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The Narrative of William Owen, Part 2: Plymouth – Madagascar, 1754

Posted by Andrew Constantine, on March 5th, 2023


This post presents the second of two extracts from a narrative written by William Owen (circa 1735 – 1779). The journal is currently held by the University of Wales. The transcription is presented here by Andrew Constantine who owned the journal between 1994 and 2019.

The Narrative which is here presented in print to the public for the first time was written by William Owen (circa 1735 – 1779), a younger son of a Welsh gentry family, the Owens of Glandulas, near Llanidloes, in the then County of Montgomeryshire.

This volume of the Narrative covers the years 1750 to 1761, and records the life of William Owen as a young naval or sea officer between the ages of around 15 to 26.  The Narrative starts with Owen travelling from his family home in Wales to enter the Royal Navy in 1750, and in the early, juvenile, chapters records Owen’s shipboard voyages to the Mediterranean, the West Coast of Africa and the West Indies.  The main historical interest of the Narrative relies on the eye witness account Owen gives of the British struggle in the years 1755 to 1761 against various Indian rulers and the French during the run up to – and course of – the Seven Years War (1756 to 1763).

This second extract written deals with how William Owen is appointed to HMS Tyger under his fellow-Welshman and patron Captain Thomas Latham.  In this extract we follow the Tyger’s progress from leaving Plymouth on 8 May 1754 to the ship’s arrival at Madagascar. 

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