John Evans (archaeologist)

gigatos | March 28, 2022


Sir John Evans (Britwell Court, 17 November 1823 – Berkhamsted, 31 May 1908) was a British archaeologist, numismatist and geologist.

Evans was the son of the Rev. Dr A. B. Evans, director Grammar School at Market Bosworth, and was born at Britwell Court in Buckinghamshire. He was for many years head of John Dickinson”s large paper mill at Nash Mills in Hemel Hempstead, but was best known as an antiquarian and numismatist, in this case a collector of antique objects and coins.

He was the author of three texts, which became a standard in their respective fields: The Coins of the Ancient Britons (and The Ancient Bronze Implements, Weapons and Ornaments of Great Britain and Ireland (1881). He also wrote a considerable number of articles on important archaeological and geological topics: relevant are the works Flint Implements in the Drift published in 1860 and 1862 in Archaeologia, the organ of the Society of Antiquaries. He was also president of this society from 1885 to 1892, and he was also president of the Numismatic Society from 1874 until his death; under his presidency, in 1904, the society obtained by royal decree the title of Royal Numismatic Society. His work as a numismatist was rewarded in 1887 with the award of the medal of the Royal Numismatic Society.

He was also president of the Geological Society of London, 1874-1876; of the Anthropological Institute, 1877-1879; of the Society of Chemical Industry, 1891-1893; and of the British Association, 1897-1898. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1864 and for twenty (1878-1898) served as its treasurer.


As president of the Society of Antiquaries he was ex officio trustee of the British Museum, and later a permanent member. He had several academic awards including honorary degrees from universities; he was also a corresponding member of the Institut de France. He was awarded the KCB in 1892.

Evans married three times, was widowed twice and had six children. He married Harriet Ann Dickinson, daughter of John Dickinson and together they had five children.

Harriet died in 1858, and Evans married Frances Phelps, who died in 1890. He then married Maria Millington Lathbury and they had a daughter Joan Evans.

His eldest son was Sir Arthur Evans, curator of the Ashmolean Museum and responsible for excavations of Minoan Crete. His youngest son, Lewis Evans continued the family business and collected scientific instruments that formed the core of the collection of the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford. Joan Evans became a historian of medieval French and English art.


  1. John Evans (archeologo)
  2. John Evans (archaeologist)
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