Fonds GB 0210 JEPOW - J. E. Powell Papers

Identity area

Reference code



J. E. Powell Papers


  • 1874-1927 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.2 cubic metres (7 boxes, 11 vols, 1 bundle)Some files are unfit for production - see file level descriptions.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

J. E. Powell was a Wrexham ironmonger. He was born around 1851 at Wrexham, Denbighshire, the son of Evan Powell, ironmonger, of Town Hill, Wrexham. He took over his father's ironmongery business about 1875, and established the Cambrian Ironworks in 1876 in association with his brother and a gentleman called John Whitaker. He had a keen interest in educational matters and was a member of the Central Welsh Board at the turn of the century as well as being a Governor on local school boards. He was also a member of the Calvinistic Methodist Church at Pentrefelin and was a Trustee and Chairman of the North Wales C. M. Loan Fund between 1907 and 1920. He served as a Justice of the Peace in Wrexham.

J. E. Powell was actively involved in the establishment of the Central Welsh Board of Education and was also a member of the Board. The Board was established in 1896 to foster educational interests and opinion in Wales. It comprised 80 members and its first meeting was held on 8 January 1897. J. E. Powell was present representing Denbighshire.

The Board was seen as an organisation created to foster discussion on educational matters in Wales. However, opinion regarding the value of J. E. Powell's contribution to the Board varied. O. M. Edwards, Chief Inspector of Education for Wales, described him in 1910 as 'a man of strong convictions and very stormy eloquence ... and was above all others, the champion of the Central Welsh Board - which he considered to be perfect ... and any criticism of Welsh intermediate education was treason...'.

Following a deputation sent by the Board in 1913 to see the President of the Board of Education, the Rt. Hon. J. A. Pease M.P., Powell was described as a 'mere appendage to the group'. It was also stated that 'Powell was present apparently to provide a boring and colourless historical interlude on the failure of Wales to establish a Welsh National Council for Education, and said, in his ignorance, that all the Welsh counties had joined in the attempt'.

J. E. Powell remained an active member of the Board up to 1925 when illness prevented him from attending meetings, although he continued to correspond with the Board until his death on 2 January 1926.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated by Mr R. E. G. Powell, Bangor, in February 1964.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The fonds contains the business and personal papers of J. E. Powell.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Action: The fonds has been appraised: details are given at the appropriate level of description..


Accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

The papers are arranged according to provenance into two groups: business records and personal papers.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes


Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Finding aid available in hard copy at NLW.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies


Related units of description

Records relating to Pentrefelin Calvinistic Methodist Church and North Wales C. M. Loan Fund have been transferred to C. M. Archives.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Previously called Cambrian Ironworks

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


GEAC system control number


Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

This description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) Second Edition; AACR2; and LCSH.


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

August 1999.


  • English



Archivist's note

Compiled by Mair James.

Archivist's note

The following source was used in the compilation of this description: Wales (North and South) Trades' Directory accompanied with a gazetter of England 1927 (London: Trades Directories Limited, 1927)

Accession area

Related subjects

Related genres

Related places

Physical storage

  • Text: $q - Some files are unfit for production - see file level descriptions..