Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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EVANS , HUGH ( 1712 - 1781 ), Baptist minister and Academy tutor .

He was a member of a family prominent in the history of the Baptist denomination in Radnorshire and north Brecknock — his very name, indeed, was given him in memory of the local Baptist ‘father’ who is the subject of the preceding article , though there was no blood-relationship between them. His grandfather Thomas Evans ( 1625 - 1688 ) is separately noticed. Thomas Evans 's son CALEB EVANS ( 1676 - 1739 ) took out a preaching-licence in 1705 , became pastor at Pentre ( Llanafan-fawr , Brecknock ) and d. 12 April 1739 ; two of Caleb 's sons will be noticed.

(1) Hugh Evans , who was b. in 1712 , was educated under David Price at Llwyn-llwyd Academy near Hay . He then went to live with an aunt at Bristol , where he received baptism and was in 1740 [7 Feb.] chosen coadjutor to Bernard Foskett , minister of Broadmead Baptist church and head of the Bristol Baptist Academy ; on Foskett 's death ( 1758 ) Evans succeeded him in both functions. He d. 28 March 1781 . His son CALEB EVANS ( 1737 - 1791 ), b. at Bristol 12 Nov. 1737 , became his coadjutor in 1758 and his successor in 1781 , dying [in Aug.] 1791 ; [he was D.D. of Aberdeen ]. Caleb Evans published several books , but is chiefly remembered for his championing of the American colonists against John Wesley in 1778 . Though he and his father had left Wales , neither lost touch with Wales . Joshua Thomas (q.v.) records that Hugh Evans regularly attended Welsh association meetings , and preached thereat seventeen times ‘always in English , but repeating portions of his sermon in Welsh ’; Caleb Evans ‘did not understand Welsh ,’ yet he would attend the meetings, and he preached six times. The Evanses were very influential among the Welsh Baptists , and their Academy attracted able young Baptists from Wales William Richards of Lynn ( 1749 - 1818 ) (q.v.) was one of these.

(2) CALEB EVANS (d. 1790 ), half-brother of Hugh . He was a schoolmaster , and though a preacher , never took a pastoral charge. He was tutor of the Baptist academy at Trosnant ( Ponty-pool ) in 1739 ; there he was prosecuted under the Schism Act , but was protected by the Dissenting Deputies (see Spinther , iii, 53). Later, he kept school for some twenty years at Usk , and after that at Bristol , where he d. in 1790 ; a grandson of his, John Evans ( 1767 - 1827 ) of Islington , is separately noticed. Several other members of this Evans clan became Baptist ministers .


  • Joshua Thomas , Hanes y Bedyddwyr ymhlith y Cymry , under ‘Dolau’ and ‘Pentre’,
  • and also his A History of the Baptist Association in Wales (1795) ;
  • [ Y Gwyddoniadur Cymreig (1889-96) (2nd ed.), x, 578, 574].


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

Published date: 1959