1780 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Abel Evans

Isaac Reed in Nichols, A Select Collection of Poems with Notes Biographical and Historical (1780-82) 3:119.



Dr. Abel Evans, the author of this and the following poems, though a man of genius, the friend of the first poets of the times, and applauded by them, is now hardly known. He is generally styled Dr. Evans the Epigrammist, and was one of the Oxford wits enumerated in the following distich (wretchedly imitated in the Additions to Pope, vol. I. p. 163.):

Alma novem genuit celebres Rhedycina poetas;
Bub, Stubb, Cobb, Crabb, Trapp, Young, Carey, Tickell, Evans.

He is likewise mentioned in the Dunciad, B. II. ver. 116. in company with Dr. Young and Dean Swift, as one of the authors whose works has been claimed by James More Smith. Dr. Evans was of St. John the Baptist's College, Oxford; and took the degree of M.A. March 23, 1699; that of B.D. April 26, 1705; and D.D. May 16, 1711. He was bursar to his college; vicar of St. Gyles's, Oxford; and appears to have been intimate with Mr. Pope, to whom there are two letters by him in print, in one of which the initial letter W. (intended for his Christian name) is by mistake put instead of that by which he used to sign himself. R.