Archifdy Ceredigion Archives
ADX/1608: Benjamin David Evans papers


Ref: ADX/1608

Reference: [GB 0212] ADX/1608
Date(s): 1850-1933
Level: Fonds
Extent: 50 items
Scope and Content: Photographs and papers belonging to the family of Benjamin David Evans (1841-1927), butler to Mr William Buck of Stradmore (d 1882), whose legacy left Evans in 'comfortable circumstances' as the owner of Fern Villa (Parc Gwydd), Llandygwydd.

1. 'His Lucky Snowball', photocopy of newspaper cutting that tells how the late Benjamin Evans had been one of a group of boys playing snowballs in Llechryd when Mr William Buck approached and said, "What are you going to do with that snowball, my boy", whereupon Benjamin replied, "Hit you sir", which led to Mr Buck employing young Evans as a page boy.

2-14. Photographs

2. Group photograph, 'Llandygwydd School c. 1850', taken outside school, church in background, sepia.

3. Group photograph, 'Llandygwydd School', similar to previous (2).

4. Carte de visite, William Buck, Disdéri, Paris, c. 1859-1868.

5. Mounted on card, Blaenpant, 26 July 1905', farmyard crowded with smartly dressed people as if for a sale.

6. Al fresco group photograph, 14 people in their Sunday best, two rows, seated and standing, possibly a family and their domestic staff, figure front row right may be Benjamin Evans, c. 1905.

7. Al fresco group photograph, roughly 60 people, reclining, seated and standing, exhibiting little class distinction, taken in meadow beside pond or river, presumably a picnic or similar, c. 1905.

8. Mounted on card, Llandygwydd church, undated, but church, in original condition, 1857-1913/4. Figures in churchyard stand regarding the distant photographer.

9. Mounted on card, unidentified Italianate mansion, photograph by Stevens of Crickhowell.

10. Portrait, middle aged man with prominent muttonchops seated on dining chair in garden, identified as Benjamin Evans on reverse.

11. Group photograph, 'Cardigan C.S. 1932', on reverse, 'Male staff & boys, Cardigan Grammar School 1931/2', taken in corner of sports field.

12. Elongated format group photograph, 'The County School, Cardigan (1933)', Panora Ltd. of London, taken outside school building.

13. Group portrait, mounted on card, 'Ail-Agoriad Eglwys Capel Mair (Congregational), Aberteifi, Chwefror 2, 1938', minister and deacons?: Rev. T. Esger James; W. Griffiths; W. Morgan; A.H. Thomas; E.S. Watts; B. Lloyd; M. Morris; Thomas Jenkins; Jacob Evans; W. George; W.J. Sambrooke; Albert Rees, by Harold Squibbs of Cardigan. Squibbs was active as a photographer in Cardigan from 1907.

14. Group portrait, mounted on card, interior around central figure seated at table with open book: Miss J. Evans; Idwal Jones, B.A.; G.L. Morgan; T. Evans; S.T. Jones; W.R. Jones, M.A.; J.A. Jones; A. Rees; E.S. Watts; D.L. Lewis; D. Morgan, by Harold Squibbs of Cardigan

15-50. Documents

15. Slip, 'Family ages', Sophia - 18 April 1788; Caroline - 1 May 1791; Robert - 1795; William. April 15th 1784 (in different hand). These are amongst the children of William and Anne Brigstocke of Blaenpant and it is possible that this is a 'below stairs' record, a rare survival from a subaltern discourse.

16. 'In a letter to a friend', copy of lengthy verse composition in the form of a letter, attributed to several individuals, Brigstockes, Bowens, Mr and Mrs Griffith Jones, &c., July 1812, presumably the record of a parlour game.

17. British & Irish Magnetic Telegraph Co., sent from the Plough Hotel, Cheltenham to Mr Buck, 'The valet can have a bedroom the same as he previously occupied', 4 December 1864.

18. Note addressed Stradmore, 12 January 1874 to Benjamin Evans, Butler, 'In the event of my death I give you all the furniture & bedding and bed clothes in your own room and also the furniture in the bedroom near the housekeeper's room, which I generally like as my dressing room, William Buck'. 

19. Wrapper for parcel, addressed to W. Buck Esq., Stradmore from Jas. Shoolbred & Co. of Tottenham Court Road (drapers and furniture dealers), with instructions for it to go by Great Western & South Wales train to Carmarthen and thence by Cardigan Rail and omnibus, 21 December 1867.

20. Letter to Evans, mostly concerned with doctors, Friday 26 December, 1879?

21. Envelope addressed to W. Evans, Butler, Stradmore, with note on flap, 'Mr B. will be glad to hear Mr H.Y.B. has passed his exam - & wishes soon to apply to a ship', postmarked Portsmouth, 26 December 1879.

22. Post Card addressed to Wm. Evans, at William Buck Esq., 'We shall call at Stradmore tomorrow afternoon on our way to Blaenpant, H.B.', postmarked Newport, 29 October 1882.

23-25. Letters from William Buck to Benjamin Evans

23. From Blaenpant, Friday, 'Benjamin', concerning £10 to be put into the savings bank for him and asking that sandwiches and hot water be readied against his own return the following Thursday. In the meantime Buck asks that Benjamin write to him, 'a sheet of note paper quite full without any mistakes in spelling or grammar', signing himself, 'Your sincere friend'.

24. From Clifton Down Hotel, Wednesday, 'Dear Evans', announcing that he was going to Cheltenham and intended to miss the Quarter Sessions, 'I shall be glad to see your little boy again - I am afraid he is as wicked as wicked as ever', signing himself 'Ever Yours'.

25. Undated black-bordered, 'Dear Evans, you will be glad to learn that I slept much better last night'.

26. From R. O. Leach, Conway House, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham, 27 October 1882, asking after the health of 'poor Mr Buck' and forwarding the wishes of Colonel and Mrs Edmund Leach.

27. Card, Mr Buck, Stradmore

28. Black bordered card, Mr Buck, Stradmore.

29. Last will and testament of William Buck, Stradmore, proved 22 January 1883, which includes legacies to his butler, Benjamin Evans, Parkgweydd, of £2,000, all the furniture and bedding of his bedroom and all my clothes, watches, chains, clocks, rings, seals, pins, portmanteaus, travelling boxes and bags, dressing cases and articles of personal use and also my magic lantern and appurtenances (to my footman Benjamin Evans of Cwmeifed all the furniture and bedding of his bedroom and all my guns, fishing rods and tackle), an annuity of £50 during his life and after his death a like annuity to his wife Mary Evans (to my footman, the said Benjamin Evans, an annuity of £50 during his life). In envelope addressed to Benjamin Evans Esq., Fern Villa, Llandygwydd, 26 September 1909

30. Black bordered letter from James W. Parkinson, 1. The Residence, S.R. Museum, London, 'Dear Evans, would you kindly let me know at once, when the funeral is to take place', presumably William Buck's nephew enquiring after his uncle's funeral.

31-32. Undated black-bordered letters from a Webley Parry, 'Evans', one in hand-delivered envelope

33. Black bordered letter in matching envelope, addressed to W. Evans, Park-gweydd, 'Dear Sir, We are coming to Stradmore next Friday ... to pay the legacies to you and all the other servants and labourers', Bowen. 12 February 1883.

34. Post card addressed to W. Evans, at William Buck, informing him of a gentleman's arrival at Stradmore, 10 November 1889.

35. Post Card addressed to Mr Evans, at William Buck Esq., 'Thank you for your letter - I hope to be at Stradmore tomorrow, but not in time for luncheon, postmarked Crymmych, 16 November 1889

36. Forty-three Brecon Old Bank, Cardigan, checks, made out to himself by Benjamin Evans, 3 July 1883 to 1 January 1889, at roughly monthly intervals for sums ranging between £3 and £15

37. Invoice from Cardigan District Council, to Llandygwydd poor rate overseers, Benjamin Evans, Pantgwydd and Capt. E.W. Parry Pryse, Noyadd Trefawr, for £12 16 00, 6 September 1896.

38. Invoice and receipt from Cardigan District Council, to Llandygwydd poor rate overseers, Benjamin Evans, Pantgwydd and Capt. E.W. Parry 
Pryse, Noyadd Trefawr, for £58, 8 December 1896.

39. Invoice and receipt from Cardigan District Council, to Llandygwydd poor rate overseers, Benjamin Evans, Pantgwydd and Capt. E.W. Parry Pryse, Noyadd Trefawr, for £2 10 00, 26 January, 1 July 1897.

40. Handwritten memo, 'We the undersigned Parochial Electors of Llandygwyndd Parish hereby give notice ... [of a parish meeting] ... in connection with the unlawful obstruction of an important Public Right of Way ', 16 May 1907.

41. Pedigree of Brigstocke 1899, rolled, fragile

42. Letter from Webley-Parry-Pryse, Noyadd Trefawr, 1 August 1905, 'Evans, can you come up here & wait at table on Saturday 8th until Tuesday 11th ... We should of course require you to stay until after dinner', 1 August 1905

43. Sale catalogue for Blaenpant estate, 4 July 1914, with folded map.

44-45. Letters, in original envelopes, addressed to Mr Ben Evans from Augustus Brigstocke, Blaenpant, Carlisle Road, Eastbourne

44. Apologising for the delay in executing conveyance of freehold, presumably of Fern Villa, 1 October 1916;

45. Beginning, 'I am glad to hear that you are pleased to be the owner of your own home & a bit of land' and going onto expound on the writers advocacy of home ownership as a means of social control, concluding that, 'I shall still keep Blaenpant & the Home Farm in case my oldest boy likes to be there some day' and fondly remembering luncheons at Stradmore, 'The cream & liquer!!!' 9 November 1916.

46. Souvenir of the Unveiling of the Cardigan Cenotaph by Major-General Stanley Fielder Mott, on Wednesday, 29 August 1923, at 2.30 p.m.

47. Sale catalogue for Stradmore, 20 September 1924, with prices reached noted in pencil (including lots withdrawn).

48. The Advertiser Year Book 1924, Cardigan & Tivy-side Advertiser, Cardigan

49. Christmas letter dated December 21, from Sophia Parkinson, Sunny Bank, asking whether Benjamin was to be apprenticed to a chemist in Cardigan and anticipating Captain James' arrival at Portsmouth.

50. Card, in hand delivered envelope, 'Mr Evans, Parkgwydd', invitation from Mrs Brigstocke to a lecture on Central Africa and The Universities' Mission, to be given by the Rev. F.R. Hodgson, later Archdeacon of Zanzibar (1882-9), at Blaenpant on Tuesday January 5th, illustrated by a photograph of Christ Church, Zanzibar.
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