EVANS, JOHN CASTELL (1844 - 1909), science teacher

Name: John Castell Evans
Date of birth: 1844
Date of death: 1909
Spouse: Jessie Evans (née Beal)
Parent: Catherine Evans
Parent: John Evans
Gender: Male
Occupation: science teacher
Area of activity: Education; Science and Mathematics
Author: Thomas Richards

Born 20 July 1844 at Castell-y-Waun, Tregastell, Llanuwchllyn, son of John and Catherine Evans. He was for a time pupil of the Rev. Thomas Roberts (Scorpion), in the school he kept at the Old Chapel, Llanuwchllyn, and is said to have attended the Bala grammar school for a period. As a boy he was particularly intelligent and alert, especially in mathematics. He took a great interest in the traditions of his native area as indicated by three of his manuscript books which survive. There is no evidence that he underwent training at a training college, but he was a pupil and pupil-teacher at Bala British school, and he is said to have taught at Corwen school. From 1864 he was a schoolteacher at Devonport, where he married, in 1868, Jessie, daughter of William Henry Beal, and kept school on his own account. By 1871 he was at Harrogate.

This narrow life thwarted his ambitions, and in the 1870s, although he was a married man with several children, he decided to go to London to pursue the study of science, and entered the Royal College of Chemistry. By 1877 he was a student-demonstrator at the Royal College of Chemistry; in 1878-9 he was engaged in research work under Sir Edward Frankland, especially in investigating the reactions of zinc-ethyl; in 1879-80 he acted, temporarily, as demonstrator at the City and Guilds Technical College, Finsbury, eventually becoming senior demonstrator; he was F.C.S. (1880), and in 1888 he was elected F.I.C. He studied the provision of technical education in Germany and he later took charge of chemical training in metalurgy [at the City and Guilds Technical College ?]. He used ore which he himself had collected in Patagonia. He published, in 1902, the first volume of Physico-Chemical Tables, described by competent authorities as a comprehensive and valuable compilation; he also wrote a text-book entitled A New Course of Experimental Chemistry which passed through several editions.

Evans was a Baptist by persuasion, and he took up preaching. He was an active officer of the London causes at Forest Gate and Ferme Park, besides maintaining close relations with the Welsh church in Castle Street. He died at Ilford, 13 May 1909.


Published date: 1959

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