Born in 1717 the son of a wealthy farmer William Owen turned his back on the life of the gentry to pursue a more adventurous life at sea. His impatient desire to become rich soon led him into the rags-to-riches world of smuggling. He enjoyed long spells of success but soon discovered that smuggling endeavours could also work in reverse, from riches-to-rags. In the years that followed William’s catalogues of adventures accumulated and his financial fortunes fluctuated wildly. Several times he found himself at the point of ruin but William, never defeated by adversity, used his sharp wit and not always honestly, to affect recoveries. His arrogant disregard for the law brought him before the judge’s bench on two occasions where, incredibly, his resourcefulness and silver tongue achieved his release. However, perdition waited patiently in his future as each episode of his eventful life led him onwards stumbling from crisis to crisis and onto his eventual demeaning and catastrophic end.