Richard Evans

Richard Evans was born on 26 Aug 1797 probably in The Red Lion Inn in Wolverhampton. He was baptized at St Peter’s Collegiate Church in Wolverhampton on 27 September 1800. We have a glass rummer monogrammed ‘RE’ that dates from his childhood or even christening.

Richard Evans

Richard Evans

Richard would have been brought up in the surrounds of the coaching business. His father, by all accounts was highly involved in all aspects of the business which clearly involved dealing with people of all classes – from traveling dignitaries to stable hands. It appears that Richard (jnr) took over a new venture in the New Hotel in Wolverhampton that was set up in about 1820. The best account of this can be found in Charles George Harper “The Holyhead Road”

In 1824 he married Mary Shaw-Hellier and had a large family. It is clear he became very wealthy in this period as a large number of artifacts still remain in family possession. This wealth may largely have come from the successful coaching business but it would also appear that Mary received a considerable inheritance in the 1830’s. Crested Silver that we have is hallmarked in the 1820’s so the family were acting the part of the gentry even if they were keenly engaged in commerce. In the 1841 census, taken a few months after Richard Evans’ father’s death Richard is listed as a farmer of 950 acres with 44 labourers. He was living at Pendeford Hall a large mansion which was rented from the Fowler family from about 1825-1860.

His bachelor brother Thomas was at this time engaged in the horse breeding and trading business as we have his stud book dated 1833. With the advent of the railway the days of the stage coach were numbered. It is recounted by ‘Nimrod’ how in 1838 the “Wonder” stage coach beat the train in a race from London to Wolverhampton, but the writing was on the wall. The diversification into becoming landed gentry was however also a difficult financial move because of rapidly falling agricultural prices. We have a telling drawing of this period that shows the dramatic decline of “The Wonder” – together with a little poem. It could have been drawn by Sarah Evans, his only daughter.

The challenges were considerable for Richard’s six surviving sons. The eldest son, Richard, seems to have traveled to Canada and then been a lawyer in London but although mentioned in his mother’s will in 1879 we know very little else about him. Charles went to Australia and founded an Evans dynasty over there. Thomas who married Sarah Agard, abandoned his family and also ended up in Australia. Some of the Agard Evans family, descendent  from Thomas, ended up in Switzerland. Daguerreotypes exist of all these children.

Richard Evans Daguerreotype

This website has more information on the youngest son Henry Evans who became a Bank Manager and who with his sister Sarah inherited most of the family heirlooms at their mother’s death in 1878.


Family of Richard EVANS and Mary SHAW-HELLIER

Husband:Richard EVANS (1797-1859)
Wife:Mary SHAW-HELLIER (1801-1878)
Children:Richard EVANS (1825-c. 1879)
Thomas EVANS (1826-aft1910)
James EVANS (1827-1872)
Sarah EVANS (1828-1890)
Charles EVANS (1830-1916)
John EVANS (1832-1833)
Edward EVANS (1834-1835)
George EVANS (1836- )
William EVANS (1838-aft1911)
Henry EVANS (1840-1923)
Marriage2 Mar 1824Wombourne
Witnesses Thomas Evans, Elizabeth Meredith, Elizabeth Evans

Sources and Notes

  • The portrait is one of a pair by the same, probably amateur artist, painted about 1840. The other one is of his wife Mary. Both are identically framed in ornate gilded wood.
  • ‘Nimrod’ was the nom de plume of Charles James Apperley,
Last updated on 31 December 2020 by JJ Morgan