‘Old Parr;’ two candle-light subjects, after Schalken; and a plate in Dr. Hunter's ‘Anatomy of the Gravid Uterus.’ Two anonymous plates in Nash's ‘History of Worcestershire’ are evidently the work of Powle. He also scraped in mezzotint a portrait of Mrs. Worlidge, his master's third wife. Powle exhibited miniatures with the Free Society of Artists in 1764 and 1766, and with the Incorporated Society in 1769 and 1770; but his works of this class are not identified. James Ross of Worcester engraved a set of views of Hereford from drawings by Powle.
[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1760–1880; Smith's British Mezzotinto Portraits; Granger Correspondence, ed. Malcolm, 1805.]
POWLE, HENRY (1630–1692), master of the rolls and speaker of the Convention parliament, born at Shottesbrook in 1630, was second son of Henry Powle of Shottesbrook, Berkshire, who was sheriff for Berkshire in 1633, by his wife Katherine, daughter of Matthew Herbert of Monmouth. His brother, Sir Richard Powle, was M.P. for Berkshire in 1660–1, was knighted in 1661, and died in 1678.
Henry matriculated from Christ Church, Oxford, on 16 Dec. 1646. He was admitted to Lincoln's Inn on 11 May 1647, and became a barrister in 1654 and bencher in 1659. He first entered public life on 3 Jan. 1670–1, when he was returned for Cirencester to the Pensioners' parliament. At the time he held property at Williamstrop or Quenington in Gloucestershire, and was usually described as of the latter place. Powle first appeared in debate in February 1673, when he attacked Lord-chancellor Shaftesbury's practice of issuing writs for by-elections during the recess without the speaker's warrant. As a result of the debate all the elections were declared void, 6 Feb. 1672–3 (Parl. Hist. iv. 510; North, Examen, p. 56). Subsequently he opposed the Declaration of Indulgence. He was not anxious to extirpate papists, ‘but would not have them equal to us.’ To protestant dissenters he was willing to grant a temporary indulgence, but not to repeal all laws against them since Queen Elizabeth's time.
Powle soon fully identified himself with the opponents of the court. He declined to support the king's claim to the dispensing power. He promoted the passing of the Test Act in March. In the new session in October Powle led the attack on the proposed marriage between the Duke of York and the Princess Mary of Modena, and the king at once directed a prorogation. But before the arrival of black rod to announce it Powle's motion for an address was carried with ‘few negatives’ (Letters addressed to Sir Joseph Williamson, ii. 51). A week later another short session opened. Powle advised the withholding of supply till the grievances connected with papist favourites and a standing army were redressed, and he led the attack on the ‘villainous councillors,’ assailing in particular Anglesey and Lauderdale (27 Oct. and 3 Nov. 1673, ib. ii. 59). Next year he specially denounced Buckingham, and had a large share in driving him from office. In May 1677 he vigorously urged the wisdom of a Dutch alliance. When the commons sent an address to the king dictating such an alliance on 4 Feb. 1677–8, Charles indignantly summoned them to the banqueting-room at Whitehall. After their return to the house Powle stood up, but Sir Edward Seymour [q. v.], the speaker, informed him that the house was adjourned by the king's pleasure. Powle insisted, and the speaker sprang out of the chair and, after a struggle, got away (Townsend, Hist. of the House of Commons, i. 33). On their re-assembling five days later Powle declared that the whole liberty of the house was threatened by the speaker's conduct. In May 1678, when Charles sent a message to the house to hasten supply, Powle once more insisted on the prior consideration of grievances. Powle supported the impeachment of Danby, but in the agitation connected with the pretended discovery of the ‘popish plot’ he took no important part.
He was returned for both Cirencester and East Grinstead, Sussex, in Charles's second parliament, which met on 6 March 1678–9. He elected to represent Cirencester. Seymour, the speaker chosen by the commons, was declined by the king. Powle denied that the king had such power of refusal, and moved an address ‘that we desire time to think of it.’ During the discussion that followed, ‘Serjeant Streek named Powle himself as speaker, but was not suffered to proceed, as it might mean a waiver of their rights.’ Finally, Serjeant Gregory was elected. The new parliament pursued the attack on Danby. ‘Lyttleton and Powle,’ says Burnet (ii. 82), ‘led the matters of the House of Commons with the greatest dexterity and care.’ Meanwhile, Barillon, the French ambassador, anxious to render Danby's ruin complete, had entered into correspondence with Powle and other leaders of the opposition. Of Powle's influence and abilities Barillon formed a high opinion. ‘He is a man (Barillon wrote) fit to fill one of the first posts in England, very eloquent and very able. Our first cor-