Evans, Sir John

Evans, Sir John

Evans, Sir John, 1823-1908, English archaeologist, geologist, and numismatist. A president of the Royal Numismatic Society and of the Society of Antiquaries, he was active also in public welfare and was an authority on water supply. Part of his coin collection is in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
Sir John Wynn, 5th Baronet (1628–1719) succeeded his cousin Sir Richard Wynn, 4th Baronet as a baronet in 1674 but did not inherit the lands of the Gwydyr Estate which passed to his predecessor's daughter Mary.


Sir John had inherited the Watstay Estate through his marriage to Jane Evans (daughter of Eyton Evans of Watstay), which he had renamed the Wynnstay Estate. He had also, allegedly, won the Stanwardine Estate in Shropshire from Thomas Corbett in a snail race.

Later life

Sir John lived into his nineties mainly residing in London but died without issue in 1719. On his death the Wynn baronetcy became extinct and the ancient "House of Aberffraw" (which claimed direct descent from Rhodri Mawr ap Merfyn in the late 9th century and indirect descent from High-King Brwth in the Iron Age) was left without known male issue.

Possible Heir and Relatives

Had Thomas Jones (Twm Siôn Cati) really been the illegitimate son of John "Wynn" ap Maredudd (as claimed by Sir John Wynn, 1st Baronet in his family history), his children would have been next in line, illegitimate sons having the same rights of inheritance as legitimate ones under ancient Welsh law. There are also several claims that "lost" relatives such as a supposed Colonel Hugh Wynn who is alleged to have moved to Virginia and raised a family. However, with no clear heir, Sir John bequeathed the entire Wynnstay estate to Jane Thelwall (great-granddaughter of Sir John Wynn, 1st Baronet) who was now married to Sir William Williams, 2nd Baronet (c. 1665 – 20 October 1740). Sir John Wynn and Sir William Williams were the two largest landowners in north Wales at that time and together the combined estate dwarfed all others. In honour of his wife's ancestry Sir William Williams changed his name to Sir William Williams-Wynn of Wynnstay.

The present heir is Sir David Watkin Williams-Wynn, 11th Baronet (b. 1940).


  • D.N.B., lxiii; Cal. Wynn (of Gwydir) Papers, passim; Clenennau Letters, i, Introduction
  • Hist. Gwydir Family, passim; W. R. Williams, Parl. Hist. of Wales, passim
  • E. Breeze, Kalendars of Gwynedd, passim; Cymm., xxxviii
  • The Welsh Review, v, 187-191; Trans. Caern. Hist. Soc., 1939, 37-46; J. E. Griffith, Pedigrees, 280-1
  • E. G. Jones, ‘The Caernarvonshire Squires, 1558-1625’ (unpublished M.A. thesis, University of Wales).


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