the case of Jane Wenham, who was alleged to be able to fly: ‘You may—there is no law against flying;’ and Swift, who met him at Lord Oxford's, writes of him to Stella, 5 July 1711, as ‘an old fellow with grey hairs, who was the merriest old gentleman I ever saw, spoke pleasing things, and chuckled till he cried again.’ He was unmarried. A portrait of him in mezzotint was engraved by William Sherwin in 1711 (Notes and Queries, 4th ser. i. 128, 196).
[Foss's Judges of England; Luttrell's Diary, i. 220, 229; Bigland and Fosbrooke's Gloucester, ii. 149, confuses him with the elder judge, John Powell; so does Britton's Hist. of Church of Gloucester, and also Noble's Biogr. Hist. Engl. i. 168; Rudge's Gloucestershire, p. 89; for his judgments, see Shower's Reports and Lord Raymond's Reports.]
POWELL, JOHN (fl. 1770–1785), portrait-painter, was a pupil and assistant of Sir Joshua Reynolds, and an inmate of his house, where he was frequently employed in making reduced copies of Reynolds's portraits. These he executed with great fidelity, and occasionally exhibited at the Royal Academy. The portrait of the Duke of Cumberland in the National Portrait Gallery, after Reynolds, is stated to be the work of Powell. Among the pictures by Reynolds which were copied by Powell was the great family group of the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough with their children, now at Blenheim Palace. This important picture, being left in Powell's charge, was seized by his creditors, and narrowly escaped being cut up to pay his debts. According to Northcote, Reynolds, on seeing Powell's copy, perceived some important errors in the composition which he subsequently corrected.
[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Leslie and Taylor's Life and Times of Sir J. Reynolds; Scharf's Cat. of the Pictures, &c., at Blenheim Palace; Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1760–1893.]
POWELL, JOHN (fl. 1796–1829), water-colour-painter, is stated to have been born about 1780. He painted at first in oils, but subsequently devoted himself almost entirely to water-colours. His subjects were landscapes, chiefly drawn from English scenery, but sometimes of a topographical nature. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the ‘Old’ Society of Painters in Water-colours at the time of its foundation. Powell was largely engaged as a teacher of painting in water-colours; Samuel Redgrave [q. v.] was among his numerous pupils. Powell was a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy exhibitions from 1796 to 1829. He showed also considerable skill as an etcher, and published some etchings of trees for the use of his pupils, and some landscape etchings after the old masters. An etching of a landscape by Domenichino, now in the National Gallery, is executed with much force. He also published a few lithographs. There are water-colour drawings by him in the print-room at the British Museum, and at the South Kensington Museum. The date of his death has not been ascertained.
[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1760–1893; South Kensington Mus. Cat. of British Art.]
POWELL, JOHN JOSEPH (1755?–1801), legal writer, born about 1755, only son of James Powell of Queen Street, Westminster, was admitted a student at the Middle Temple on 25 April 1775. He practised as a conveyancer, and was probably a pupil of Charles Fearne [q. v.], whose classical essay on ‘Contingent Remainders’ he edited in 1795. He died at his residence in Guilford Place, Russell Square, on 21 June 1801. Powell was author of: 1. ‘A Treatise upon the Law of Mortgages,’ London, 1758, 8vo; 3rd edit. 1791, 2 vols. 8vo; 6th edit., by Coventry, 1826, 8vo. 2. ‘An Essay upon the Learning of Devises,’ London, 1788, 8vo; 3rd edit., by Jarman, 1827, 2 vols. 8vo. 3. ‘An Essay upon the Learning respecting the Creation and Execution of Powers,’ London, 1787; 2nd edit. 1799, 8vo. 4. ‘Essay upon the Law of Contracts and Agreements,’ London, 1790, 2 vols. 8vo. Powell's works were in high repute in their day, both in England and America, where they have been frequently re-edited.
[Middle Temple Register; Europ. Mag. 1801, pt. ii. p. 78; Gent. Mag. 1801, pt. ii. p. 675; Marvin's Legal Bibliography; Bridgman's Legal Bibliography; Brit. Mus. Cat.]
POWELL, MARTIN (fl. 1710–1729), puppet showman, came into notice early in the eighteenth century. Until 1710 he exhibited his marionettes at Bath and other provincial towns, but his fame had reached London, and in 1709 Isaac Bickerstaff (in the ‘Tatler’) complained that he was ridiculed in the satirical prologue and epilogue of Powell's marionette performance. Powell replied (August 1709) that he had neglected nothing to perfect himself in his art, having travelled in France, Italy, Spain, and Germany. Early in 1710 Powell removed to London, and established his theatre in the galleries of Covent Garden, opposite St. Paul's Church, afterwards known as Punch's theatre. In ludicrous rivalry with the Haymarket he arranged various puppet operas, including ‘Venus and Adonis, or the Triumphs of Love: a mock opera acted in Punch's thea-