Samuel Thomas Evans

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Samuel Thomas Evans

Sir Samuel Thomas Evans GCB PC QC (4 May 1859 – 13 September 1918), was a Welsh barrister, judge and Liberal politician.

Background and education[edit]

Evans was born at Skewen, near Neath, Glamorganshire, the only son of John Evans, a grocer, and his wife Margaret, both originally of Cardiganshire. He was educated in Swansea, at University College, Aberystwyth, and the University of London.

Family[edit]

Evans married firstly Rachel, daughter of William Thomas, in 1887. They had one son. After his first wife's death in 1889 he married secondly Blanche, daughter of Charles Rule, in 1905. They had one daughter.

Legal career[edit]

He qualified as a solicitor in 1883. In 1891 he was called to the Bar. Evans gained a large practice on the South Wales circuit and in 1901 he became the last QC appointed by Queen Victoria. He served on the Neath Town Council during the 1880s. He was a Recorder of Swansea from 1906 to 1908 and became a Bencher of the Middle Temple in 1908. His reputation as a judge rests mostly on his role as President of the Prize Court established during the First World War.

Political career[edit]

In 1889, Evans sought election to the inaugural Glamorgan County Council but was unsuccessful both at the initial election and the by-election which followed the successful Conservative candidate's elevation to the aldermanic bench.

In 1890 he was elected to the House of Commons for Mid Glamorgan. He combined his parliamentary work with his legal practice in Wales. He was re-elected in 1892, 1895 and at the Khaki General Election of 1900;

General Election 25 September - 24 October 1900: Mid Glamorganshire [1]

Electorate 13,666

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Samuel Thomas Evans 7,027 75.8
Conservative H.Phillips 2,244 24.2
Majority 4,783 51.6
Turnout 9,271 67.8
Liberal hold Swing

In the General Election of January/February 1906 he was returned Unopposed.[2] In October 1906 upon appointment as Recorder of Swansea, in accordance with the times he was required to seek re-election and in the by-election he was returned unopposed. In 1908, he was appointed Solicitor-General in the Liberal administration of Herbert Asquith and knighted upon taking office. He was re-elected at the following General Election;

General Election 15 January - 20 February 1910: Mid Glamorganshire [3]

Electorate 20,017

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Sir Samuel Thomas Evans 13,175 79.6 +3.8
Conservative Godfrey Williams 3,382 20.4 -3.8
Majority 9,793 59.2 +7.6
Turnout 16,557 82.7 '
Liberal hold Swing +3.8

He was then sworn of the Privy Council in 1910. In March 1910 Evans decided to give up his political career and accept the post of President of the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division of the High Court of Justice. His appointment was not popular with the legal establishment as he was considered to have little experience in these fields. He was appointed a GCB in 1916. However, he declined the offer of a peerage.

Evans died in September 1918 and was buried at Skewen.

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ The Times House of Commons Guide 1910, 1911, 1919, Poltico's Publishing Page 92 1910 Section
  2. ^ The Times House of Commons Guide 1910, 1911, 1919, Poltico's Publishing Page 92 1910 Section
  3. ^ The Times House of Commons Guide 1910, 1911, 1919, Poltico's Publishing Page 92 1910 Section
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot
Member of Parliament for Glamorgan Mid
1890–1910
Succeeded by
Frederick William Gibbins
Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir William Robson
Solicitor-General
1908–1910
Succeeded by
Sir Rufus Isaacs