Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/237

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223
POWDER—POWER

frequented sea-bathing resort in northern Portugal; it is also the headquarters of important sardine, hake, and sea-bream fisheries.


POWDER (through O. Fr. puldre, modern poudre, from Lat. pulvis, pulveris, dust), the small loose particles into which solid matter is disintegrated by such processes as grinding, crushing, pounding, &c., hence any preparation which takes the form of such loose uncompacted particles, the most familiar example of such preparation being that of gunpowder (q.v.). Many powders are found in medical uses, some of which have retained the name of their inventor, such as the compound powder of rhubarb, “ Gregory powder,” named after a Scottish doctor, James Gregory (1758–1822). Various preparations in form of powder are used for toilet purposes. During the period when the hair or wig was worn “ powdered ” or whitened, houses had a special room set apart for the process, known as the powdering-room or closet. In some birds, such as the herons, certain down-feathers or plumulae break off into a fine dust as fast as they are formed and form tracts defined in size and situation and known as “ powder-down patches.”


POWELL, FREDERICK YORK (1850–1904), English historian and scholar, was born in Bloomsbury, London, on the 14th of January 1850. Much of his childhood was spent in France and Spain, so that he early acquired a mastery of the language of both countries and an insight into the genius of the people. He was educated at Rugby School, and matriculated at Oxford as an unattached student, subsequently joining Christ Church, where he took a first-class in law and modern history in 1872. He was called to the bar at the Middle Temple in 1874, and married in the same year. He became law-lecturer and tutor of Christ Church, fellow of Oriel College, delegate of the Clarendon Press, and in 1894 he was made regius professor of modern history in succession to J. A. Froude. Although he never made any extensive contribution to history, he was a particularly stimulating teacher. He had been attracted in his school days to the study of Scandinavian history and literature, and he was closely allied with Professor Gudbrandt Vigfússon (d. 1889), whom he assisted in his Icelandic Prose Reader (1897), Corpus poeticum boreale (1887), Origines islandicae (1905), and in the editing of the Grimm Centenary papers (1886). He took a keen interest in the development of modern French poetry, and Verlaine, Mallarmé and Verhaeren all lectured at Oxford under his auspices. He was also a connoisseur in japanese art. In politics his sympathies were with the oppressed of all nationalities; he had befriended refugees after the Commune, counting among his friends Jules Vallès[1] the author of Les Réfractaires; and he was also a friend of Stepniak and his circle. He died at Oxford on the 8th of May 1904.

See the Life, with letters and selections, by Oliver Elton (1906).


POWELL, GEORGE (c. 1658~1714), English actor and playwright, was the son of an actor of the same name (d. c. 1698), with whom, as the king of Bakarn, he first appeared in 1687, as Emanuel in The Island Princess, Tate's version of Fletcher's play. He wrote or adapted Alphonso, King of Naples (1661), Treacherous Brothers (1676), and Very Good Wife (1693), and acted in them and in a long list of contemporary plays almost until his death. As a tragedian he succeeded to many of Betterton's parts, but not to his genius.


POWELL, JOHN WESLEY (1834-1902), Americangeologist and ethnologist, was born at Mount Morris, New York, on the 24th of March 1834. His parents were of English birth, but had moved to America in 1830, and' he was educated at Illinois and Oberlin colleges. When the Civil War broke out he entered the Union Army as a private, and at the battle of Shiloh he lost his right arm. He continued, however, on active service and served as division chief of artillery before Vicksburg, reaching the rank of major of volunteers. In 1865 he was appointed professor of geology and curator of the museum in the Illinois Wesleyan University at Bloomington, and afterwards at the Normal University. In 1867 he commenced a series of expeditions to the Rocky Mountains and the canyons of the Green and Colorado rivers, during the course of which (1869) he made a daring boat journey of three months, through the Grand Canyon, the river channel not having previously been explored. In these travels he gathered much valuable information on the geology, and he also made a special study of the Indians and their languages. His able Work led to the establishment under the U.S. government of the geographical and geological survey of the Rocky Mountain region with which he was occupied in 1870-1879. This survey, with those of Ferdinand Hayden (1829-1887) and Captain George M. Wheeler (b. 1842) was incorporated with the United States Geological and Geographical Survey under Clarence King (1842-1901) in 1879, when Powell became director of the Bureau of Ethnology, a department he had assisted in founding. On King's resignation in 1881, Powell was appointed director also of the Geological Survey, a post which he occupied until 1894. To him the present thorough organization of the U.S. Geological Survey is largely due.

His principal publications were Exploration of the Colorado River of the West and its Tributaries (1875), Report on the Geology of the Eastern Portion of the Uinta Mountains (1876), Report on the Lands of the Arid Region of the United S totes (1879), Introduction to the Study of Indian Languages (1880), Canyons of the Colorado (1895), Truth and Error (1898). Especially important were his observations on what is now termed the “Uinta type” of mountain structure: a broad, flattened anticline, from which the strata descend steeply into bordering low grounds and quickly resume their horizontality-being sometimes faulted, and affording evidence of enormous denudation. He died in Haven, Maine, on the 23rd of September 1902.

See F. S. Dellenbaugh, Romance of the Colorado River (New York, 19053, and Canyon Voyage: Second Powell Expedition (New York, 1908).


POWELL, VAVASOR (1617-1670), Welsh Nonconformist, was by birth a Radnorshire man and was educated at Jesus College, Oxford. About 1639 he entered upon the career of 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 the victory of the parliamentary cause was assured, 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 IOSO parliament appointed a commission “for the better propagation and preaching of the gospel in Wales, ” and Powell acted 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, and after a short period of freedom he was again seized, and he remained in prison for seven years. He was set free in 1667, but in the following year he was again a prisoner, and he was in custody when he died on the 27th of October 1670. Powell wrote several treatises and also 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; Vovasoris Examen et Purgarrlen (1654), by E. Allen and others; D. Neal, History of the Puritans (1822); and T. Rees, History of Protestant Nonconforrnity in Wales 1861


POWER [WILLIAM GRATTAN] TYRONE (1797-1841),

Irish actor, was born near Kilmacthomas on the 2nd of November 1797. At the age of fourteen he joined a company of strolling players, eventually getting small parts in the London theatres. On the sudden death of Charles Connor he was given his parts and was immediately recognized as the best stage Irishman of his generation, becoming a popular favourite in London, Dublin and America. He was on board the ill-fated “ President ” when she foundered at sea in March 1841. Power wrote and

  1. (1833–1885), member of the Commune of 1871.