Evans, Thomas (d.1633) (DNB00)

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EVANS, THOMAS (d. 1633), poet, was educated at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1612, M.A. in 1616, and B.D. in 1628. He was presented to the rectory of Little Holland, Essex, in 1618, and held that benefice till his death in 1633.

He is the author of one of the rarest poetical works in the English language. It is entitled ‘Œdipus: Three Cantoes. Wherein is contained: 1. His unfortunate Infancy. 2. His execrable Actions. 3. His lamentable End. By T. E. Bach: Art. Cantab.,’ Lond. 1615, 12mo. It is dedicated to John Clapham, one of the six clerks in chancery, and in a preliminary address, ‘savouring much of the academy,’ the author says that it is his ‘first child, but not the heyre of all the fathers wit: there is some laid up to enrich a second brother, to keepe it from accustomed dishonesty, when I shall put it to shift into the world; yet if this prove a griefe to the parent, I will instantly be divorc't from Thalia, and make myself happy in the progeny from a better stocke.’ Each canto contains about six hundred lines, rhyming alternately, and sometimes flowing with ease, but without any originality of invention.

[Newcourt's Repertorium, ii. 333; Collier's Rarest Books in the English Language, i. 260; Cooper's Athenæ Cantab. MS.]

T. C.