Evans, Robert Wilson (DNB00)

EVANS, ROBERT WILSON (1789–1866), archdeacon of Westmoreland and author, second son of John Evans, M.D., of Llwynygroes, near Oswestry, by his wife, Jane Wilson. He was born at the Council House, Shrewsbury, 30 Aug. 1789, and was educated under Dr. Butler at Shrewsbury School, whence he proceeded to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1807. There he became seventh wrangler, second chancellor's medallist, and B.A. 1811, M.A. 1814, and B.D. 1842. Having obtained a fellowship in 1813, he was elected classical tutor of his college in the following year, having for colleague George Peacock, afterwards dean of Ely. In 1836 his former master, Dr. Butler, then bishop of Lichfield, made him his examining chaplain, and collated him to the vicarage of Tarvin, Cheshire. Here he found parish work in abundance, the experience of which is given in his 'Bishopric of Souls.' In 1842 he accepted from his college the vicarage of Heversham, a place within a morning drive of the finest of the Westmoreland scenery. One of his first acts was to build a new vicarage house on the shoulders of Heversham Head, a spot from which he commanded a most extensive view. He was appointed archdeacon of Westmoreland in 1856, and after holding the archdeaconry to the great satisfaction of the clergy and laity of the district, resigned it in January 1865 on account of his advancing years. He died at Heversham vicarage 10 March 1866. He was the author of: 1. 'A Course of Sermons preached before the University of Cambridge,' 1830. 2. 'The Rectory of Valehead,' 1830; 12th edition 1842. 3. 'The Church of God, in a series of Sermons,' 1832. 4. 'A Sermon at the Consecration of the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry,' 1836. 5. 'A Sermon at the Ordination held by the Bishop of Lichfield,' 1838. 6. 'Hymns for the Christian Workman,' 1840. 7. 'Tales of the Ancient British Church,' 1840; 3rd edition 1859. 8. 'An Appeal against the Union of the Dioceses of Bangor and St. Asaph,' 1842. 9. 'The Bishopric of Souls,' 1842; 5th edition 1877. 10. 'A Sermon,' 1842. 11. 'A Day in the Sanctuary, with a Treatise on Hymnology,' 1843. 12. 'Parochial Sermons,' 3 volumes, 1844–55. 13. 'Consideration on the Scriptural Practice of Church Collections,' 1847. 14. 'The Ministry of the Body,' 1847. 15. 'A Visitation Sermon,' 1849. 16. 'Parochial Sketches,' in verse, 1850. 17. 'A Treatise on Versification,' 1852. 18. 'An Exhortation to the Lord's Day,' 1853. 19. 'Charges delivered to the Clergy of Westmoreland,' 2 vols., 1856, 1857. 20. 'Self-Examination and Proof,' a sermon, 1856. 21. 'Daily Hymns,' 1860. 22. 'England under God,' 1862. 23. 'A Sermon on Death of the Prince Consort,' 1862. He also wrote five volumes in the series known as 'The Theological Library, namely, vols. vii. xii. and xvi., 'Scripture Biography,' 1834, and vols. xiv. and xv., 'Biography of the Early Church,' 1836.

[Guardian, 14 March 1866, p. 272; Gent. Mag. June 1866, pp. 909–10; Church of England Photographic Portrait Gallery, 1859, portrait 33; Memoir with portrait in the Bishopric of Souls, ed. E. Bickersteth, 1877, pp. v–xiv; Westmoreland Gazette and Kendal Advertiser, 17 March 1866, p. 5.]

G. C. B.