Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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EVANS , HOWELL THOMAS ( 1877 - 1950 ), historian and schoolmaster ;

b. 6 Nov., 1877 , at Cwmbwrla , near Swansea , the second s. of John Evans , steelworker , and Mary his wife. Educated at Swansea Grammar School , the University College of Wales , Aberystwyth , and St. John's College , Cambridge , he held the degrees of B.A. (Wales) , B.A. (London) , and M.A. (Cantab.) After teaching at Wellington College and Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School , Carmarthen , he was on the staff of the High School for Boys , Cardiff , from 1905 to 1917 . In that year he was appointed Headmaster of the County School , Aberaeron, Cards. , and held the post until his retirement in 1944 . He wrote a number of history books, among them History of England and Wales ( 1909 , 1910 ); Making of Modern Wales ( 1912 ); Wales and the Wars of the Roses ( 1915 ); Once upon a time ( 1929 ); At Such and Such a time ( 1931 ); Long long ago ( 1932 ); The Age of Expansion ( 1933 ). In 1940 he was President of the Welsh Secondary Schools Association , and for a period he was one of the representatives of the Headmasters of Secondary Schools upon the University of Wales Court .

Howell Evans was a man of wide interests, and refused to be confined within the limits of a teacher's professional life, considerable though his output of historical text-books was. In his presidential address to the Welsh Secondary Schools' Association ( 1940 ) he expounded his educational ideas, emphasising particularly the importance of individuality and the need to avoid the imposition of a colourless uniformity upon every pupil. He poured scorn on the prevailing tendency towards centralisation and rationalisation, and commended the public schools of England for maintaining the principle of independence in education; he gave it as his opinion that the powers of educational administrators were increasing, and should be curtailed. He was an enthusiastic gardener and an expert on chrysanthemums . He m. in 1904 , Gwenllian Howells , of Briton Ferry, Glam. , and they had four sons. He d. at Aberaeron , 30 Apr. 1950 and was buried in Cardiff .


  • Information from his family;
  • Welsh Secondary Schools Review , 26, 1940 ;
  • [ Lyn Evans , Portrait of a Pioneer a biography of Howell Thomas Evans (Llandybie, 1982) (1982) ].


Thomas Iorwerth Ellis, M.A., (1899-1970), Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001