Lewis EVAN

“EVAN, LEWIS, of Llanllugan, one of the founders of Calvinistic Methodism in Montgomeryshire, a man of remarkable zeal, piety, and devotion, was born in the year 1719. The first account we have of him is that he lived with his grandfather at Crugnant, where he followed the occupation of a weaver. He resided most of his life at Plus Helyg, Llanllugan. In the year 1739 he heard Howell Harries preach at TrefegIwys his second sermon in North Wales, and was so deeply impressed that he became a changed character, and very soon began to exhort others to embrace the truth which had proved his own salvation. In that dark and corrupt age this was enought to stir up against him a storm of persecution, and he was often cruelly heaten and ill-treated. He was recognised at an Association held at Glanyrafon, Carmarthenshire, on the 1st March, 1742, as an Exhorter, it being stated that “Lewis Evan, who exhorts at Llanllugan, is signally owned of the Lord to be a blessing to many: several doors are opened to him, and souls are converted under his ministry.” He was therefore appointed to assist Morgan Hughes as overseer of the societies at Llanfair, Llanllugan, and Llanwyddelan. At a monthly meeting subsequently held at Trefecca, it was resolved “That the brother Lewis Evan go as far as he can into Merionethshire and the North, according to the call there may be for him.” He was not slow to comply with this resolution, and for many years he diligently travelled through North and South Wales, in spite of many difficulties, discouragements, and persecutions. His preaching was attended with very beneficial results, and was very acceptable to many. On one occasion he was imprisoned at Dolgelley for no offence whatever, and detained for six months, but on his release he declined to prosecute for false imprisonment the magistrate who had committed him. During fifty years of incessant labour he had many narrow escapes from peril at the hands of his enemies. Though only a poor weaver, he lived a truly sublime life, and left the world better than he found it. He was short of stature, very active, and ready of speech. He died in great peace in the year 1792, aged 73 years. His nephew, James Lewis, wrote an Elegy on his death, wherein he says : —

“Dywedai’ brofiad yn bur groyw,
Wrth im o’i frodyi cyn ei farw
‘Tawelwch mawr, sydd yn awr,
Trwy ddwylaw’r cawr creulon;
Y mae’r Iesu imi’n ddigon,
Ffarwel myn’d rwy’i ffrydisvi’r afon.’”

A handsome monument of white marble has been erected to his memory in front of Adfa Chapel, Llanwyddelan, with the following iuscription : “In memory of Lewis Evan, Llanllugan, the first preacher in connection with the Calvinistic Methodists in North Wales. Born in 1719, A.D. Died in 1792, A.D. He ‘had trials of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover, of bonds and imprisonment.’ Hebrews xi., 36.””

Taken from: Montgomeryshire Worthies (1894) by Richard Williams

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