Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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EVANS , THOMAS CHRISTOPHER ( Cadrawd ; 1846 - 1918 ), antiquary and folk-lorist .

Born 28 Dec. 1846 (christened ‘ Thomas ,’ simply), son of Thomas Evans , parish clerk of Llan-gynwyd, Glam. , and his wife Jane . The father (died 30 Dec. 1877 , aged seventy-five) was an Anglican , but the mother a Methodist ; the home welcomed Methodist preachers — see the descriptions of it by Edward Matthews of Ewenny , in Y Cylchgrawn , particularly in the number for Feb. 1878 . Mrs. Mary Pendrill Llewelyn , the vicar 's wife, encouraged the boy to browse in the vicarage library, and her championship of the traditional story of the ‘ Maid of Cefn Ydfa ’ was implicitly accepted by her protégé in all his writings; even in 1894 he defended the tradition against the criticisms of Dafydd Morgannwg ( D. W. Jones ) .

He became a blacksmith ; though in his early years he twice went to Pittsburgh , he returned to Llangynwyd to spend the rest of his life; he m. Elizabeth Thomas (of Carmarthen ); they had several children. They lived at ‘ Ty Cynwyd ’ near the parish church, and Cadrawd filled the house with old furniture, old farm implements, and rural craftsmen's gear — much of his collection is now in the National Museum of Wales , while many of his books are in the Cardiff City Library , and others in the library of Swansea University College . He died 24 July, 1918 and was buried in Llangynwyd churchyard, alongside the grave of Samuel Jones ( 1628 - 1697 ) of Brynllywarch . There are extensive collections of his MSS. dispersed between the N.L.W. , the Cardiff Central Library and the Museum of Welsh Life , St. Fagans . His widow received a small Civil List pension .

Cadrawd was a prolific writer on local history ; much of his work appeared in Cyfaill yr Aelwyd , Cymru (O.M.E.) , and the Cardiff newspapers. He published in 1887 his well-known History of the Parish of Llangynwyd . His prize essay at the 1885 (Aberdare) national eisteddfod was printed in the transactions of that eisteddfod; it is an extensive collection of Glamorgan folk-lore, and includes the fullest printed collection of Glamorgan triban verses . Other eisteddfodic prizes, and a gold medal , were awarded him. In 1910 he edited (with L. J. Hopkin James ) Hen Gwndidau , a collection of old religious poetry; and in 1913 a volume of selections from Iolo Morganwg (in O. M. Edwards 's ‘ Cyfres y Fil ’). He kept up a correspondence (now in the Cardiff City Library ) with a wide circle of scholars , e.g. Sir John Rhys and Sir Joseph Bradney , with whom he stayed for some time during the preparation of the History of Monmouthshire .


  • Y Geninen , March 1919 ;
  • G. J. Williams , in Y Llenor , 1927-8 ;
  • family information;
  • Brynley F. Roberts, Cadrawd: Arloeswr Llên Gwerin, Henry Lewis Memorial Lecture delivered at the University of Wales, Swansea, 1996.


David Myrddin Lloyd, M.A., (1909-81), Aberystwyth / Scotland

Arwyn Lloyd Hughes, Llandaf

Published date: 1959