POWELL (APOWELL), Adam (by 1496-1546), of Gloucester.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1496. m. Mary, 2s. 1da.1

Offices Held

Sheriff, Gloucester 1517-18, 1525-6, alderman 1529-d., coroner 1536-7, master of the guild of Holy Trinity 1536-7.2


Adam Powell remains a shadowy figure. No evidence has been found to support the surmise that he was the son of Philip ap Howell and his wife Joan, who was nurse to Henry VII, and the enigmatic epithet ‘very severe’ applied to him in a letter of 1519 is the only known fragment of information about his personality. Powell was assessed for the subsidy in 1523 at 40s. and in 1544 on goods worth £40. He was said in 1542 to be the tenant of a messuage in the city which had belonged to Derehurst priory. His election to the Parliament of 1529 was a measure of his standing in the city. He may have sat in that of 1523, for which the names of the Gloucester Members are unknown, and almost certainly did so in that of June 1536 in accordance with the King’s request for the return of the previous Members: the only other Parliament in which he could have sat is that of 1542, when the names are again lost. Ten days before his death on 5 Mar. 1546 Powell made a will, asking to be buried in the chancel of St. Michael’s church, Gloucester. He left beds to his two sons, one of whom was under 21, and to his daughter Elizabeth Machyn who was presumably the wife of one of the supervisors, John Machyn.3

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Authors: L. M. Kirk / M. K. Dale


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Gloucester consist. ct. wills 1545.
  • 2. Gloucester Guildhall 1300; 1375, ff. 27v-28.
  • 3. CPR, 1485-94, pp. 95, 365; LP Hen. VIII, iii, xiii, xvii, xix; E179/113/214, 114/245; Gloucester consist. ct. wills 1545; Gloucester Guildhall 1375, f. 28.