Thomas Powel

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Thomas Powel
%3FProfessor Thomas Powel (1845-1922) NLW3364243.jpg
Prof. Powel photographed by John Thomas
OccupationProfessor of Celtic

Thomas Powel (1845 16 May 1922) was a Welsh Celtic scholar, who was Professor of Celtic at University College, Cardiff from 1884 [1] to 1918.

Celtic studies academic discipline

Celtic studies or Celtology is the academic discipline occupied with the study of any sort of cultural output relating to the Celtic people. This ranges from linguistics, literature and art history, archaeology and history, the focus lying on the study of the various Celtic languages, living and extinct. The primary areas of focus are the six Celtic languages currently in use: Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Manx, Welsh, Cornish, and Breton.



Powel was born in Llanwrtyd in 1845 and educated there and in Llandovery before matriculating at Jesus College, Oxford in 1869. He obtained a BA degree in Literae Humaniores in 1872.

Llanwrtyd Parish in Wales

Llanwrtyd is a small settlement in Powys, mid-Wales, in the historic county of Brecknockshire (Breconshire), through which flows the River Irfon. It lies 1.5 miles north of the town of Llanwrtyd Wells.

Llandovery Market town and community in Carmarthenshire, Wales

Llandovery is a market town and community in Carmarthenshire, Wales. It lies on the River Tywi and the junction of the A40 and A483 roads, around 25 miles (40 km) northeast of Carmarthen and 27 miles (43 km) north of Swansea.

Matriculation entering a university

Matriculation is the formal process of entering a university, or of becoming eligible to enter by fulfilling certain academic requirements such as a matriculation examination.

He taught at the Independent College in Taunton from 1878 to 1880, when he was appointed headmaster of Bootle College, holding that position until 1883. He then became an assistant lecturer in classics at the new University College, Cardiff, then lecturer in Celtic. In the following year, 1884, he was appointed Professor of Celtic, continuing in this position until he retired in 1918. He edited (18791886) and contributed articles on linguistics and literature to the Welsh language journal Y Cymmrodor; he also edited medieval texts, including Thomas Stephens's version of Y Gododdin .

Taunton Country town of Somerset, England

Taunton is a large town in Somerset, England. The town's population in 2011 was 69,570. Taunton has over 1,000 years of religious and military history, including a 10th century monastery and Taunton Castle, which has origins in the Anglo Saxon period and was later the site of a priory. The Normans then built a stone structured castle, which belonged to the Bishops of Winchester. The current heavily reconstructed buildings are the inner ward, which now houses the Museum of Somerset and the Somerset Military Museum.

Welsh language Brythonic language spoken natively in Wales

Welsh ; [kəmˈrɑːɨɡ](listen)) or y Gymraeg is a Brittonic language of the Celtic branch of the Indo-European language family. It is spoken natively in Wales, by some in England, and in Y Wladfa. Historically, it has also been known in English as 'British', 'Cambrian', 'Cambric' and 'Cymric'.

Thomas Stephens was a Welsh apothecary, historian and critic. He was born at Pont Nedd Fechan, Glamorganshire, the son of a shoemaker. His works include The Literature of the Kymry (1849), The History of Trial by Jury in Wales, and an essay in which he demolished the claim of the Welsh under Madoc to the discovery of the Americas. He also wrote on the life and works of the bard Aneurin, and produced an English translation of Y Gododdin. The critical methods that he adopted in his works often made him unpopular with the less discriminating enthusiasts for the glory of Wales, but he earned the respect of serious scholars.

He helped Cardiff to obtain important manuscripts and books for the university and city libraries and was a member of the governing body of the National Library of Wales from its foundation. He said that he chose to give his time to his students rather than to his own research. The University of Wales awarded him an honorary D.Litt. degree in 1921. He died in Aberystwyth on 16 May 1922. [2]

National Library of Wales Grade II* listed building in Aberystwyth. Legal deposit library in Aberystwyth

The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, is the national legal deposit library of Wales and is one of the Welsh Government sponsored bodies. It is the biggest library in Wales, holding over 6.5 million books and periodicals, and the largest collections of archives, portraits, maps and photographic images in Wales. The Library is also home to the national collection of Welsh manuscripts, the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales, and the most comprehensive collection of paintings and topographical prints in Wales. As the primary research library and archive in Wales and one of the largest research libraries in the United Kingdom, the National Library is a member of Research Libraries UK (RLUK) and the Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL).

University of Wales Confederal university based in Cardiff, Wales, UK

The University of Wales was a confederal university based in Cardiff, Wales, UK. Founded by Royal Charter in 1893 as a federal university with three constituent colleges – Aberystwyth, Bangor and Cardiff – the university was the first and oldest university in Wales, one of the four countries in the United Kingdom. The university was the second largest university in the UK.

Aberystwyth town in Ceredigion, Wales

Aberystwyth is an ancient market town, administrative centre, community, and holiday resort in Ceredigion, Wales. It is located near the confluence of the Ystwyth and the Afon Rheidol.

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  1. "Chairs and Professors of Universities in the United Kingdom". Who's Who Year-book for 1908. p. 132.
  2. Lewis, Henry. "Powel, Thomas (18451922), Celtic scholar". Welsh Biography Online. National Library of Wales . Retrieved 4 September 2008.
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