Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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EVANS , WILLIAM ( 1716 - 1770 ), Independent minister ;

b. at Ystradgynlais in 1716 . When he was eighteen he became a member at Cwm-llynfell . He was twice m.; as a result of his second marriage he became a well-to-do farmer in Llangiwc parish. At the request of the Cwm-llynfell congregation he was licensed to preach , 5 April 1751 . He was minister of Cwm Mawr and Rhyd-y-maerdy , in the parish of Llan-rhidian , Gower , 1754-70 [according to the Cilgwyn church records, he was ordained in 1758 ]. Under his ministry Rhyd-y-maerdy became an important centre of the Independent church . Ministers from North and South Wales met there as occasion demanded and these meetings laid the foundations for the quarterly meetings of the Welsh Independents . John Thomas ( 1730 - 1804? ) (q.v.) was admitted from the Methodist connexion to the Independent communion at the meeting held on 10 and 11 June at Rhyd-y-maerdy ‘where the godly William Evans is the minister.’ William Evans was one of the eighteen prominent ministers who signed A Vindication of the Conduct of the Associated Ministers in Wales , published in 1771 — the profession of the ministers who were moderate Calvinists . He was minister of his mother-church at Cwmllynfell , 1767-70 , coming there after the great struggle between Arminianism and Calvinism , and the split between Cwmllynfell and Gellionnen . During those three years more than 150 members joined the church at Cwmllynfell . His theology was that of a moderate Calvinist , his preaching that of an evangelical. He d. 24 April 1770 and was buried in Llangiwc churchyard where his tomb may be seen to this day.

Sources:

  • Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru , ii, 27-9, 144;
  • Hanes Eglwys Cwmllynfell , 1935 , 17-21;
  • Rhad Ras , 1810; another ed., 1949 , 95;
  • Y Cofiadur [ 1923 , 16, 30].

Author:

Rev. John Dyfnallt Owen, M.A., (1873-1956), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959