Born March 1716 (possibly 1717) at Llwydcoed, Aberdare, son of Ifan ap Shôn ap Rhys, a weaver and smallholder. After a few years as a weaver he was apprenticed to carpentry under Lewis Hopkin, who also instructed him in the practice of the strict metres in poetry. In 1749 he took the farm of Ton Coch, above Dyffryn House, Mountain Ash. He had joined (c. 1748) the Nonconformist congregation at Cwm-y-glo, and when a separate church was incorporated near Aberdare (now the ‘Old Meeting’) he became one of its leading members and a preacher. His theological views moved leftward to Arminianism, and later to Arianism. On 1 July 1772 he was ordained pastor of the ‘Old Meeting,’ and held office till 1796. He died 1 June 1798 and was buried in S. John's churchyard, Aberdare. He was twice married, (1) in 1744 to Margaret Thomas of Penderyn (died April 1774), and (2) c. 1776 to Mary Llewelyn of Rhigos (died 1824) — of this marriage there were two sons, Edward (1776? - 1862) and RHYS (1779 - 1867); Rhys was of some literary note and an eisteddfodwr.
During his lifetime Edward Evan(s) published (1) a Welsh translation of one of Samuel Bourn's catechisms, 1757; (2) a translation in metre of the Book of Ecclesiastes, jointly with Lewis Hopkin, 1767; (3) a sermon, 1775. After his death some of his poetry was published at Merthyr Tydfil in 1804, under the title Caniadau Moesol a Duwiol — later (enlarged) editions under the title Afalau'r Awen (Merthyr, 1816, 1837, Aberdare, 1874). He is an important figure in the history of strict-metre poetry in Glamorgan; and it has been held that he was also of radical tendencies in politics.
Published date: 1959
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