I've just today come across the following regarding Owen Arnold Sr, second husband of Elizabeth Low(e), through a Google search. Had to go down to the 3rd page of hits to chance on it.
From James Arnold, ed., The Narragansett Historical Register, vol. 9 (1890), p. 165, "Biographical Reminiscences": "...Dr. Battey was the son of Joshua Battey. His grandfather on his mother's side was Oliver [sic] Arnold. His great grandfather was Owen Arnold, a British Officer, who came to this country and engaged in the French war. He died July 24, 1762, just one hundred years before his great grand-son, Dr. Owen Battey, died."
As befits family knowledge recorded almost 30 years after the subject has died, there is confusion here, perhaps by the family or perhaps by the writer Noah J. Arnold. Someone has misremembered Owen Arnold JR, the Revolutionary war soldier, as "Oliver Arnold" and as a father to Rebecca Arnold rather than her brother. Given Joshua and Rebecca's marriage date of 30 August 1772 (performed by her step-father, Rev. Reuben Hopkins [see Arnold VRRI, Scituate RI Marriages online]), Dr. Owen is their FIRST child as the biography gives his birth date as 13 March 1773 [ah! a sixth month baby!!] And logically as the first, he has the first name of Rebecca's deceased father.
As to the "British Officer", likely a "truish" claim of a family tradition. But rather than an army noncom, perhaps a senior mariner, if not a master. Note that there is an Owen Arnold who appears among the list of "1747 Redeemed Captives" annotated at NEHG Register vol 70 (July 1916) p. 262. He was a crew member of a vessel taken by a French privateer on May 11, 1746. The original notice says all the crew was of "the West of England", but the annotator states Owen was "of Newfoundland". Winding up in Narragansett Bay is a matter of just sailing south for some few days.
There is, as you know, no "Owen" first-named among the descendants of William Arnold of Providence, or Thomas Arnold of Smithfield. (See descendancy lists archived at Rootsweb.) Unless there's something tucked away in one of the RI town histories or in deeds/probates at Scituate, RI, this may be where the search ends. It is safe to say, however, that this Owen Arnold of RI does not belong to either of the two large RI Arnold families.
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