.
From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales
By S. Lewis, 1833.
"CAMRHÔS, a parish in the hundred of RHÔS county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 4 miles (N.W. by N.) from Haverfordwest, on the road to St.David's, containing 1259 inhabitants, the amount of population having increased nearly one-fourth since the census of 1821. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of St. David's, rated in the king's books at £6.10. 5., endowed with £400 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of Hugh Webb Bowen, Esq. The church is dedicated to St. Ismael. There are two places of worship for Independents. Near the church is a large tumulus, which has never been opened. Camrhôs House, the seat of Hugh Webb Bowen, Esq., is the only residence within the parish which is entitled to notice. A fair is held here on February 13th. The poor are supported by an average annual expenditure amounting to £402. 15."
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