He was a member of a family prominent in the history of the Baptist denomination in Radnorshire and north Brecknock — his very name, indeed, was given him in memory of the local Baptist ‘father’ who is the subject of the preceding article, though there was no blood-relationship between them. His grandfather Thomas Evans (1625 - 1688) is separately noticed. Thomas Evans's son CALEB EVANS (1676 - 1739) took out a preaching-licence in 1705, became pastor at Pentre (Llanafan-fawr, Brecknock) and d. 12 April 1739; two of Caleb's sons will be noticed.
(1) Hugh Evans, who was born in 1712, was educated under David Price at Llwyn-llwyd Academy near Hay. He then went to live with an aunt at Bristol, where he received baptism and was in 7 February 1740 chosen coadjutor to Bernard Foskett, minister of Broadmead Baptist church and head of the Bristol Baptist Academy; on Foskett's death (1758) Evans succeeded him in both functions. He died 28 March 1781. His son CALEB EVANS (1737 - 1791), born at Bristol 12 November 1737, became his coadjutor in 1758 and his successor in 1781, dying in August 1791; he was D.D. of Aberdeen. Caleb Evans published several books, but is chiefly remembered for his championing of the American colonists against John Wesley in 1778. Though he and his father had left Wales, neither lost touch with Wales. Joshua Thomas records that Hugh Evans regularly attended Welsh association meetings, and preached thereat seventeen times ‘always in English, but repeating portions of his sermon in Welsh’; Caleb Evans ‘did not understand Welsh,’ yet he would attend the meetings, and he preached six times. The Evans family were very influential among the Welsh Baptists, and their Academy attracted able young Baptists from Wales — William Richards of Lynn (1749 - 1818) was one of these.
(2) CALEB EVANS (died 1790), half-brother of Hugh. He was a schoolmaster, and though a preacher, never took a pastoral charge. He was tutor of the Baptist academy at Trosnant (Ponty-pool) in 1739; there he was prosecuted under the Schism Act, but was protected by the Dissenting Deputies (see Spinther, iii, 53). Later, he kept school for some twenty years at Usk, and after that at Bristol, where he died in 1790; a grandson of his, John Evans (1767 - 1827) of Islington, is separately noticed. Several other members of this Evans clan became Baptist ministers.
Published date: 1959
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