Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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EVANS , BENJAMIN ( 1740 - 1821 ), Independent minister .

Born 23 Feb. 1740 at Ffynnon Adda in Meline parish, Pembs. When he was 15 he left the grammar school at Haverfordwest and returned to his father's farm. His father was a Baptist deacon , but when the son was 24 he and his mother became members of the Independent chapel at Moylgrove . There he began to preach , and was ordained minister at Llanuwchllyn in 1769 . In spite of opposition and persecution his denomination increased its hold on North Wales and he secured a High Court judgement compelling the justices to register a house for the purpose of worship at Cutiau in the parish of Llanaber ( Barmouth ). In 1777 he moved to Albany church , Haverfordwest , and two years later to Tre-wen , near Newcastle Emlyn . He became a prominent leader in South Wales . For years he was an exponent of the higher Calvinism and embraced every opportunity of opposing the Arminianism and Unitarianism of the district, but towards the end of his life his Calvinism became more moderate. It was chiefly through his labours that the churches at Hawen , Glyn-arthen , Penrhiwgaled , Pisgah , and Capel-y-wig were founded, and he had charge of them.

In 1788 he published Llyfr ar Fedydd , which caused considerable controversy between him and William Richards of Lynn ( 1749 - 1818 ) . In 1797 he translated Crefydd Gymdeithasol (by Mathias Maurice ). He also published pamphlets containing sermons and hymns , and a catechism for the Sunday schools, and he was the most prominent pioneer of that movement in the district.

He died 2 March 1821 and was buried under the pulpit at Hawen .


  • J. Bulmer , Memoirs and select remains of the Rev. Benjamin Evans, of Trewen, Cardiganshire (1826) ;
  • Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru , iv, 171-4;
  • R. T. Jenkins , Hanes Cynulleidfa Hen Gapel Llanuwchllyn (1937) ;
  • T. Morgan , Enwogion Cymreig (1700-1900) (1907) .


Reverend Thomas Eirug Davies, M.A., B.D. (1892-1951), Lampeter

Published date: 1959