LEWIS, EVAN (1788? - 1864), Dissenting minister

Name: Evan Lewis
Date of birth: 1788?
Date of death: 1864
Spouse: Mary Lewis (née James Thomas)
Gender: Male
Occupation: Dissenting minister
Area of activity: Religion
Authors: Evan David Jones, Robert Thomas Jenkins

Born, according to his own statement at Rhiwsbardun, Cwm Gwanas, Dolgellau, in 1788, but his age at death in 1864 was entered as 78 years. Lewis was brought up among the Quakers; his father was a Quaker preacher, and Lewis received his schooling in the Quaker meeting-house (today, 'Tabor' Independent chapel) in Tir Stent; he has recorded reminiscences of his boyhood among the Quakers. See the concluding paragraphs of the article Lewis and Owen families.

He migrated to north Cardiganshire where he is stated to have joined the young Wesleyan Methodist church at Tre'r Ddôl. By 1819 he was living in Little Darkgate Street, Aberystwyth, having married Mary James Thomas. He was then a lay preacher. In 1820 or 1821 (the first christening recorded in his Cilgwyn register was on 9 November 1821) he received what he termed ' Presbyterian ordination,' and undertook the pastorate of the old Presbyterian church at Cilgwyn, near Llangybi, Cardiganshire, which, since the Calvinist element had hived off to establish Ebenezer Independent church in that village in 1772, had steered a middle course between Arminianism and Arianism. He attributed his call to the inability of the Carmarthen Presbyterian College to provide a suitable student. The ordination was conducted by David Lewis Jones, supported by ministers who were openly Arian or inclined in that direction. The Cilgwyn church accepted Wesleyan doctrine, but rejected the circuit organization. Consequently, Lewis was recognized neither by Wesleyan Methodists nor by Unitarians, and the chapel (removed to a new site in 1840) and congregation were not transferred to the Wesleyan Methodists until his death.

He settled at first at Olmarchisaf, but by 1826 he had moved to Llanllyr. When his wife died, 12 August 1846, the family lived at Pant-y-gwas in Llanfihangel Ystrad, where he also died. The Cilgwyn register records the death, on 28 July 1864, of ' Revd Evan Lewis gwynhydog [ sic ].' He was buried at Llanfihangel Ystrad on 2 August, and his coffin plate was hung up in Cilgwyn chapel.

He left in manuscript a collection of essays entitled ' Dydd y Pethau Bychain,' an account of Cilgwyn church based largely on the now lost church book, and sermons. In 1828 he published the first of six projected parts of a Welsh book on arithmetic (Rhifyddiaeth yn Rhwyddach, Rhan I, Caerfyrddin, 1828). Though over 200 subscribers are listed, this seems to have been the only part published. He was probably responsible for a pamphlet Annerchiad at Rieni a gyfieithwyd o'r Saenoneg [sic], gan Evan Lewis, Llanrwst, 1831.


Published date: 1959

Article Copyright: http://rightsstatements.org/page/InC/1.0/

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