Powell, Griffith (DNB00)

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).]

J. E. L.