General Thomas Evans CB

Thomas Evans was born on 9 Mar 1776 in Chapel Ash, Wolverhampton. His father was John Evans the inn keeper of the Old Bell Inn on the western fringe of the rapidly growing town of Wolverhampton. He was baptized on 20 Apr 1776 at St Peter’s Collegiate Church in Wolverhampton. His father died in 1784 and he was brought up by his mother Mary. She herself was to die in 1792 but the young Thomas was clearly a determined and resourceful boy.

He must have left and joined the army shortly after this, leaving his elder brother Richard to manage the Inn business. His distinguished military career is best recorded on the Canadian National Biography website, despite some factual errors about his childhood family. It should also be noted that contrary to the Canadian National Biography he is NOT the uncle to Francis Evans, Irish born clergyman in Upper Canada – that is Lieutenant Colonel William Evans (see Tecumseh’s Last Stand, John Sugden 1990) and the will of Francis’ father, Francis Evans, Nantes 1836.

General Thomas Evans (Dighton)

Having served with distinction in repelling the Americans from Canadian soil in the war of 1812, Thomas Evans’ young family grew up in Trois Rivieres in Montreal. In about 1827 Thomas Evans, promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, was posted to Ireland based at Templemore Barracks, Tipperary and a number of his children were bought up and saw Ireland as their home. This is the basis of the Evans family in Ireland and the Egerton Warburton branch that came to settle in Monkstown, Cork and held various clerical posts in and around the Cork area.

We have a portrait by the well known artist Richard Dighton, labelled “Thomas Evans, Governor of Malta” that may have come from the artifacts we have inherited from his son Charles Richard Ogden Evans. Other family documents record him also as “Governor of Gibraltar”. In reality he was never the titular governor of either of the colonies, although he was the commanding military officer. At least as far as Malta was concerned he was formally Acting Lieutenant Governor from July to October 1836 that meant he was the acting head of government during the illness of Major General Sir Frederick Cavendish Ponsonby. He arrived in Malta from Gibraltar on 1 July 1836 with 489 men and immediately took command. (see Malta Government Gazette). A successor to Ponsonby was appointed on 1 October 1836.

He left Malta and retired to Canada after 1838, where he died in 1863.

Family of Thomas EVANS and Harriet Lawrence OGDEN

Husband:Thomas EVANS (1776-1863)
Wife:Harriet Lawrence OGDEN (c. 1788-1858)
Children:Harriet Elizabeth EVANS (1811-1895)
Mary Ogden EVANS (1812-1914)
Catherine Maria EVANS (c. 1814-1884)
Julia Ann Elizabeth EVANS (1817-1827)
Thomas Owen EVANS (1819-1842)
Charles Richard Ogden EVANS (1824-1890)
Gordon Henry James EVANS (1825-1886)
Emily Anne Crookshank EVANS (1828-1868)
Richard John EVANS (1830-1898)
Marriage12 Mar 1810Christchurch Cathedral, Montreal, Canada

Husband: Thomas EVANS

Name:Thomas EVANS1
Sex:Male
Father:John EVANS (b.c. 1745, bur.1784)
Mother:Mary OWEN (c. 1738-1792)
Birth9 Mar 1776Wolverhampton
Date of birth given in Canadian Dictionary of Biography (but false fathers name)
Baptism20 Apr 1776 (age 0)St Peters Collegiate Church, Wolverhampton
TitleGeneral
Occupation12 Mar 1810 (age 34)ADC to Major General Gordon Drummond; statement on Marriage enrtry
Death11 Feb 1863 (age 86)Quebec, Canada

Wife: Harriet Lawrence OGDEN

Name:Harriet Lawrence OGDEN
Sex:Female
Father:Isaac OGDEN (1740-1824)
Mother:Sarah HANSON ( -1838)
Birthc. 1788England
Death27 Nov 1858 (age 69-70)

Child 1: Harriet Elizabeth EVANS

Name:Harriet Elizabeth EVANS
Sex:Female
Spouse:Henry William Egerton WARBURTON (1808-1868)
Birth31 Mar 1811Montreal, Canada
Death14 Mar 1895 (age 83)Monkstown, Co Cork

Child 2: Mary Ogden EVANS

Name:Mary Ogden EVANS
Sex:Female
Spouse:John SUTTON (1810-1891)
Birth4 Nov 1812Montreal, Canada
Death26 Jan 1914 (age 101)Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Child 3: Catherine Maria EVANS

Name:Catherine Maria EVANS
Sex:Female
Spouse:Isaac HELLMUTH (1819-1901)
Birthc. 12 Aug 1814Canada
Residence1841 (age 26-27)Census records a Catherine Evans living at Pendeford Hall aged c25
DeathJun 1884 (age 69)

Child 4: Julia Ann Elizabeth EVANS

Name:Julia Ann Elizabeth EVANS
Sex:Female
Birth1817
Death1827 (age 9-10)

Child 5: Thomas Owen EVANS

Name:Thomas Owen EVANS
Sex:Male
Birth2 Aug 1819Cork
OccupationLieutenat 41st Foot
Death29 Sep 1842 (age 23)Istalif, Afghanistan

Child 6: Charles Richard Ogden EVANS

Name:Charles Richard Ogden EVANS
Sex:Male
Spouse:Sarah EVANS (1828-1890)
Birth4 Mar 1824Trois Rivieres, Canada
Education1842 (age 17-18)Royal Military Academy, Woolwich
Military Service17 Jun 1843 (age 19)-; Passes out as Second Lieutenant Royal Artillery
Military Service4 Apr 1844 (age 20)-; First Lieutenant in Royal Artillery
Military Service6 Jun 1851 (age 27)-; Second Captain in Royal Artillery
Military Service30 Jan 1863 (age 38)-; Major in Royal Artillery
Military Service1 Jul 1874 (age 50)-; Colonel in Royal Artillery
Census1881 (age 56-57)Sarah is described as General Officers Wife in 1881 Census
Artefact1882 (age 57-58)Passport for Brigadier General Evans, wife and Daughter for travel to the continent
Death13 Apr 1890 (age 66)Eastbourne

Child 7: Gordon Henry James EVANS

Name:Gordon Henry James EVANS
Sex:Male
Spouse:Lucy Anne GOVETT (1835- )
Birth21 Oct 1825Canada
OccupationShare broker
Death24 May 1886 (age 60)Melbourne, Australia

Child 8: Emily Anne Crookshank EVANS

Name:Emily Anne Crookshank EVANS
Sex:Female
Spouse:Adam CROOKS (1827-1885)
Birth19 Mar 1828Tipperary
Death5 Nov 1868 (age 40)Toronto

Child 9: Richard John EVANS

Name:Richard John EVANS
Sex:Male
Spouse:Louise Caroline ANGELO (1841-1911)
Birth18 Feb 1830Templemore Barracks, Tipperary
Occupation1850 (age 19-20)-; 18 years in the British Army, mainly in India
Occupation1875 (age 44-45)Soldier and Businessman; Prominent Toronto Businessman
Death20 Apr 1898 (age 68)Toronto

Sources

1Dictionary of Canadian Biography.