Powell, Frederick York (1850 -1904)
Frederick York Powell was the eldest son of Frederick Powell, and Mary, daughter of James York. He was educated at Hastings, Rugby School, and Christ Church, Oxford, which he entered in 1869, and took a 1st Class in Law and Modern History in 1872. He entered the Middle Temple 8 November 1870, and was called to the bar 6 June 1874. The same year he was appointed to a lectureship in law at Christ Church, a post he held until 1894, with a year's interlude as history lecturer at Trinity. In 1876, he published Early England to the Norman Conquest, and afterwards collaborated with Guthbrandr Vigfùsson on a number of Icelandic works, including an Icelandic Prose Reader, the Corpus Poeticum Boreale, and Origines Islandicæ. In 1884 he was made a Student of Christ Church. After Vigfùsson's death, he turned more to Old English, Old French, and even Old German, publishing England from the earliest times to the death of Henry VII in 1885, and editing a series of ”English History from Contemporary Writers”. He was also involved in the founding of the English Historical Review. In 1894 he became Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford. A strong socialist and agnostic, Powell had many friends among the working classes, and a strong interest in all languages. In his later years, he learnt Persian, translated some quatrains of Omar Khayyam. His collection of editions of Fitzgerald's translation is in Balliol College Library. In 1874, he married the widow Mrs Florence Batten, daughter of R. Silke with whom he had a daughter, Mariella. He bequeathed to Christ Church, Oxford his Icelandic and Scandinavian collections of around eight hundred books, many of them gifts from Guthbrandr Vigfússon. Christ Church has deposited all of the collection, except for a set of Icelandic Bibles, in the English Faculty Library in Oxford.