Details of his early life are wanting; some years before the Civil War he was clothier's apprentice at Worcester. He moved to Coventry and ostensibly made a visit to London to see Jeremiah Ives, minister of the Old Jewry Arminians, and both proceeded to Wales (about 1646), full of the new gospel of general redemption but close communion. Their sphere of labour was mainly in Radnorshire — the parishes of Llan-hir, Cefnllys, Nantmel, Llanddewi Ystradenny — but included districts across the upper Wye in Brecknock. Ives returned to England, but Evans went on propagating his doctrines, aided by half-a-dozen other preachers, till his death in 1656. These Arminians were fortified by a confession of faith drawn up in the Midlands in 1651, but applying also to Wales, and by the salaries paid some of their preachers as itinerants under the Propagation Act of 1650 (one of them, John Prosser, was for a time Puritan schoolmaster at Talgarth). But the Quaker invasions wrought sad havoc in their ranks; a Quaker named John Moon made a vicious attack upon the Arminian Baptists of Radnor in a pamphlet; and it is in a vigorous rejoinder by two followers of Hugh Evans — The Sun outshining the Moon — that we get the most authoritative account of the dead leader's life and activities.
Published date: 1959
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