Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 28.djvu/115
[Yorke's Royal Tribes of Wales, ed. Williams; Sir John Wynne's Hist. Gwydir Family; Williams's Eminent Welshmen.]
was ordered to be served before his axe in perpetuity, the food being afterwards given to the poor `for his soul's health.' This ceremony is said to have been observed till the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's time, eight yeoman attendants at 8d. a day having charge of the meat (ib. p. 30, and n.) 'Howel was also "raglot" of Aberglaslyn, and died between Michaelmas 2 and the same time 6 Rich. II,' leaving two sons, Meredydd, who lived in Eifionydd; and Davydd, who lived at Henblas, near Llanrwst (ib. p. 30 and n.; Williams, Eminent Welshmen).
HOWELL, FRANCIS (1625-1679), puritan divine, son of Thomas Howell of Gwinear, Cornwall, matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford, on 14 or 24 July 1642, at the age of seventeen. In 1648 he graduated M.A., and was elected fellow of his college and Greek reader on 10 Aug. in that year. About 1650 he was one of the independent ministers appointed to preach at St. Mary's, Oxford. On 28 April 1652 he became the senior proctor, and in the following June was among those who petitioned parliament for a new visitation of the university. Howell was nominated one of the visitors, and in 1654, under a fresh ordinance, was again placed on the list. In the same year (25 March 1654) the professorship of moral philosophy was bestowed upon him. Under a promise of Cromwell, and to the detriment of John Howe, he was created principal of Jesus College, Oxford, on 24 Oct. 1657, and consequently vacated in 1658 his fellowship at his old college. At the Restoration Howell was ejected from this preferment, and retired to London, where he preached 'with great acceptance' as assistant to the Rev. John Collins [q.v.] at Lime Street Chapel, Paved Alley. He died at Bethnal Green on 10 March 1679, and was buried at Bunhill Fields.[Wood's Univ. of Oxford (Gutch), vol. ii. pt. ii. pp. 644, 651-2, 662, 874; Wood's Colleges (Gutch), p. 578, App. p. 138; Boase's Reg. of Exeter College, pp. 69-70; Neal's Puritans, 1822 ed. iv. 111; Calamy's Nonconf. Mem. 1802 ed. i. 234; Calamy's Howe, 1724, p. 19; Wilson's Dissenting Churches, i. 229, iii. 23; Burrows's Visit. of Oxford Univ. (Camden Soc.), pp. 500, 504.]
HOWELL, JAMES (1594?-1666), author, was fourth child and second son of Thomas Howell by a daughter of James David Powell of Bualt. Howell states that his brothers and sisters numbered fourteen, but three sons, including Thomas, bishop of Bristol [q.v.], and three daughters composed the family according to the pedigree in Brit. Mus. MS. Harl. 4181, p. 258. The pedigree is traced back by modern representatives to Tudwal Glôff (fl. 878), son of Rhodri the Great. Howell's father, curate of Llangammarch, Brecknockshire, and afterwards rector of Cynwil and Abernant, Carmarthenshire, died in 1632, when James recounted his virtues in a pathetic letter to Theophilus Field, bishop of St. David's (Fam. Epist. i. § 6, vii.) Wood states that James was born at Abernant, where his father was residing in 1610, but, according to Fuller, Howell's elder brother, Thomas, afterwards bishop of Bristol [q.v.], was born at the Brynn, Llangammarch, and Howell, in his 'Letters,' mentions that place as the residence of his family. The Oxford matriculation register states that he was sixteen in 1610; he was, therefore, born about 1594. In a letter dated 1645 (i. § 6, 60) he vaguely speaks of himself as forty-nine years old, but Howell's dates are usually inexact. He was educated at Hereford Free School under 'a learned though lashing master' (Epist. i. § 1, 2). On 16 June 1610 he matriculated as 'James Howells' of Carmarthenshire from Jesus College, Oxford, and graduated B.A. on 17 Dec. 1613. Dr. Francis Mansell, Sir Eubule Thelwall, and Dr. Thomas Prichard, with whom he corresponded later on friendly terms, took much interest in him as an undergraduate. In 1623 he was elected, according to his own statement, fellow of Jesus on Sir Eubule Thelwall's foundation. He usually wrote of Oxford as 'his dearly honoured mother.'
Soon after taking his degree Howell, a 'pure cadet,' who was 'not born to land, lease, home, or office' (i. § 6, lx.), was appointed by Sir Robert Mansell, the uncle of his tutor, Francis Mansell, steward of a glassware manufactory in Broad Street, London. In 1616 he was sent by his employers to the continent to obtain materials and workmen. A warrant from the council enabled him to travel for three years, provided that he did not visit Rome or St. Omer. He passed through Holland, France, Spain, and Italy, became an accomplished linguist, and engaged competent workmen at Venice and Middleburg. On returning to London about 1622 he gave up his connection with the glasshouse, and, seeking to turn his linguistic capacity to account, made a vain application to join the embassy of Sir John Ayres to Constantinople. Sir James Croft, a friend of his father, recommended him as tutor to the sons of Lord Savage; but owing to his youth, and to the fact that his pupils were Roman catholics, he filled the post for a very short