Sir John EVANS KCB 1823 - 1908
He was the third child, second son of Arthur Benoni EVANS and Anne DICKINSON
Born 17th November 1823
Died 31st May 1908
He married three times as follows -
Firstly, he married on 12 Sept. 1850, his first cousin Harriet Ann DICKINSON.
She died leaving five children, 1 Jan 1858 and was buried at Abbot’s Langley, Herts.
John and Harriet’s children were:
1) Arthur John EVANS, 8 July 1851 – 12 July 1941
2) Lewis EVANS, 15 Feb 1853 – 25 Sept 1930
3) Philip Norman EVANS, 13 Dec. 1854 – 9 Dec. 1893
4) Alice EVANS, 9 July 1856 – 13 March 1887
5) Harriet Ann EVANS, 19 Dec 1857 – 20 April 1938
Secondly, he married on 23 July 1859, his first cousin Frances PHELPS who died 22 Sept. 1890 and was buried at Abbot’s Langley, Herts. Although she did not bear children herself, she was by all accounts a marvellous stepmother.
Thirdly, he married on 9 July 1892 Maria Millington LATHBURY (4 Dec. 1856 – 4 June 1944) of Wimbledon. They had one daughter - Joan EVANS, 22 June 1893 – Sept. 1977, born some 42 years after her elder half-brother.
Sir John Evans (1823-1908)
The following is taken from Collectors and Keepers of the British Collections:
Sir John Evans was a pioneering figure in the fields of prehistoric archaeology, numismatics and geology. He was also a successful businessman with an extraordinary variety of interests, holding high offices in many learned societies.
He was born at Britwell Court, Buckinghamshire, on 17 November 1823, son of the Revd. Arthur Benoni Evans, headmaster of Market Bosworth grammar school.
At the age of 17, he was apprenticed to his uncle John Dickinson's paper mill at Nash Mills, Hemel Hempstead, where he worked until retirement.
Evans was one of the small group of British scholars involved with the development of the field and profession of archaeology in Britain in the nineteenth century. Through the meticulous observation and recording of information gained from his comprehensive collection, he published the first comprehensive and systematic volumes on British prehistoric artefacts.
Evans was a highly respected numismatist. He was the first person to devise a systematic classification of British Iron Age coinage and set out a simplified classification of English Short Cross coinage in 1865. He was a member of the Royal Numismatic Society from 1849 to 1908, serving as president for over 25 years.
His interest in hydrology and geology led Evans to help to bridge the gap between the natural sciences and archaeology. In 1880 the Geological Society presented him with the Lyell Medal "in recognition of his distinguished services to geological science, especially in the department of Post-Tertiary Geology".
The John Evans collection comprises more than 12,000 objects ranging from Palaeolithic hand axes through Merovingian ornaments, and includes material from most parts of the world. A large proportion of this material is from Britain.
Objects from the John Evans collection are easy to recognize by their blue-bordered labels neatly inscribed with details of their collecting history.
Sir Arthur Evans, John Evans's son, eventually became Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum and donated much of his father's collection to the museum at his death. John Evans died on 31st May 1908 at Berkhamsted.
John Evans's many publications include:
The Coins of the Ancient Britons (1864).
The Ancient Stone Implements, Weapons and Ornaments of Great Britain (1872).
The Ancient Bronze Implements, Weapons and Ornaments of Great Britain and Ireland (1881).
The collections of Sir John Evans held at the Ashmolean contain a large and varied range of British objects together with an extensive archive.
Read Time and Chance by Joan EVANS - Longmans 1943
Reprints available by Greenwood Press, 1974
He built himself a house near Berkhamsted Common named Britwell after the old family house, Britwell Court at Burnham Bucks.
Now a retirement village: Castle Village, The Mansion, Britwell Dr, Berkhamsted HP4 2GS
John Evans' umbrella
Visited April 2023...
South wall St Lawrence church, Abbots Langley, Herts
Zooming in
Grave sited at the north east corner of the church.
Find the wheelbarrow - then you're close by!
Memorial Inscription



Knight Commander of the Bath
Born November 17th 1823, Died May 31st 1908
and upwards of sixty years resident in this Parish
As a Geologist and Antiquary
he was among the first to demonstrate
the vast Antiquity of Man.
His works on the Stone and the Bronze Age
and on the Coins of the Ancient Britons
have added new chapters to the History of this Island.
His great collection of Antiquities enhanced by his
wide knowledge and even more by his genial personality
drew to his house at Nash Mills
pilgrims of Science from many Lands.
He was in honorary Doctor of the Universities of
Oxford, Cambridge, Dublin and Toronto. An honorary
Fellow of Brasenose College Oxford. Fellow, and for
twenty years, Treasurer of the Royal Society. President
at different times of the Society of Antiquaries of the
Geological and other Societies. For sixty years a member
of the Royal Numismatic Society for more than half that
time he was its active President. He presided over the
British Association in 1897 at Toronto. For 22 years he
was a Trustee of the British Museum, He was a
Correspondent of the Institute of France and a member of
many other Learned bodies both in this country & abroad.
He was a Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant for
the County of Herts and its high Sheriff in 1881. For many
years he was Chairman of Quarter Sessions for the
St Albans Division, as well as of the Herts County Council.
To his efforts was largely due the adjustments of the conflicting
jurisdictions of the County of Hertford and the
Liberty of St Alban and the safeguarding of the water
rights of the County.
For forty five years he conducted the paper making
industry in the valley of the Colne established by his
Uncle John Dickinson FRS of Abbots Hill whose daughter
Harriet Ann was his first wife. She died January 1st 1858.
By her he had three sons and two daughters. He
married secondly Frances, daughter of Joseph Phelps
of Madera who died September 22nd 1890 and thirdly
Maria Millington daughter of Charles Crawford Lathbury
of Wimbledon by whom he had one daughter.
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