Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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EVAN(S) , EDWARD ( 1716 - 1798 ), Presbyterian minister and poet ;

b. March 1716 (possibly 1717 ) at Llwydcoed , Aberdare , son of Ifan ap Shôn ap Rhys , a weaver and smallholder . After a few years as a weaver he was apprenticed to carpentry under Lewis Hopkin (q.v.) , who also instructed him in the practice of the strict metres in poetry. In 1749 he took the farm of Ton Coch , above Dyffryn House , Mountain Ash . He had joined ( c. 1748 ) the Nonconformist congregation at Cwm-y-glo , and when a separate church was incorporated near Aberdare (now the ‘ Old Meeting ’) he became one of its leading members and a preacher . His theological views moved leftward to Arminianism , and later to Arianism . On 1 July 1772 he was ordained pastor of the ‘ Old Meeting ,’ and held office till 1796 . He d. 1 June 1798 and was buried in S. John's churchyard , Aberdare . He was twice m., (1) in 1744 to Margaret Thomas of Penderyn (d. April 1774 ), and (2) c. 1776 to Mary Llewelyn of Rhigos (d. 1824 ) — of this marriage there were two sons, Edward ( 1776? - 1862 ) and RHYS ( 1779 - 1867 ); Rhys was of some literary note and an eisteddfodwr .

During his lifetime Edward Evan(s) published (1) a Welsh translation of one of Samuel Bourn 's catechisms, 1757 ; (2) a translation in metre of the Book of Ecclesiastes , jointly with Lewis Hopkin (q.v.) , 1767 ; (3) a sermon, 1775 . After his death some of his poetry was published at Merthyr Tydfil in 1804 , under the title Caniadau Moesol a Duwiol — later (enlarged) editions under the title Afalau'r Awen ( Merthyr , 1816 , 1837 , Aberdare , 1874 ). He is an important figure in the history of strict-metre poetry in Glamorgan ; and it has been held that he was also of radical tendencies in politics.

Sources:

  • G. J. Williams , Traddodiad Llenyddol Morgannwg , 1948 , 1948 , chiefly 245-50, but consult index also;
  • R. T. Jenkins , ‘Bardd a'i Gefndir,’ in The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion , 1946-7 , 97-149, and references therein.

Author:

Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959