The Powell family, like the Hornes, were clearly well established as farmers in and around Englefield in the 17th century, perhaps earlier, and as with the Hornes the spelling of the name varies. Also like the Hornes they were connected by marriage to many other relatively prosperous families around the area.
John Powell lived in Englefield at a house called "Cranmer" in his will, certainly the one called Cranmoor Farm by Ballard and Cranemoor House by William Bedding in 1779, when it formed part of the estate of Richard Carter and William Toovey, and was probably the old manor house of the Englefields. John and Elizabeth Powell had two daughters, Elizabeth and Alice. Elizabeth had married William Toovey in 1755, the year before John Powell died and Alice would marry Richard Carter the year after. The executors of John Powell’s will, made shortly before his death when he was “weak in body but of sound and disposing mind”, were his brother Thomas Powell and his nephew Thomas Carter. In this will John Powell left £1,800 to his daughter Alice on reaching her 23rd birthday, or on the day of her marriage, but is at great pains to ensure that such a marriage must meet with the approval of his executors. It may be, therefore, that he might have been trying either to ensure or to prevent Alice’s marriage to Richard Carter, which took place a few months short of her 23rd birthday.
John Powell’s elder brother Thomas was certainly still alive in 1762 for he had then a small amount of land at Englefield in his own right. Catherine Powell, Thomas’s wife, had died in 1761 though and has a large ledger stone just inside what was then the north entrance to Englefield church, since 1907 the door from the choir vestry. This is a unique honour for she is the only person thus commemorated in the body of the church other than John Paulet, Marquis of Winchester and his second wife, son and daughter. John Powell had a younger brother, William, who did not have any land in Englefield but may be the same William from Ufton who married Sarah Pottenger at Sulhamstead in 1739 and died at Ufton in 1777.
© 2021 Richard J Smith