Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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EVANS , ARISE ( sic for A-Rice = Ap Rice , Ap Rhys ) ( fl. 1607-1660 ), prognosticator ;

b. about 1607 in Llangelynin parish, Mer. [according to Haul , 1940 , 170, at the house of Ynys-faig ], he was apprenticed to a tailor at Wrexham , where he was first called Arise (henceforth he felt there was a special message to him in every Scripture verse that contained the word). He had seen visions and dreamt dreams before he left his old home, and these were accentuated when he went to London in 1629 ; before long he made a vain effort to give warning in person to Charles I of his dangers, but succeeded in telling the earl of Essex to his face of his future promotions. He became highly interested in the multifarious sects that flourished under the new liberty, and flatly opposed most of them, especially the tenets of the Fifth Monarchists , and particularly those of Christopher Feake and William Aspinwall . During the stirring events of 1653-5 he managed to interview the Protector , but the pamphlets he wrote referred confidently to a Restoration ; in 1653 , indeed, he gave a forecast of the course of events in England following Cromwell 's death that came remarkably near the truth. His Narrations, Voices from Heaven , and Echoes of those Voices , contain weird and impossible extravagances, but there are passing references of great interest, notably to John Jones ( 1597? - 1660 ) (q.v.) the regicide 's acquaintance with the lake of Tal-y-llyn , to Christopher Love (q.v.) speaking to him in Welsh , to the Welsh connections of Oliver Cromwell , to the heresies of William Lilly the astrologer . His works contain barbarous spellings of Welsh place-names, but possibly that was the fault of the printers . The date of his death is not known, but he lived long enough for an abnormal growth in his nose to be cured by king Charles II , not by the king doing anything, but by the prophet rubbing his nose on the royal hand in S. James's Park .

Sources:

  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ;
  • J. H. Davies , Rhai o hen ddewiniaid Cymru , 1901 , 11-25;
  • Catalogue of tracts of the Civil War and Commonwealth period relating to Wales and the Borders, National Library of Wales , 1911 295a, 297a, 300, 300a, 301a, 305a, 306a;
  • The Thomason Tract in the British Museum E 224.1.

Author:

Thomas Richards, D.Litt., (1878-1962), Bangor

Published date: 1959