Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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EVANS , EVAN JOHN ( 1827 - 1891 ), Hebraist and college tutor ;

b. at Cribart in north Brecknock . No details of his early education are available, but he began preaching as a member of Troedrhiwdalar Independent church . At Coward College , London , he took a London B.A. in 1850 , and afterwards studied in Scotland and in Germany ; in 1854 he took a Ph.D. at Heidelberg . There is no record of his ordination, although from 1879 he is styled ‘Rev.’ From 1864 to 1877 he was tutor in Hebrew and philosophy at Cheshunt , from 1878 to 1887 professor of Hebrew and German at New College , London , and from 188 7 till his death professor of Hebrew and Old Testament there. With W. F. Hurndall he published Pulpit Memorials ( 1878 ), and at the time of his death he was engaged upon a critical commentary on the Psalms . He d. suddenly, 14 Jan. 1891 , and was buried at Hampstead 19 Jan. To outward seeming, thus, he had little to do with Welsh life — a note on him in Y Dysgedydd ( 1891 , 79) says that his failure to get a tutorship at Brecon Independent College had deeply embittered him, and it is known that he deprecated the perpetuation of Welsh . But he was interested in the provision of secondary and higher education in Wales . In Oct. 1878 he was appointed joint secretary (with Sir Lewis Morris , q.v. ) of the University College at Aberystwyth , was re-elected to that office in Oct. 1881 , but resigned it in Feb. 1884 , though he retained his membership of the Council . He appears to have been rather a difficult man, and his resignation, says a contemporary letter, ‘was accepted with alacrity.’


  • Information from Somerset House, from Mrs E. Morgan Humphreys (including a memorandum by his widow),
  • from New College (through the Rev. Prof. Bleddyn Jones Roberts ),
  • and from the Rev. C. E. Surman ;
  • The Thomas Charles Edwards Letters (Aberystwyth, 1952) (index),
  • and further information from Mr. T. I. Ellis .


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

Published date: 1959