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VAVASOR POWELL (1617-1670)

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Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 223 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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VAVASOR POWELL (1617-1670), Welsh Nonconformist, was by birth a Radnorshire man and was educated at Jesus College, Oxford. About 1639 he entered upon the career of an itinerant preacher, and for preaching in various parts of Wales he was twice arrested in 164o; however, he was not punished and during the Civil War he preached in and around London. In 1646, when the victory of the parliamentary cause was assured, Powell returned to Wales, having received a certificate of character from the Westminster Assembly, although he had refused to be ordained by the Presbyterians. With a salary granted to him by parliament he resumed his itinerant preaching in Wales. In 165o parliament appointed a commission " for the better propagation and preaching of the gospel in Wales," and Powell acted as one of the principal advisers of this body. For three years he was actively employed in removing from their parishes those ministers whom he regarded as incompetent. In 1653 he returned to London, and having denounced Cromwell for accepting the office of Lord Protector he was imprisoned. At the Restoration in 1660 he was arrested for preaching, and after a short period of freedom he was again seized, and he remained in prison for seven years. He was set free in 1667, but in the following year he was again a prisoner, and he was in custody when he died on the 27th of October 1670. Powell wrote several treatises and also some hymns, but his chief gifts were those of a preacher. See The Life and Death of Mr Vavasor Powell (1671), attributed to Edward Bagshaw the younger; Vavasoris Examen et Purgamen (1654), by E. Allen and others; D. Neal, History of the Puritans (1822); and T. Rees, History of Protestant Nonconformity in Wales (1861).
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