Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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EVANS , JAMES ( 1866 - 1931 ), Calvinistic Methodist minister and author .

Born 16 April 1866 at Ystalyfera ; his parents were members of the Independent church , but on the father's death (when the boy was 13) the family moved to Tonna near Neath , and there joined the Calvinistic Methodists . After working at the Aber-dulais tin-plate works , Evans began preaching , and in 1891 went to Trevecka . He was pastor at Pontardulais ( 1895-1900 ), at Bethel , Brecon ( 1900-10 ), and from 1910 till his death (at Pontypool ), 1 Aug. 1931 , at Suffolk Street , Birmingham ; he was unmarried. Lethargic in outward appearance, he had a remarkably lively mind and a mordant wit. Despite his lack of academic advantages, he developed scholarship and a love of letters — and it may be added that despite his long association with Calvinistic Methodism , his childhood upbringing in Independency left the more permanent mark upon him. He graduated ( 1905 ) at Trinity College , Dublin , with honours (and a prize) in philosophy. Articles by him appeared in Y Traethodydd and the Hibbert Journal , and a small volume on ethics, 1928 , by him was published by the University of Wales . While at Birmingham , he contributed many essays on literary and general topics to the newspapers of the city; a selection of these was published in 1934 under the title A Bookman in the Making , with a biographical introduction by J. Young Evans .


  • J. Young Evans's introduction in James Evans, A Bookman in the Making: And Other Essays on Mind and Life, Writers and Readers (1934) ;
  • personal acquaintance.


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

Published date: 1959