Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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EVANS , THOMAS ( 1739 - 1803 ), and EVANS , THOMAS ( 1742 - 1784 ), two London booksellers ,

are commemorated in the D.N.B.

The elder Thomas Evans is famous for his fight with Oliver Goldsmith ( 1773 ). He is usually called ‘a Welshman ’, and is said, in the D.N.B. , to have been b. in Wales , but confirmation of this is lacking — unless, indeed, the fact that Goldsmith had to pay £50 ‘to a Welsh charity’ (presumably the Welsh Charity-school ) may be so regarded.

The younger Thomas Evans is nowhere specifically called a Welshman , though he did, in 1774 , publish a new edition of the History of Wales by William Wynne (q.v.) . But remembering that his place of business was in the Strand , one may feel inclined to identify him with the ‘ Thomas Evans , Strand ’, who was a member of the Cymmrodorion Society in 1778 . His qualification for membership then was that he had a ‘ Welsh father’; this description implies that he was not himself born in Wales .


Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959