Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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THOMAS , EVAN ( 1733 - 1814 ; DWB , 946).

His wife was not the sister of Thomas Richards ; his wife was Ellen Parry , sister of William Parry of Cae Ceirch , Dolgellau , Warden of Ruthin School ( Bye-Gones , 6.3.1901 , 4.6.1902 , 21.1.1903 ); according to the parish register of St. Chad , Shrewsbury , they m. there on 15 June 1766 . He d. at Shrewsbury workhouse , 12 Jan. (not ‘March’) 1814Shrewsbury Chronicle , 14 Jan. 1814 ; 2s. 10d. was paid to the bearers at his funeral, as in the workhouse accounts at Shrewsbury Record Office .


  • Information from Mrs. Brenda Parry-Jones .


Corrections and additions:

THOMAS , EVAN ( Ieuan Fardd Ddu ; 1733 - 1814 ), printer and translator ;

the son of John Abel (or John Thomas ) who was the son of Thomas Abel of Wtra Wen in the parish of Llanfair Caereinion, Mont. He was a printer by trade, and a good Welsh scholar , which caused his services to be sought and appreciated in English printing offices where Welsh books were printed. From Shrewsbury , where he was employed in 1765 , he removed to Chester , thence about 1767 , to Carmarthen , where he remained some years, and among other works corrected for the press was an edition of the Welsh Bible . He and his father, John Thomas , were contributors to the Eurgrawn Cymraeg , the first Welsh magazine ever published, which first appeared in 1770 . He was a good poet , many of his works being published under the pseudonym Ieuan Fardd Ddu . In 1781 he was a compositor in the office of T. Wood , the first publisher of the Shrewsbury Chronicle . He wrote or translated Anfeidrol werthfawrogrwydd Enaid Dyn , 1767 , and Barnedigaethau ofnadwy Duw , 1767 . He translated Grace Abounding ( John Bunyan ) under the title Helaethrwydd o Ras , 1767 ; A Life of Faith ( W. Romaine ), under the title Traethawd ar Fywyd Ffydd , 1767 ; and edited Hymnau cymwys i addoliad Duw o waith y diweddar Parch. Jenkin Jones ynghyd a'i Farwnad , 1768 . He also published an Almanack under his own name. Unfortunately he gave way to drink and became a man of loose character. He gave up his occupation as a printer and set up as an astrologer , conjurer , and fortune teller . He finally found refuge in the ‘ House of Industry ’ at Shrewsbury . He m. a sister of Thomas Richards , father of baron Richards of Caerynwch, Mer. (see the article on the family). He d. 12 March 1814 .


  • R. Williams , Montgomeryshire Worthies (1894) ;
  • W. Rowlands , Cambrian Bibliography (Llanidloes, 1869) .


Thomas Isfryn Jones, Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001