Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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BEVAN , THOMAS ( Caradawc , or Caradawc y Fenni ; 1802 - 1882 ), antiquary .

Born 13 Sept. 1802 at Maesmawr mill , near Tal-y-bont , Brecknock , son of Lewis Bevan . He was educated at a small school held in the Baptist chapel , Llangynidr , and later at a private school at Abergavenny . On completing his apprenticeship at a grocer's shop at Abergavenny , he went to London , where he spent two years at his uncle's shop near Tower Hill and afterwards was engaged for seven years in the shop at the Clydach works , Brecknock (generally known as the Llanelly works ).

There he met several Welshmen who were interested in Welsh literature and the eisteddfod — David Lewis (son of the Rev. James Lewis , of Llanwenarth ), Thomas Williams ( Gwilym Morganwg ) , and John Morgan , the ‘ Rhifyddwr Egwan ’ of Seren Gomer . He owed much, however, of his knowledge of literary style to the contributions to Seren Gomer of Thomas Price ( Carnhuanawc ) and David Owen ( Brutus ) in their discussion on the poverty of the Welsh language and literature ( 1824 ).

He m. Catherine Anthony , daughter of Benjamin Anthony , Llanwenarth , 17 July 1826 , and joined his father-in-law as a carrier by canal and waggon .

He was appointed secretary of the Abergavenny Cymreigyddion Society in 1833 . He resigned his office as secretary on 1 March 1839 and in 1843 was appointed master of the Abergavenny Union workhouse but did not cease to work hard on behalf of the Cymreigyddion Society . In 1863 he started business in Abergavenny as a coal and salt merchant .

He d. 10 Dec. 1882 , and was buried in the chapelyard of the Baptist church , Llanwenarth , of which he had been a member for over fifty years.

His own literary output was slight, although he could compose an englyn for almost any occasion. At the 1835 Abergavenny eisteddfod he won the prize for an essay on ‘ History of Gwent under Roman rule ,’ which does not appear to have been published ( N.L.W. MS. 13959 ). His greatest service to Wales was his work in connection with the Abergavenny Cymreigyddion Society , and to him, more than to any other individual, the successful series of eisteddfodau held under its auspices owed their success.


  • The Red Dragon , vi, 1884 , 97-105 (article with photograph, by John Davies );
  • Enwogion Cymru. A Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Welshmen (1852) ;
  • NLW MS 9252;
  • N.L.W. catalogues;
  • NLW MSS 13958-62 ( Cymreigyddion y Fenni MSS. at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth ).


William Williams, F.L.A. (1885-1950), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959