POWELL family, of Nanteos (and anciently of Llechwedd-dyrus), near Aberystwyth

This family claims descent from Edwin ap Gronow of Tegeingl.

Dafydd ap Philip ap Hywel is said to have been the first 'ap Hywel (whence Powell) connected with Llechwedd-dyrus, the first seat of the family; his wife, according to Peniarth MS 156 (see West Wales Historical Records, i), was daughter of John ap Edward of Nanteos. Their grandson, Sir THOMAS POWELL, Serjeant-at-law (1688), a Baron of the Exchequer, and 'Judge of the King's Bench in Kg. James the Second's time' (Peniarth MS 156 ), married Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of David Lloyd (Gwyn) of Aberbrwynen, and was the father of WILLIAM POWELL. The latter married Avarina, daughter of Cornelius le Brun by his wife, Ann, daughter and co-heiress of John Jones of Nanteos.

William Powell's eldest son

THOMAS POWELL (died 1752)

was Member of Parliament for Cardigan borough, 1725-7 and 1729-30, and for Cardigan county, 1721, 1742-7. His wife was Mary, grand-daughter of Sir John Frederick, lord mayor of London (1662). Thomas Powell gave £50 towards restoring Cardigan church in 1748. He died 16 November 1752, his estate devolving upon his only surviving brother

Rev. WILLIAM POWELL, D.C.L. (1705 - 1780)

(John Powell, the other brother, had died in Africa; see Peniarth MS 156 ).

William Powell went from Hereford School to S. John's College, Oxford, 14 January 1722/3, aged 17 (matriculated 1723, B.A. 1726/7, M.A. 1730). He was ordained deacon (diocese of Lincoln) 19 September 1731 and became curate of Elton, Huntingdonshire. He was created doctor of civil law, 8 July 1763, being then of Nanteos, Cardiganshire (Scott-Mayor, iii, 358; Foster, Alumni Oxonienses). Dr. Powell figures prominently in the 'Morris Letters' - for page references see 'Index of Persons' by Hugh Owen (1942) - owing to the dispute with Lewis Morris over Cardiganshire mines and mining; for details see D. Lleufer Thomas, ' Lewis Morris in Cardiganshire,' in Cymm., xv.

His son, by his wife Elizabeth, daughter and co-heiress of Athelstan Owen, Rhiwsaeson, Montgomeryshire, and Anna Corbet (of Ynysmaengwyn, Merioneth), was

THOMAS POWELL (1745? - 1797)

who married Eleanor, eldest daughter of Edward Maurice Corbet, also of Ynysmaengwyn. Thomas Powell, who was sheriff of Cardiganshire in 1785, figures in the annals of the Welsh School, London (now continued as the Welsh Girls' School, Ashford, Middlesex); e.g., he laid the foundation stone of the Gray's Inn Road building (1771?) - see Rachel Leighton, Rise and Progress: The Story of the Welsh Girls' School, 1950. He was also prominently connected with the (old) Cardiganshire Agricultural Society; see Reports for 1790, 1792, etc.

He was the father of


Born 16 February 1788. He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford. He became lord lieutenant of Cardiganshire, was high sheriff in 1810, and Member of Parliament for the county, 1816-54. Like his father, he took an active part in the affairs of the Cardiganshire Agricultural Society (Reports, 1804, 1807, 1812, 1815). He married (1) 1810, Laura Edwina (died 1822), eldest daughter of James Sackville Tufton Phelp, Coston House, Leicestershire, and (2) [ 1841 ], Harriett Dell, youngest daughter of Henry Hutton, Cherry Willingham, Lincolnshire. He died 10 April 1854.

His heir (by his first wife) was


Born 3 August 1815, and educated at Westminster. He married, 1839, Rosa Edwyna, daughter of William George Cherry, Buckland, Herefordshire. He was Member of Parliament for Cardiganshire, 1859-65. He died 13 May 1878, and was succeeded by his son

GEORGE ERNEST JOHN POWELL (1842 - 1882), poet and eccentric

friend of A. C. Swinburne, H. W. Longfellow, etc. Born 10 February 1842. He matriculated 23 May 1861 as of Brasenose College, Oxford, and succeeded to the Nanteos estate in 1878 on the death of his father. He himself died 17 October 1882 and is buried in Llanbadarn-fawr churchyard. He had married, 10 May 1881, Dinah T. Harries, of Goodwick, Pembrokeshire.

George E. J. Powell published Quod Libet (Aberystwyth, 1860); Poems, by Miölnir Nanteos (Aberystwyth, 1860); Poems, by Miôlnir Nanteos, Second Series (Aberystwyth, 1861); and, with Eirikr Magnusson, he translated Icelandic Legends Collected by Jon Arnasson (1st series, 1864; 2nd series, 1866). There are numerous letters to him from A. C. Swinburne in the National Library of Wales (together with a volume containing transcripts made by George Eyre Evans).

He died without issue and was succeeded by his father's cousin


son of Richard Owen Powell (died 1859). W. B. Powell married Anna Maria, daughter of David Lewis, Bronavon, and had issue, EDWARD ATHELSTAN LEWIS POWELL (1870 - 1930), who married Margaret Louisa Joan, elder daughter of Sir Pryse Pryse, Bart., of Gogerddan. Their son and heir, lieutenant WILLIAM EDWARD GEORGE PRYSE WYNNE POWELL (born 1899), Welsh Guards, was killed in action in France, 6 November 1918. With the death of E. A. L. Powell in 1930 the male line of Powell of Nanteos became extinct.



Published date: 1959

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