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Friday, October 03, 2014

Venerable PHILIP POWELL, OSB, 1646



OF a good Welsh family, he was trained for the law in London under Father Augustine Baker, then a famous lawyer in the Temple, who became a Benedictine monk. Powel followed his example and entered the same order, and in 1622 was sent on the English Mission. He laboured for some twenty years in Devon, till this county was so overrun with Parliament soldiers that the only safe place for Catholics was with Goring's army, and Powel accompanied it till the force was disbanded. He was arrested when on a vessel bound for Wales. 

In his defence at King's Bench he pleaded that Henry VIII made a statute of qualification of all statutes, and that the reason of Queen Elizabeth's statute against priests was her fears and jealousies of the Queen of Scots and the Spaniards, with both of whom priests were believed to have relations. This was, however, a time of civil war, when the King's person was absent, and could not, therefore, be the object of a plot. Hence, both the person and the cause being taken away, this latter statute might receive the benefit of mitigation. He added that he was not guilty according to the letter of Elizabeth's statute, being taken not in England but at sea. He was, however, hanged, Tyburn, June 30.

"And all that heard Him were astonished at his wisdom and answers."—LUKE ii. 47.

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