Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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John Owens (1790-1846)

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1790 Born the son of Owen Owens (b.1764), hat trimmer and umbrella finisher, and his wife Sarah (nee Humphreys)

1800 Attended Mr John Hothersal's Academy in Ardwick Green where he first met George Faulkner

1817/9 Taken into partnership with his father as Owen Owens and Son, manufacturers, of Carpenter Lane, Manchester. Thomas Owen, a partner in the business, died that year.

The business was changed to that of merchants. John gained a reputation as the best buyer of cotton in the Manchester market. He also speculated in railway shares.

John Owens entered into partnership with George and Samuel Faulkner as Samuel Faulkner and Co., fine spinners. Samuel was responsible for the management of the mill.

The mill was destroyed by fire and John Owens left the business shortly thereafter

1844 Owen Owens died, leaving all his property to his son John.

Despite having very different political viewpoints, John Owens and George Faulkner were of similar mind in terms of university education. George proposed to John that he should leave his large fortune to found a college in the city and carry on the principles he had espoused. John incorporated these ideas into his will.

1846 John Owens died at home in Chorlton-upon-Medlock

Owens left substantial sums to relatives and smaller amounts to local charities, as well as £10,000 to Faulkner, before devoting the residue of his estate to the foundation of Owens College.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  • Manchester Times, April 6, 1878
  • [1] Manchester University heritage heroes
  • Dictionary of National Biography