Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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WILLIAMS , EVAN ( 1719 - 1748 ), Congregational minister and revivalist ;

b. 6 Jan. 1719 at Abercrave , Brecknock — a brother to William Evans ( 1716 - 1770 ) (q.v.) , Cwmllynfell . He came from a religious family. It is probable that he was at Joseph Simmons 's school at Swansea or Neath . In the bitter controversy between Calvinism and Arminianism at Cwmllynfell he joined the party of Howel Harris and Daniel Rowland . He was a true revivalist both by nature and by conviction. In 1742 he returned to Cwmllynfell . An Evan Williams , Carmarthen Presbyterian Academy , received a grant from the Congregational Fund in 1743 . Perhaps he entered the Academy that year but travelled much throughout the country to preach between 1743 and 1745 . The epic of his career was his strange journey to Caernarvonshire , where he was cruelly persecuted. He is named as ‘ minister ’ of Cwmllynfell in the licence of 1744 . He went to Carmarthen Academy in 1745 and received a grant of two pounds from the Congregational Board on 5 October 1747 . He d. 20 Aug. 1748 after a long illness following upon his Caernarvonshire journey. Edmund Jones , Pontypool , said that he was unequalled as a preacher , a devoted Scripture student, and that, had he lived he would have been famous throughout Wales as a preacher .


  • Robert Jones (Rhoslan) , Drych yr Amseroedd ;
  • Hanes Eglwys Cwmllynfell (1935) , 11-13;
  • Llawlyfr Undeb Ystradgynlais , 1950 ;
  • A Sermon … occasioned by the Death of Mr. Evan Williams … to which is added some Account of his Life and Death (1750) ;
  • Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru , ii, 146; iii, 44;
  • NLW MS 10330.


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

Published date: 1959