Vavasor (or Vavasour) Powell (1617 - October 27, 1670), was a Welsh Nonconformist leader and writer.
He was born in Radnorshire and was educated at Jesus College, Oxford. In about 1639 he became an itinerant preacher and for preaching in various parts of Wales he was twice arrested. In 1640, however, he was not punished and during the Civil War he preached in and around London. In 1646, when Parliament's victory was certain, 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 1650 parliament appointed a commission for the better propagation and preaching of the gospel in Wales with Powell acting 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, after a short period of freedom he was once again seized and incarcerated, remaining in prison for seven years. He was set free in 1667, however, in the following year he was again imprisoned and was in custody until his death. Powell wrote several treatises and 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; Daniel Neal, History of the Puritans (1822); and T Rees, History of Protestant Nonconformity in Wales (1861).
This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopędia Britannica.