Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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POWELL , PHILIP ( 1594 - 1646 ), O.S.B. ,

was b. at Trallwng ( Trallwng Cynfyn ), Brecknock , 2 Feb. 1594 , the son of Roger ap Rosser Powell and Catherine Morgan . He was sent to Abergavenny grammar school where the headmaster , Morgan Lewis (father of Fr. David Lewis , S.J. , q.v. ), recommended him to Dom David Augustine Baker , O.S.B. (q.v.) saying: ‘ O, Saint o vaighgen y'e, ’ The latter supervised his law studies from 1610 to 1614 , and then sent him to Flanders where he studied, at Fr. Baker 's expense, at the University of Louvain , 1614-19 . He was ordained priest in 1618 and was professed a monk on 15 Aug. 1619 , having studied under Dom Leander Jones , O.S.B. (q.v.) . He was next made cellarer of S. Gregory's monastery , Douai , and was sent on the English mission on 7 March 1622 . He lived with Dom Baker for sixteen months in Gray's Inn Lane , London . For the following twenty years he was chaplain to various families in Devon and Somerset until the Civil War broke out. After serving as a chaplain to Royalist troops , he tried to make his way to Monmouthshire in 1646 . He was arrested off the Mumbles on 22 Feb. 1646 by capt. Crowther , who kept him confined in his ship for two months in Penarth Roads and then sent him by sea to London . On 16 June he was condemned for his priesthood after trial in Westminster Hall and was executed at Tyburn , 30 June 1646 .


  • Dom. Bede Camm , Nine Martyr Monks. The lives of the English Benedictine martyrs beatified in 1929 (1931) , 318-43;
  • The Downside Review , xlviii;
  • Rev. F. E. Llewellyn Jones , The Blessed Philip Powell ;
  • Catholic Record Society , xxxiii, 99;
  • T. P. Ellis , The Welsh Benedictines of the terror (Newtown, 1936) , 166-79;
  • Joseph Gillow , A Literary and Biographical History or Biographical Dictionary of the English Catholics (c.1895–1902) ;
  • Challoner , Memoirs of Missionary Priests, … and of other Catholics, … that have suffered death in England, on religious accounts, from … 1577 to 1684 .


John Martin Cleary, Cardiff

Published date: 1959