Richard Evans

Richard Evans was probably born in the Old Bell Inn, Chapel Ash, Wolverhampton in 1768. He was the eldest son of John and Mary Evans. His father died when he was 15 and he was brought up by his mother who continued to run and expand the Inn business. The Wolverhampton Chronicle records in particular the acquisition of the Red Lion Inn.

Richard Evans Signature from the front of one of his books

By the time his mother died in 1792 Richard was installed in the ‘Lion’ and as a twenty-three year old could now oversee this as a thriving business at the very heart of Wolverhampton. In 1793 he married Sarah Styles the daughter of Thomas Styles a substantial Inn owner in his own right. This was the heyday of the stagecoach business where speed was of the essence before the advent of the railway. During this time a new stagecoach service from London to Shrewsbury was initiated. The next day the passengers could make Dublin by nightfall. The fact that a coach could leave at dawn from London and arrive at dusk in Shrewsbury was the transportation ‘wonder’ of the age. The coach was indeed dubbed “The Wonder” with its yellow and black livery and Richard Evans is described as the consummate Inn keeper – responsible for running the stage from Wednesbury to Wolverhampton. Horses needed to be changed and the passengers loaded in 90 seconds. Achieving these feats in time was the only way that the coach could maintain an average speed of eleven miles per hour during sixteen hours uninterrupted travel.

Testimony exists that Richard Evans was a key figure in the yard of the Red Lion Inn, marshalling the hectic activity, ensuring horses were ready, staff were at hand and dignitaries handled with the respect they deserved. Moreover, the Red Lion Inn with its Assembly Rooms was the civic heart of Wolverhampton that must have brought him into contact with all the important people in the town. The Inn was a substantial hotel and its accommodation of national repute.

In 1818 Richard seems to have handed over the running of most of the coaching business to his eldest son Richard, who continued the business from the “New Inn”. Now a widower, Richard (snr) seems to have devoted the last thirteen years of his life to becoming part of the landed gentry, renting out Pendeford Hall, engaging in agriculture but probably maintaining a substantial stud and stables, that seems to have been an ancestral passion. His interests certainly extended to sport, notably fox hunting, fishing and racing.

Richard Evans died in 1841.

Family of Richard EVANS and Sarah STYLES

Husband:Richard EVANS (1768-1841)
Wife:Sarah STYLES (bap.1775, d.1812)
Children:John EVANS (b.1795, bur.1795)
Richard EVANS (1797-1859)
Mary EVANS (1799-1880)
Elizabeth EVANS (1800-1876)
Thomas EVANS (1801-1872)
Ann EVANS (b.1802, bur.1804)
William EVANS (b.1805, bur.1807)
John EVANS (1806-1864)
Anne EVANS (1808-1888)
Jane EVANS (bur.1812)
Marriage27 Apr 1793St Mary’s, Old Swinford

Husband: Richard EVANS

Name:Richard EVANS
Father:John EVANS (b.c. 1745, bur.1784)
Mother:Mary OWEN (c. 1738-1792)
Birth1768Old Bell, Wolverhampton
Baptism9 Apr 1768 (age 0)St Peters Collegiate Church, Wolverhampton
Occupationbtw 1792 and 1840 (age 23-72)Proprietor Coaching and Horse Business; Red Lion Inn Wolverhampton
Occupation1818 (age 49-50)Inn Keeper
R Evans listed as landlord of ‘Lion Inn’ North Street, Wolverhampton
Death7 Mar 1841 (age 72-73)Pendeford Hall, Staffordshire
Burial13 Mar 1841St Michael and All Angels, Tettenhall

Wife: Sarah STYLES

Name:Sarah STYLES
Father:Thomas STYLES (bap.1739, bur.1811)
Mother:Mary LAIGHT (bap.1737, bur.1788)
Baptism2 Jan 1775Grafton Flyford, Worcester
Death30 Apr 1812Red Lion Inn Wolverhampton
Burial4 May 1812St Michael and All Angels, Tettenhall

Child 1: John EVANS

Name:John EVANS
Birth27 Oct 1795
Burial5 Nov 1795St Michael and All Angels, Tettenhall

Child 2: Richard EVANS

Name:Richard EVANS1
Spouse:Mary SHAW-HELLIER (1801-1878)
Birth26 Aug 1797Wolverhampton, Staffordshire
Red Lion Inn
Baptism27 Sep 1800 (age 3)St Peter’s Collegiate Church, Wolverhampton
Occupation1820 (age 22-23)Proprietor of Carriage Business buying out the business from his father; Bew Hotel, Wolverhampton
Portrait1840 (age 42-43)Pair of Portraits in 15 BE
Occupation1851 (age 53-54)Landowner 950 acres and 44 Labourers
Death17 Mar 1859 (age 61)Pendeford Hall, Staffordshire

Child 3: Mary EVANS

Name:Mary EVANS
Spouse:Richard Hope PRICE (bap.1797, d.1865)
Birth1 Feb 1799Wolverhampton
Baptism27 Sep 1800 (age 1)St Peters Collegiate Church, Wolverhampton
Death1880 (age 80-81)Wolverhampton
Burial20 Jan 1880St Peters Collegiate Church, Wolverhampton

Child 4: Elizabeth EVANS

Name:Elizabeth EVANS
Spouse:John Philip SMITH (1806-1871)
Birth16 Mar 1800Wolverhampton
Death18 Nov 1876 (age 76)Lower Wick, Worcester
BurialSt John Bedwardine, Worcester

Child 5: Thomas EVANS

Name:Thomas EVANS
Birth21 Mar 1801Wolverhampton
Artefact1832 (age 30-31)Copy of Studbbook and inventory
Occupation1861 (age 59-60)Magistrate
Occupation1861 (age 59-60)Farmer of 150 Acres, employing 6 Labourers
Household1871 (age 69-70)Unmarried – Housekeeper named Mary Hill
Death27 Jan 1872 (age 70)Gunstone House, Wolverhampton

Child 6: Ann EVANS

Name:Ann EVANS
Birth13 Mar 1802
Burial4 Apr 1804St Michael and All Angels, Tettenhall

Child 7: William EVANS

Name:William EVANS
Birth17 May 1805
Burial30 Mar 1807St Michael and All Angels, Tettenhall

Child 8: John EVANS

Name:John EVANS
Spouse:Elizabeth WILLINGTON (bap.1807, d.1889)
Birth1 Dec 1806Wolverhampton
Baptism6 Sep 1811 (age 4)St Peter’s Collegiate Church, Wolverhampton
Education1819 (age 12-13)Rugby School
Death1864 (age 57-58)

Child 9: Anne EVANS

Name:Anne EVANS
Spouse:George EDWARDES (1808-1859)
Birth27 Apr 1808Wolverhampton
Baptism6 Sep 1811 (age 3)St Peters Collegiate Church, Wolverhampton
Death26 Jan 1888 (age 79)Tettenhall Wood

Child 10: Jane EVANS

Name:Jane EVANS
Burial2 Mar 1812St Michael and All Angels, Tettenhall


1“Pendeford Hall”. Text From Source: Lived at Pendeford Hall, rented from Thomas Fowler