Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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POWELL , HOWELL (d. 1716 ), Congregational minister ;

b. at Maes y Cletwr , Brychgoed , Brecknock . Nothing is known of his upbringing or of his early education. He was examined, on behalf of the Congregational Board , 29 March 1697 , with a view to his being sent for a course of study; he was recommended for the Saffron Walden Academy under Thomas Payne , but his name does not appear in the extant lists of students. The interest shown in him by the Congregational Board proves that he was a man with a special aptitude for the ministry; grants of £5 a year were made to him by the Board in 1697 , 1699 , 1702 , 1703 , and 1704 . He returned to Brecknock in 1700 and was ordained as minister of Beiliheulog church , which became the spiritual centre of the district. In 1709 he published Y Gwrandawr , a translation of a work by Dr. John Edwards , Oxford ; in 1711 he published his translation of a work by Elisha Cole . He travelled much in Brecknock and elsewhere in South Wales , preaching everywhere. He was a learned and cultured man with a gift for expounding the Gospels to country audiences. It was a great loss to Wales when he went to the U.S.A. in 1712 . He settled as a Congregational minister at Cohensey , New Jersey , but d. there in 1716 . William Rowlands ( Gwilym Lleyn ) erred in describing him as a Baptist .


  • Minutes of Cong. Fund Board , 1696-1704;
  • Transactions of the Congregational Historical Society , May 1911, 81-2;
  • Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru , iv, 346.


Reverend John Dyfnallt Owen, M.A., (1873-1956), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959