Evans, William (d.1720?) (DNB00)

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EVANS, WILLIAM (d. 1720?), presbyterian divine, was educated at the college at Ystradwalter, then under the presidency of the Rev. Rees Prytherch. He was ordained at Pencader, near Carmarthen, in 1688, and continued pastor there for fifteen years. In 1703 he removed to Carmarthen to become pastor of the presbyterian congregation, and received in his house students for the christian ministry. He has been regarded as the founder of the Welsh Academy, from the fact that the education of divinity students first assumed under him a collegiate form. He was patronised both by the London funds and by the liberality of wealthy dissenters. Dr. Daniel Williams bequeathed a sum of money towards his support, and this has been continued to his successors to this day. He is said to have been a man of superior attainments as a scholar and divine, and to have devoted himself with great diligence and exemplary fortitude to the discharge of his professional duties in circumstances of difficulty and danger. He is supposed to have discontinued his labours in 1718, and he died in 1720. In 1707 he published in Welsh ‘The Principles of the Christian Religion,’ based apparently on the assembly's catechism; in 1714 he published and wrote a preface for ‘Gemmeu Doethineb’ (‘Gems of Wisdom’), a very interesting work by his old tutor, R. Prytherch; in 1717 he wrote a long preface to his friend and neighbour Iago ab Dewi's translation of Matthew Henry's ‘Catechism;’ in 1757 Abel Morgan published Evans's ‘Principles of the Christian Religion,’ which he had adapted so as to teach adult baptism.

[Dr. Thomas Rees's Hist. of Carmarthen College, in Dr. Beard's Unit. in its Actual Condition; Rowlands's Cambrian Bibliography.]

R. J. J.