Evans, Cornelius (DNB00)

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EVANS, CORNELIUS (fl. 1648), impostor, a native of Marseilles, was the offspring of a Welshman and a woman of Provence. A certain resemblance which he bore to the Prince of Wales induced him to come to England in 1648, and pass himself off as the prince. Taking up his quarters at an inn at Sandwich, he gave out that he had fled from France because the queen his mother contemplated poisoning him. The mayor of the town paid his homage to him, while one of the aldermen lodged him at his own house, and treated him in every respect as the heir-apparent. Evans received these attentions with condescension, and obtained a number of presents from the well-to-do people of the county. His reign, however, had an undignified ending. A certain courtier, whom the queen and Prince Charles sent over expressly, came to Sandwich and denounced Evans as an impostor. Evans, far from showing any discomfiture, coolly ordered the mayor to take the courtier into custody. Meanwhile a party of royalists came to seize Evans, who fled by a back door. He was, however, soon captured, conducted to Canterbury, and thence to London, where he was committed to Newgate. He quickly contrived to make his escape, after which nothing more was heard of him.

[Achard's Histoire des Hommes illustres de la Provence, i. 268; Chandon and Delandine's Nouveau Dictionnaire Historique, iv. 600.]

G. G.