tended by all the male actors of the company. Davies says that Powell was alive in 1717, in which year he saw his name in a bill. This error has been copied by Bellchambers in his edition of Cibber's ‘Apology,’ and is rectified by Mr. Lowe in his later edition.
Powell had high qualifications for tragedy, and came in for many parts of Mountfort and Betterton, not, however, without, in the case of the latter, incurring the charge of presumption. His life was debauched, and he was in such constant dread of arrest as to menace with his sword sheriffs' officers when he saw them in the street. Addison, in the ‘Spectator,’ No. 40, accuses him of raising applause from the bad taste of the audience, but adds, ‘I must do him the justice to own that he is excellently formed for a tragedian, and, when he pleases, deserves the admiration of the best judges.’ Booth told Cibber that the sight of the contempt and distress into which Powell had fallen through drunkenness warned him from an indulgence in drinking to which he was prone. Cibber had a personal dislike to Powell, which he is at little pains to conceal. He depicts a scene in which Powell, who ‘was vain enough to envy Betterton as a rival,’ mimicked him openly in a performance of the ‘Old Bachelor.’ On another occasion Powell, according to Chetwood, imitated Betterton as Falstaff. In his long rivalry with Wilks, Powell had ultimately to succumb. Powell seems to have been quarrelsome, and to have assaulted Aaron Hill and young Davenant. This latter offence embroiled the company with the lord chamberlain. When, as in the case of Wilks, he found men ready to give him ‘satisfaction,’ his anger would evaporate. In physical endowments and in power of acting, Powell, until he took to haunting the Rose tavern, was held the superior of Wilks. Mills, a commonplace but trustworthy actor, was often exalted over his head. Aston charges Powell in his acting with out-heroding Herod. When imitating Betterton, he used to parody his infirmities. He seems, indeed, to have been a churlish, ill-conditioned man, but was a better actor than might be supposed from Cibber's ungracious references to him. No portrait is to be traced.
[Genest's Account of the English Stage; Baker, Reed, and Jones's Biographia Dramatica; Davies's Dramatic Miscellanies; Downes's Roscius Anglicanus; Cibber's Apology, ed. Lowe; Aston's Brief Supplement; Doran's Annals of the English Stage, ed. Lowe; Wheatley and Cunningham's London Past and Present; Chetwood's History of the Stage, Dibdin's History of the Stage; Clark Russell's Representative Actors.]
POWELL or POWEL, GRIFFITH (1561–1620), principal of Jesus College, Oxford, was the third son of John ap Hywel ap John of Prysg Melyn in the parish of Llan Sawel, Carmarthenshire, and his wife Annes, daughter of Gruffydd ap Henry. He was born in 1561, matriculated at Oxford from Jesus College, 24 Nov. 1581, and graduated B.A. 28 Feb. 1583–4, M.A. 21 June 1589, B.C.L. 12 July 1593, and D.C.L. 23 July 1599. In 1613 he was elected principal of Jesus College, a position he held until his death on 28 June 1620. He was buried in St. Michael's Church, Oxford, and his will was proved on 15 June 1621. He took a warm interest in the progress of his college, and the present hall and chapel were both built during his principalship by benefactors whose sympathy he enlisted. He bequeathed his property to the college.
Powel was the author of ‘Analysis Analyticorum Posteriorum sive librorum Aristotelis de Demonstratione,’ Oxford, 1594, 8vo (Bodleian); and of ‘Analysis lib. Aristotelis de Sophisticis Elenchis,’ Oxford, 1598, 8vo (Brit. Mus. and Bodl.). The latter, which was dedicated to the Earl of Essex, contains, besides the translation, an address to the academic reader, and prolegomena. Another edition appeared in 1664 (Bodl.). Wood quotes the stanza
Griffith Powell, for the honour of his nation,
Wrote a book of Demonstration;
But having little else to do
He wrote a book of Elenchs too.
He is credited with other philosophical works which were not published.
[Lewis Dwnn's Heraldic Visitations, i. 223–4; Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ii. 283; Chalmers's Hist. of the Colleges, Halls, &c., of Oxford (Oxford, 1810).]
POWELL, HUMPHREY (fl. 1548–1556), printer, was in 1548 engaged in printing in Holborn Conduit, London. In that year he published two works, ‘An Holsome Antidotus,’ 8vo, and ‘Certayne Litel Treatises,’ 8vo; and two other books, ‘Œcolampadius's Sermon’ and ‘Barclay's Eclogues,’ without date, were issued by him about the same time. In 1551 Powell removed to Dublin, where he became printer to the king, and established the first printing press in Ireland; he resided first ‘in the great toure by the Crane’ (probably in Crane Lane), but subsequently removed to St. Nicholas Street. The only book known to have issued from his press in Dublin was a verbal reprint of the English common prayer of 1549; it appeared in 1551, and a perfect copy is extant in Trinity College Library,