Dictionary of Welsh Biography

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

POWELL , EDWARD ( 1478? - 1540 ), Roman Catholic theologian ;

b. in Wales c. 1478 and educated at Oxford , where he graduated M.A. , becoming a Fellow of Oriel College in 1495 . In 1501 he was appointed rector of Bleadon in Somerset and later held livings at Salisbury , Carlton-cum-Thurlby , Lyme Regis , Bedminster , Bristol , and Sutton le Marsh . After Henry VIII 's accession to the throne he preached a number of times at court. When Luther 's doctrines spread to England they were fiercely opposed by Powell in a dissertation, Propugnaculum summi Sacerdotii Evangelici , published in 1523 . He declared himself unequivocally opposed to Henry 's divorce from Catherine of Aragon and to his marriage with Anne Boleyn . For this reason, and also because he was constantly preaching against the Protestant Movement , he lost favour at court, and when, in 1534 , he refused to acknowledge the succession to the throne he was found guilty of high treason. He remained a prisoner in the Tower of London until July 1540 when he and five others were taken to Smithfield and executed .


  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and the authorities quoted therein;
  • T. P. Ellis , The Catholic Martyrs of Wales, 1535-1680 , 10-14.


Emyr Gwynne Jones, M.A., (1911-72), Bangor

Published date: 1959