EVANS, THOMAS CHRISTOPHER (Cadrawd; 1846 - 1918), antiquary and folk-lorist

Name: Thomas Christopher Evans
Pseudonym: Cadrawd
Date of birth: 1846
Date of death: 1918
Spouse: Elizabeth Evans (née Thomas)
Parent: Jane Evans
Parent: Thomas Evans
Gender: Male
Occupation: antiquary and folk-lorist
Area of activity: History and Culture; Literature and Writing; Scholarship and Languages
Authors: David Myrddin Lloyd, Arwyn Lloyd Hughes

Born 28 December 1846 (christened ‘Thomas,’ simply), son of Thomas Evans, parish clerk of Llan-gynwyd, Glam., and his wife Jane. The father (died 30 December 1877, aged seventy-five) was an Anglican, but the mother a Methodist; the home welcomed Methodist preachers — see the descriptions of it by Edward Matthews of Ewenny, in Y Cylchgrawn, particularly in the number for February 1878. Mrs. Mary Pendrill Llewelyn, the vicar's wife, encouraged the boy to browse in the vicarage library, and her championship of the traditional story of the ‘Maid of Cefn Ydfa’ was implicitly accepted by her protégé in all his writings; even in 1894 he defended the tradition against the criticisms of Dafydd Morgannwg (D. W. Jones).

He became a blacksmith; though in his early years he twice went to Pittsburgh, he returned to Llangynwyd to spend the rest of his life; he m. Elizabeth Thomas (of Carmarthen); they had several children. They lived at ‘Ty Cynwyd’ near the parish church, and Cadrawd filled the house with old furniture, old farm implements, and rural craftsmen's gear — much of his collection is now in the National Museum of Wales, while many of his books are in the Cardiff City Library, and others in the library of Swansea University College. He died 24 July, 1918 and was buried in Llangynwyd churchyard, alongside the grave of Samuel Jones (1628 - 1697) of Brynllywarch. There are extensive collections of his MSS. dispersed between the N.L.W., the Cardiff Central Library and the Museum of Welsh Life, St. Fagans. His widow received a small Civil List pension.

Cadrawd was a prolific writer on local history; much of his work appeared in Cyfaill yr Aelwyd, Cymru (O.M.E.), and the Cardiff newspapers. He published in 1887 his well-known History of the Parish of Llangynwyd. His prize essay at the 1885 (Aberdare) national eisteddfod was printed in the transactions of that eisteddfod; it is an extensive collection of Glamorgan folk-lore, and includes the fullest printed collection of Glamorgan triban verses. Other eisteddfodic prizes, and a gold medal, were awarded him. In 1910 he edited (with L. J. Hopkin James) Hen Gwndidau, a collection of old religious poetry; and in 1913 a volume of selections from Iolo Morganwg (in O. M. Edwards's ‘Cyfres y Fil’). He kept up a correspondence (now in the Cardiff City Library) with a wide circle of scholars, e.g. Sir John Rhys and Sir Joseph Bradney, with whom he stayed for some time during the preparation of the History of Monmouthshire.

Authors

Published date: 1959

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