Dictionary of Welsh Biography



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EVANS , WILLIAM (d. 1718 ), Dissenting minister and academy tutor . The date of his birth is unknown, but he called himself a disciple of the ‘revered Gamaliel’ Rhys Prydderch of Ystrad Wallter (q.v.) , whose Gemau Doethineb he seems to have brought through the press in 1714 (there were several editions, one as late as 1937 ). He was ordained as an Independent in 1688 , for pastoral work at Pencader , where the money sustenance was thin indeed, but helped out by his wife's income and the pupils of a small school which he kept there. In 1702-3 he moved from Pencader to Carmarthen to superintend the Independent causes in that neighbourhood, to keep a school under the auspices of the S.P.C.K. , and to act as tutor to young men preparing for the ministry ; he kept up very close relations with his old flock at Pencader , and managed to secure for Independent worship the sometime Anglican chapel-of-ease at Llan-y-bri . He trained several doughty Calvinists at his Carmarthen Academy (which was in indirect succession to those at Brynllywarch and Aber-gavenny ), and saw to it that both the students thereat and his Independent congregations at Carmarthen and Pencader were thoroughly conversant with the Shorter Catechism of the Westminster Assembly ; in fact, the catechism was translated into Welsh by William Evans himself, and published in 1707 ; there is evidence too, that he wrote a foreword (dated 24 June 1716 ) to another edition of the same catechism, originally published by Matthew Henry in 1702 , and now translated by James Davies ( Iaco ap Dewi , 1648 - 1722 , q.v.) . Jeremy Owen (q.v.) calls William Evans ‘God's gift to his people.’ He d. probably towards the end of 1718 .

Bibliography:

  • Manuscript (the property of the Presbyterian Board) published by Alexander Gordon under the title Freedom after Ejection. A Review (1690–1692) of Presbyterian and Congregational Nonconformity in England and Wales, 1917 , 144, 260;
  • A History of Carmarthenshire , ii, 158-62;
  • Cambrian Bibliography , Llanidloes, 1869 , 281, 300, 314.

Author:

Thomas Richards, D.Litt., (1878-1962), Bangor