Sir John Evans Centenary Project - image background is marbled paper from one of John Evans's books John Evans Numismatic Society Medal 1899

Sir John Evans's Family Life - Marriages

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Nash Mill House 2006 (photograph by kind permission of Michael Stanyon)
Nash Mill House
(courtesy of M. Stanyon)

John Evans was married three times. His first marriage, from 1850 until 1858, was to his cousin, Harriet Dickinson, daughter of John Dickinson, his uncle and owner of the Dickinson paper company at Nash Mills, Hemel Hempstead, where John Evans had been employed since 1840. It is interesting to note that Harriet had attended the same finishing school as John's sister, Emma, at Ashby de la Zouch in Leicestershire.

John and Harriet where married in September 1850 at St Lawrence's church at Abbot's Langley by Arthur Benoni Evans, John's father. They started married life in a farmhouse on the Dickinsons' estate called Chambersbury. They then moved to the Red House, which Harriet's father had built for them in the village.

Harriet was very happy when they moved into Nash Mills House in 1856 after Charles Longman, one of the other partners, had moved out. This was where she had been born and spent her childhood.

Photograph of Frances Evans (nee Phelps)
Frances Evans
(nee Phelps)

They had five children - Arthur (later Sir Arthur), Lewis, Philip, Alice and Harriet. Evans's wife, Harriet, died on 1st January 1858, shortly after giving birth to their fifth child, also called Harriet, after being infected by the midwife attending the birth.

Unfortunately there are no photographs of Harriet in the John Evans archive at the Ashmolean, but there is a photograph taken in c.1857 in Time and Chance written by Joan Evans.

John Evans's second marriage was to another cousin, Frances Phelps, from 1859 to 1890. She was a loving stepmother to his children, supporting the academic work of both John and Arthur. There were no children from this marriage.

In 1892 John Evans married Maria Millington Lathbury, who bore him another daughter, Joan, in 1893. Maria shared Evans's enthusiasm for antiquity. There are no photographs of Maria in the John Evans archive, but there are photographs of Maria in Prelude and Fugue written by Joan Evans.