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James Alfred Bevan


James Alfred Bevan selected as Wales first captain. Born on 15th April 1858 in St.Kilda, Victoria, Australia and educated at Hereford Cathedral School. He was the son of James Bevan and Elizabeth Fly. He played for Clifton in the 1878-1879 season. On October 10th 1877 he went to St. Johns College, Cambridge University where he gained 2 blues in 1877 and 1880. He completed his BA in 1881 and his MA in 1891. He became captain of the first Wales XV but after a disastrous match was never selected again. He went on to become an Anglican Clergyman.


Career Record: P1, W0, D0, L1, Tries 0, Cons 0, Pen 0, DropG 0

19th Feb 1881 v England (Blackheath) L 7G,6T,1DG-0





T.C.Turner & Co. Ltd., who took the above photo operated from 10 Barnsbury Park, London between 1891 and 1900. Bevan would have been living in Hampstead at the time, between 33 and 42 years of age. Most likely the earlier.

Above the Marriage entry of James Bevan's parents, a 32 year old James Bevan and an 18 year old Elizabeth Fly in Sandhurst (now called Bendigo) in 1856. The fathers, John Bevan is listed as a Maltster and John Fly as a Builder.

Above a photograph of James Bevan's grandfather John Bevan 1775-1861.

Above a painting of his father James Bevan. c1860.

Above the ledger entry that details the registration of James Alfred Bevan's birth. Dated 25th May 1858 and signed by his mother Elizabeth Bevan. James was also present at this registration. Note birth is listed as St. Kilda and not Caulfield as many books say.

Above the ledger entry that details Mary Sophia Bevan's birth on 21st November 1859. Dated 5th January 1860 and signed by the father James Bevan. The family had by now moved to the house Grosmont on Bambra Road, Caulfield.

St. Kilda is an inner southern suburb of Melbourne, located on the coast near the northern tip of Port Phillip Bay. During 1841-42 a cargo yacht "Lady of St. Kilda" was anchored in the bay, having been placed there for sale or barter. A colonial historian, Henry Gyles Turner, recorded that J.B. Were had an interest in the yacht and selected the raised sea side knoll at St. Kilda as the place for a picnic. The yacht's captain was apparently present. From that event it appears that the place was named after the yacht. (The yacht's name was presumably taken form the Hebridean island of St. Kilda.).

Above present day St. Kilda. St Kilda is also adjacent to Albert Park Lake which is surrounded by sporting facilities, parkland, a network of walking and bicycle tracks, and is home to the annual Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix.

His father James was born in Grosmont, Monmouthshire and emigrated to Australia in 1848. It is thought that he met his future wife, Elizabeth Fly, on the voyage there. His mothers family were originally from Croydon in Surrey. He had two sisters, Bessie born in 1857 in Collingwood, Victoria. She died the following year. The younger sister was Mary Sophia who was born on 21st November 1859 in Caulfield, Victoria, Australia. His father purchased a Cobb & Co. coach route from Melbourne to Beechworth and prospered as a result. He built one of the first mansions in Melbourne and named it 'Grosmont'. The house was left to his daughter Mary Sophia and rented out after his death, but it fell into disrepair and was eventually sold and demolished to make way for a number of apartments. It was situated at the corner of the Bambra and Glen Eira Roads in Caulfield, a district of Melbourne.

Above a Cobb & Co. advertisement January 1862.

Above images of Grosmont, Bambra Road, Caulfield, Melbourne.

Above the Melbourne Hunt Cup (predessor of the Melbourne Cup) won by his father's horse.

Bevan's parents died tragically when the Melbourne bound, SS London sank in the Bay of Biscay on 11th January, 1866. He was only 7 years old and went to live with relatives in Wales. Accounts in The Times of the wreck of the London were in the issues of the 17th, 18th and 19th January 1866. It was a tragic disaster. The passengers were told by the captain some time before the ship sank that there was no hope for them and there were distressing scenes. The ship carried 270 passengers and there were only 19 survivors. An account of the last days of the Rev. Daniel Draper who died on the ship exists in the book "Understanding Our Christian Heritage Volume II" at and says in part

"A day after they sailed the wind increased in violence. There was a very heavy sea. The following day (Monday) some of the passengers became very anxious. The wind was blowing with great violence. Monday night was a night of distress. Many of the passengers read their Bibles together and engaged in prayer. On Tuesday the large vessel was tossed about like a cork, and whole seas dashed over her. The lifeboat was torn away by the winds and the waves. The masts were broken and the ship dismantled. It seemed as though the raging elements were venting their fury upon what was a noble work of man."

"During the whole of Tuesday night some of the passengers read the Bible in turns."

"Early on Wednesday morning the captain tried to run back to Plymouth. The storm increased in fury. The sea ran mountains high. Both lifeboats were swept away. During Wednesday night one disaster after another overtook the ill-fated London. The engine-room was flooded with water. The vessel was now so damaged that it seemed impossible to keep out the sea. Various expedients were tried. Passengers and crew worked incessantly at the pumps. Still the water in the engine-room rose higher. The fires were put out. The engines ceased to work. In the midst of all these appalling disasters the noble-hearted Captain Martin remained perfectly calm and collected, never forsaking the post of duty. All that skillful seamanship could do had been done. He now ordered the maintop-sail to be set; but the wind tore it to shreds. "You may now say your prayers, boys," said he."

"Thursday morning came. The gale was as fierce as ever. The vessel rolled helplessly in the sea. A tremendous body of water stove in four windows of the upper or poop cabin. The passengers and crew had worked nobly at the pumps, but the vessel was now half-full of water. The remaining boats were got ready. The starboard pinnance was lowered, but was almost immediately swamped and sunk. Captain Martin went down into the saloon. "Ladies," said he, "there is no hope for us, I am afraid; nothing short of a miracle can save us." Said Mr. Draper, very calmly, "Let us pray." The vessel was now settling down."

There is also an account of the SS London shipwreck at The ship had 50 tons of coals on deck, which washed about and stopped the supper holes; she was also overloaded with 1,200 tons of iron.

Perhaps the most fateful decision the captain of the SS London made was on the 10th January he decided to head back to Plymouth. This only made the ship pass through the centre of the storm again and she didn't stand a chance.

Above part of the shipwrecks register showing some of the SS London entries with James and Elizabeth Bevan highlighted (copy from microfilm).

With the Bevan's on that fateful voyage was a young nephew from Monmouthshire, Alfred Bennet Bevan. Above part of the shipwrecks register showing some of the SS London entries with Alfred Bennet Bevan highlighted (copy from microfilm).

Above painting of the SS London.

After The London sank William Bevan, James Bevan's Uncle, sailed on the SS Great Britain from Liverpool to Melbourne on 18th February 1866. Its 28th Voyage. A trip that took 58 days with a crew of 157 and 436 passengers. William Bevan and Thomas Rennison appointed a solicitor to deal with the estate. James Alfred Bevan and his sister presumably stayed with their grandparents as Thomas Rennison did not escort them back to Grosmont until 1869, shortly after William Bevan had married. William Bevan did not waste time starting a family and had children nearly every year up until 1883.

Above his Uncle, William Bevan 1828-1888.

Above Passenger list (pages 1 and 11) of the SS Great Britain that sailed on 18th February 1866. William Bevan's name highlighted. John Munroe also sailed on this trip. He was one of the 19 survivors from the SS London. He swore an affadavit in Melbourne that he knew James and Elizabeth Bevan on the London and this was used when the executors applied for probate (copy from microfilm).

Bevan is not listed in the 1871 census. His sister Mary Sophye Bevan is listed as living in Grosmont with their Uncle.

Back Row (L-R): T. A. Gunnery, A. C. Odell, R. H. Cazalet, J. A. Bevan, E. J. Brock Smith, W. J. Willan, C. Slater, A. Sells. Front Row: P. C. Scott, W. J. Goulding, F.C. Hill, W. L. Agnew, G. C. Allen, P. J. Wrigley, W. L. Cowrie.

Above St. Johns College, Cambridge XV 1877. James Bevan wearing his Cambridge shirt. By permission of the Master and Fellows of St John's College, Cambridge.

Back Row (L-R): C.M.Kennedy, P.H.Clifford, P.T.Wrigley, C.E.Jeffcock, J.A.Bevan. Middle Row: C.H.Coates, H.R.Clayton, S.R.James, W.L.Agnew, C.Gurdon. Front: G.S.Albright, R.T.Finch, D.Q.Steel, H.H.Browell.

Above 1877 Cambridge University XV with James Bevan. This Varsity match was played at The Oval, Kennington, London on 12th December 1877. Oxford won by 2 tries to nil.

Above painted photograph of James Alfred Bevan, wearing his Cambridge kit (unknown date)

Back Row (L-R): E. J. Wild, W. H. Carr, P. J. Wrigley, A. C. Davies, H. L. Young, W. O. Sutcliffe, A. N. Sharpe, T. E. Forster, G. M Light, E. S. Morse, H. Sandford, F. C. Hill, G. M. Burnett, G. M. Kingston, R. H. Cazalet, A. Hawkins, A. D. Rice, G. M. Livett, A. E. Jalland, E. Carlisle, G. D. Haviland, J. A. Bevan, H. J. Price, H. T. Kemp, J. H. Hallam, A. C. Odell, H. Croft, A. H. Highton, A. W. Davys, F. E. Swabey, A. H. Prior.

Above The Eagles, Cambridge 1878. By permission of the Master and Fellows of St John's College, Cambridge.

Back Row (L-R): E.J.Wild, H.Sandford, P.C.Scott, C.M.Stuart, F.L.Thompson, A.Jalland, W.Harrison. Middle Row: A.T.Toller, W.J.Goulding, W.L.Agnew, A.C.Davies, W.L.Cowrie, H.T.Kemp, A.D.Price, A.H.T.Pollock. On Ground: J.A.Bevan.

Above The Inexpressibles in 1878 with James Alfred Bevan. By permission of the Master and Fellows of St John's College, Cambridge.

Above Members signatures, believed to be The Inexpressibles. Bevan's signature 9th down. By permission of the Master and Fellows of St John's College, Cambridge.

Above a close up of Bevan's signature from February 1878. By permission of the Master and Fellows of St John's College, Cambridge.

In Window (L-R): W.L.Cowrie, H.H.Child. Back Row: St John's umpire Andrews, W.J.Goulding, H.J.T.Broadwood, A.H.T.Pollock, W.T.Fell, G.C.Hing, W.E.Roller. Middle Row: R.S.Hankinson, D.Davies, C.L.M.Des Graz, H.T.Kemp, R.Fairbairn, W.S.Agnew, Harvey (umpire). Front Row: G.S.Albright, A.T.Toller, C.E.Granger, P.C.Scott, F.L.Thompson, A.E.Jalland, W.W.Arthur, J.A.Bevan, A.D.Price. On Ground: ?Stewart, ?Will.

Above Hawks v Inexpressibles in 1878. By permission of the Master and Fellows of St John's College, Cambridge.

Back Row (L-R): ?, C.P.Cory, H.V.Heber-Percy, N.C.Marris, J.A.Bevan, H.L.Dawson, G.S.Leresche. Middle Row: B.Thorman, E.S.Chapman, G.W.Burnett (Captain), P.T.Wrigley. Front Row: J.H.Payne, C.E.Hopton, R.O.Wever

Above St. Johns College, Cambridge XV 1879. By permission of the Master and Fellows of St John's College, Cambridge.

On the 22nd February 1879 Bevan played rugby for Cambridge University against King's College, London

Above the Morning Post review of the match.

Back Row (L-R): G.M.Burnett, F.D.Gaddum, J.A.Bevan, F.L.Thompson, H.Sandford, A.T.Toller, H.C.Skeffington. Middle Row: J.F.Gray, A.H.T.Pollock, W.L.Agnew, A.C.Davies, J.Richardson, P.C.Scott. Front Row: E.J.Wild, E.St J. Morse, H.Heber-Percy, A.E.Jalland.

Above The Inexpressibles in 1879 with James Alfred Bevan. By permission of the Master and Fellows of St John's College, Cambridge.

Back Row (L-R): F. D. Gaddum, R. Thorman, J. A. Bevan, N. C. Marvis, H. Smith, R. Spencer, H. J. Price, E. S. Chapman, R. O. Wever. Middle Row: H. C. Swabey, W. F. Grey, A. R. Aspinall, E. J. Wild, A. S. Reid, V. Heber Percy, F. Sandford, W. R. Le Fanu, P. G. Escham. Front Row: F. R. Kennsdy, J. E Marr, A. Hawkins, C. E. Hopton, W. Calvert, J. H. Haviland, F. E. Ainger.

Above The Eagles, Cambridge 1880. By permission of the Master and Fellows of St John's College, Cambridge.

Back Row (L-R): J.A.Bevan, N.C.Marris, H.L.Dawson, G.S.Leresche, P.T.Wrigley, R.O.Wever, C.P.Cory, W.R. Le-Fanu. Middle Row: E.S.Chapman, R.Thorman (Captain), C.H.Newman. Front Row: R.Spencer, C.E.Hopton, H.V Heber-Percy, W.Calvert, C.H.Newman.

Above St. Johns College, Cambridge XV 1880. By permission of the Master and Fellows of St John's College, Cambridge.

Back Row (L-R): A.R.Aspinall, H.Nicholls, W.S.Sherrington, A.Fitzherbert, P.G.Exham, R.Spencer. Front Row: E.J.Wild, J.A.Bevan, W.H.Garne, C.N.W.Hutton, F.Sandford.

Above St. Johns College, Cambridge Football XI 1880 with James Alfred Bevan. By permission of the Master and Fellows of St John's College, Cambridge.

Back Row (L-R): R.M.Yetts, J.G.Tait, A.R.Don Wauchope, E.Rice, S.Pater, J.A.Bevan, E.Storey, W.M.MacLeod. Front Row: E.S.Chapman, H.G.Fuller, J.T.Steele, C.P.Wilson, P.T.Wrigley, H.Y.L.Smith, A.S.Taylor.

Above the Cambridge University XV of 1880 with ex Clifton RFC player James Bevan. Bevan almost won this varsity match for Cambridge with a dropped goal, but the umpires disallowed it after a dispute and the match was drawn, each side scoring 1 try. This varsity match was played at Blackheath's, Richardson's Field on 14th December 1880. 2 months later Bevan would lead out Wales on the same pitch.

Back Row (L-R): F.D.Gaddum, E.J.Wild, A.E.Jalland, E.Rosher. Middle Row: W.Agnew, P.C.Scott, W.R. Le-Fanu. On Ground: W. Barton, H. Heber-Percy, J. A. Bevan, T. R. Hall.

Above The Inexpressibles in 1880 with James Alfred Bevan. By permission of the Master and Fellows of St John's College, Cambridge.

Above Bevan at Cambridge. Unknown date. Image courtesy of Tim Edwards

Bevan is listed as playing for Newport when selected as captain of Wales. He only actually ever played once for them in the 1880-81 season. He had been selected to captain a side in a Wales Trial match at Swansea in December 1880 with R.L.Knight of Oxford University as the other captain. The match never took place and further attempts to stage this match were again disrupted by bad weather. What didn't help was that the RFU insisted that the England v Wales match be played on 19th February 1881. This was the same day that Swansea were playing Llanelli at Neath in a semi-final cup-tie thus depriving Wales of several players. Eventually the main force behind the Welsh side, Richard Mullock, selected the side himself.

Bevan was not the first choice captain. C. P. Lewis was originally asked but turned it down as he did not consider the team truly represented Wales.

England v Wales on 19th February 1881 at Blackheath was the first international between the countries. A game more noted for the chaotic organisation of the Welsh side than anything else. It was Wales first international. Organised before the Welsh RFU was set up. The players had never played together before. One player, Major Richard Summers was selected for Wales on his performances a couple of years earlier for his school, Cheltenham College, in matches against Cardiff and Newport. No formal invitations to play were sent out to the Welsh XV. Two of those expected to appear didn't turn up so bystanders, University undergraduates with tenuous Welsh links but who had traveled to London to see the match, had to be roped in to play for Wales. It also didn't help that the changing rooms were a local pub (The Princess of Wales which remains to this day). Both teams had to walk the half a mile across the common to play. Rumour has it that the Welsh team needed some Dutch courage before the match so had been drinking heavily. The game was a farce. The Welsh were hopelessly outplayed and under modern scoring values lost 82-0. Harry Vassall scored a hat-trick on this his debut for England. It is recorded that that the England captain Lennard Stokes threw a colossal pass to Hunt, giving him an easy try, but the umpires ordered it back, their decision that a long pass was not football. Afterwards the RFU were not impressed and the fixture was dropped the following season.

Following the heavy defeat the back stabbing started. The average age of this side was 23, 10 of these players, including Bevan, never played for Wales again. A month after the match the WRFU was founded at the Castle Hotel, Neath on 12th March 1881.

Above: The Princess of Wales, 1a Montpelier Row, Blackheath, London, SE3 0RL

Standing (L-R): W.D.Phillips (Cardiff), G.Harding (Newport), R.Mullock (Newport), F.Purdon (Newport), G.Darbishire (Bangor), E.Treharne (Ponypridd), R.G.D.Williams (Abercamlais). Sitting: T.A.Rees (Oxford University and Llandovery), E.Peake (Oxford University and Chepstow), J.A.Bevan (Captain) (Cambridge University and Grosmont), B.E.Girling (Cardiff), B.B.Mann (Cardiff). On Ground: L.Watkins (Oxford University and Llandaff), C.H.Newman (Cambridge University and Newport), E.J.Lewis (Cambridge University and Llandovery), R.H.B Summers (Haverfordwest).

Above the first Welsh team of 1881 that lost heavily to England at Blackheath with ex Clifton RFC player James Bevan captaining Wales. 10 of these players, including Bevan, never played for Wales again. Richard Summers played in that match and said of their outfit: "We played in ordinary, light walking boots with a bar of leather across the sole to help us swerve. Jerseys were fitted high at the neck with serge blue knickers fastened below the knee with four or five buttons. We changed at the Princess of Wales public house nearby."

Standing (L-R): W.D.Phillips (Cardiff), G.Harding (Newport), R.Mullock (Newport), F.Purdon (Newport), G.Darbishire (Bangor), E.Treharne (Ponypridd), R.G.D.Williams (Abercamlais). Sitting: T.A.Rees (Oxford University and Llandovery), E.Peake (Oxford University and Chepstow), J.A.Bevan (Captain) (Cambridge University and Grosmont), B.E.Girling (Cardiff), B.B.Mann (Cardiff). On Ground: L.Watkins (Oxford University and Llandaff), C.H.Newman (Cambridge University and Newport), E.J.Lewis (Cambridge University and Llandovery), R.H.B Summers (Haverfordwest).

Above a better, although slightly different, photo of the Welsh XV. This one was owned by James Bevan and was passed on to his son Ernest Guy Bevan.

C.P.Lewis, who was originally offered the captaincy in 1881, replaced Bevan as captain of Wales for the next 3 internationals and gained 2 further caps, although Charles Henry Newman, one of the few survivors of 1881, took over as captain from Lewis after that. Newman also, like Bevan, attended St. Johns College Cambridge (1880-83, a Rugby Blue in 1882) and became a Clergyman and was ordained in 1883.

As a boy James Bevan had been taken by friends to a shooting party at Great Dinham Farm. Bevan was greatly taken with Annie, always known in the family as Nancy or Nan.

The 1881 census says that James Bevan was a visitor at Great Dinham Farm, Llanvair Discoed, Monmouthshire with the Woodall family headed by Thomas Simon Woodall. Great Dinham Farm was situated adjacent to the crumbling remains of Dinham Castle. In fact parts of the Castle were used in the construction of a barn at the farm about 1857. There was formerly a church at Dinham, some traces of which may be seen at the gable end of one of the farm, buildings belonging to Great Dinham farm. The font is used as a pump-trough in the farm yard and the lid of a stone coffin, locally known as "The Bishop's Stone," is built into the, garden wall. Thomas Woodall was churchwarden at Caerwent.

Above map of the Dinham area in 1887.

Above Thomas Simon Woodall, James Bevan's father-in-law. Unknown date. Image courtesy of Tim Edwards. He was born in Weston Under Penyard, Herefordshire. He died in September 1909 in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire.

Above Thomas and Elizabeth (nee Jones) Woodall, James Bevan's in-laws with 2 unknown women. Unknown date. Image courtesy of Tim Edwards. Elizabeth was born in Whitchurch, Hereford in 1834.

Dinham is very close to Newport where Bevan played once in 1880-81 before Captaining Wales. The site of Dinham was built on by the RAF and until 1994 was the USAF's main non-nuclear bomb store in the UK. The site had been used as a Royal Navy cordite factory

Above USAF Caerwent today.

The household at Great Dinham in 1881 was

Name Relation Marital Status Gender Age Birthplace Occupation
Thomas WOODALL Head M Male 50 Weston, Hereford, England Farmer Of 671 Acres Employing 21 Lab & 2 Boys
Elizabeth WOODALL Wife M Female 47 Whitchurch, Hereford, England  
Annie WOODALL Daur U Female 20 Dinham, Monmouth, England Farmers Daur
Frederick WOODALL Son U Male 18 Dinham, Monmouth, England Farmer's Son
Arthur WOODALL Son   Male 12 Dinham, Monmouth, England Scholar
James WOODALL Son   Male 9 Dinham, Monmouth, England Scholar
Mary GAULSTONE Cousin U Female 45 Ruggleston, Radnorshire, Wales An Assistant
James BEVAN Visitor U Male 22 Australia Articled Clerk
Diana HUMPHRIES Servant U Female 18 Shirenewton, Monmouth, England Dairy Maid
Emily BIRCHEL Servant U Female 15 Chepstow, Monmouth, England General Serv
William WHEELER Servant U Male 18 Usk, Monmouth, England Farm Servant Indoor

Bevan went on to marry Annie Susan Woodall (see above) of Dinham, Monmouth on 26th July 1882 at St. Stephens Church, Caerwent. Annie Woodall was born in 1860 and had attended a private boarding school in Birmingham. She was confirmed at Christchurch, Sparkbrook.

Above James Ernest Woodall Annie Woodhall's brother, James Bevan's Brother-in-law. He went on to become a Missionary at Moose Factory, Hudson Bay.Canada. Image courtesy of Tim Edwards

At the time of his marriage James Alfred Bevan was working as an articled clerk for Sibly & Dickinson, Solicitors, 6 Exchange Buildings West, Corn Street, Bristol.

At St. Johns College, Cambridge with Bevan from Oct. 10th 1878 to 1895 was Frederick Arthur Sibly, son of Thomas (born Penzance, Cornwall)[of Flook House, Taunton, Somerset] (and Caroline - born St. George, Bristol). Born Jan. 20, 1859, at Wilton. Baptised Feb. 24, 1859. [ Wesleyan School, Taunton.] Adm. at the Inner Temple, Nov. 13, 1880. Called to the Bar, Nov. 17, 1885. Assistant Master at Wycliffe College, Stonehouse, 1889-1918; House Master, 1903-18. Died Dec. 25, 1928, at Flook House, Taunton. The Times, Dec. 28, 1928. Frederick was Thomas Dix Sibley's brother and introduced Bevan to the company of Sibly & Dickinson. Frederick Arthur Sibly and Thomas Dix Sibly were brothers of George William Sibly who founded Wycliffe College in 1882. William had been teaching at the Wesleyan Collegiate. When his father, who was headmaster, died he expected to become headmaster but was overlooked, so he moved and founded his own school, Wycliffe College, which is today a huge success, see

Flook House, Belvedere Road, Taunton, Somerset is now a Register Office.

Above Dr. Frederick Arthur Sibly, Bevan's friend at Cambridge who's brother,Thomas Sibly, Bevan worked for in Bristol. Image from The Wycliffe Star, April 1929 courtesy of Wycliffe College.

Back Row (L-R): Mr.F.H.Sherwell, Dr.F.A.Sibly, Miss K.E.Jackson, Mr.J.S.Evans, Mr.E.F.Hugill,Mr.M.Muller (Hastings). Front Row: Mr.R.V.Ward, Mr.G.W.Sibly, Mr.J.Bramley.

Above the staff of Wycliffe College in 1902 with Dr. Frederick Arthur Sibly. He, like Bevan, read Law at St. John's College, Cambridge, following it with an LLB and a Doctorate. He was called to the Bar but never practiced. In 1889, his brother G.W.Sibly, needed a Housemaster for his second boarding house (Haywardsfield) at Wycliffe and invited his younger brother to take the role. This he did for 32 years until 1921. He died in 1928

The company of Sibly & Dickinson was run by

Thomas Dix Sibly born abt 1850 Taunton, Somerset lived at 2 Elgin Park, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol in 1881, unmarried with 2 servants. In 1889 he was living at 40 St. John's Road, Clifton.

Above 40 St. John's Road, Clifton

His last surving daughter Beatrix Edith Sibly died on 5th November 1967 at Bollingey, Perranporth, aged 85.

John Langstaffe Dickinson married 1883 Elizabeth Wentworth Taylor in Bath. Their son William John Wentworth Dickinson married Madeleine Blanche Berresford, daughter of Judge Berresford, on Saturday March 27th 1915 at the Parish Church in Weston-super-Mare where the late J.L.Dickinson had lived.

It was announced in The Times on April 10th 1897 that the partnership of Sibly & Dickinson was disolved. Thomas Sibly was still practising as a solicitor in 1909.

It is said The Woodalls were a very religious family (unlike the Bevan's!) and James Bevan was told that if he wanted to marry Annie then he would have to give up his smoking, drinking and hunting. This he did and in fact became very involved in the church to such an extent he gave up his legal studies and went to theological college in London, living in Hampstead. This all started when Bevan went to see a Evangelist meeting in Bristol held by a William Clarke, who was also a well known athlete. Bevan went on to name one of his sons William Clarke. Bevan and Annie had 11 children in all, of the seven boys, six of them entered the church.

Above St. Stephens Church, Caerwent.

awaiting permission to show certificate

Above a copy of James Bevan and Annie Woodall's Entry of Marriage. Witnesses were R.H.Cazalet (his best man) and Mary Elizabeth Woodall (her sister). The Vicar was MacDonald Steel. Robert Henry Cazalet born 1857 went to Hereford Cathedral School and St. Johns College, Cambridge University with James Bevan. He was born in Paddock Hurst, Sussex abt. 1857. In 1871 he was living with his parents in Leigh, Worcestershire and in 1891 living in Great Malvern, a Furrier. In 1901 he was living in Newchurch, Carmarthenshire. He moved to Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand where he died on 30th September 1932.

Above James Bevan's Bestman, Robert Henry Cazalet from the 1877 St. Johns College XV photo. He also appears in the 1878 Eagles photo. He attended Cambridge University from November 10th 1876 until 1880. For more on Robert Cazalet click here

The other witness, Mary Elizabeth Woodall, never married. She devoted her life to her parents and died about the time of their retirement.

The vicar who married the Bevans was MacDonald Steel. Born abt.1816 in Lymington, Hampshire. He was Vicar at Caerwent for a number of years and appears in the 1851 census as such.

On his marriage certificate Bevan is described as a 'Gentleman' and living at St.Nathanael's, Bristol. This would be St. Nathanael's (sometimes spelt Nathaniel) Church on the corner of Lower Redland Road and Elmgrove Road. The church was built in 1873-5 by John Bevan (no relation). Money ran out during the construction of the tower at the south east corner of the church which explains why the tower doesn't go above aisle level. The church closed in the late 1980s the parishes of St. Nathanael and St Matthew were amalgamated and St. Nathanael's became The Elmgrove Community Centre. In the 'Religious Census' carried out by the Western Daily Press on October 30th 1881 341 people were present at Morning Service and 301 at Evening Service.

Above an account of James Bevan's wedding from The Bristol Mercury on 27th July 1882.

Above map of the area dated 1885 drawn for the extension of the borough boundaries. St Nathanael's is on the right near the railway line. In the Bristol and Suburban Street Directory 1883-1887 James A. Bevan is listed as living at Singleton Villa, close to St. Nathanael's Church, on Elmgrove Road, Cotham, Bristol.

Above map showing Singleton Villa in 1888 highlighted in pink. James Bevan's home in Bristol.

Above the building that is on the site of Singleton Villa, Elmgrove Road, Cotham, Bristol. Divided into flats and numbered 22-23 Elmgrove Road. Singleton Villa was James Bevan's home in Bristol from 1883 - 1887. Research is still being carried out to ascertain if this is the original Singleton Villa as it is a very different style to the buildings either side. Prior to James Bevan living at Singleton Villa it was occupied by Alexander Allen. After 1887 it was occupied by Charles Cole. The last entry for a Singleton Villa was in 1904 when it was occupied by George Bonville Ackerman.

Above St. Nathanael's, Bristol now The Elmgrove Centre across the road from where Bevan lived and where his eldest son was baptised.

James Bevan attended Bristol University as part of his legal studies in 1881.

Above letter from James Bevan to the Western Daily Press on 15th February 1884.

It was while in Bristol that Bevan played cricket for Old Sneed Park Cricket Club and is reported to have bowled out WG and EM Grace on separate occasions. Also in the Old Sneed Park CC was a C.Strachan, possibly the same man who was the first captain of Clifton RFC.

Above report from the cricket match played on 11th May 1885 when Bevan played for Sneyd Park against Cotham.

Above report from the cricket match played on 23rd May 1885 when Bevan played for Sneyd Park against Bohemians.

Above report from the cricket match played on 29th June 1885 when Bevan played for Old Sneed Park against Frenchay.


Above Annie Susan Bevan (nee Woodall). This photograph was taken by W.H.Midwinter & Co., 49 Park Street, Bristol between 1879-1888.

His sister, Mary Sophia Bevan, married Oswald Stanley Whaley (born 1856 Kilburn, London) in Chepstow on 23rd April 1883. Whaley was educated at Christ College, Cambridge obtaining a BA in 1878. They had ? children. Their son, Oswald Stanley Whaley was born in 1890 in Whorlton, Durham, England. He was educated at Sedburgh School, Yorkshire. He died at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli on 10th August 1915. He was a Second Lieutenant, 10th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment. The family lived at 32, Sutherland Avenue, Bexhill, Sussex. He is remembered with honour on the Helles Memorial. A son Francis John Whaley was born in 1898 at Berwick, Sussex.

In 1888 Bevan was ordained a Deacon. He was a priest in London in 1889 and worked at Christ Church in Hampstead, Middlesex from 1888-92.

Above Christ Church, Hampstead.

He then moved to Trinity Church in Hampstead and was there from 1892-99.

He became Vicar at St. George's, The Park, Great Yarmouth from 1899-1936. The church was consecrated in 1715, and was built as a chapel of ease to the mother-church of St Nicholas. It was modelled on St Clement Danes in London, which was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. The church was declared redundant in 1971, there were plans to Tarmac the site as a car park, but the borough council ploughed money into reviving the building when it became an arts centre, and the fine eighteenth century pulpit was moved to St Nicholas's church. It is now known as St. Georges Theatre.

Above St. Georges Theatre, Great Yarmouth.

The 1901 Census lists the Bevan family at 57 Wellesley Road, Great Yarmouth.

Name Relation Marital Status Gender Age Birthplace Occupation
James A. Bevan Head M Male 42 Australia Clergyman (Church of England)
Annie S. Bevan Wife M Female 40 Dinham, Monmouth  
Hubert W. Bevan Son S Male 17 Bristol, Gloucestershire  
William Bevan Son S Male 14 Hampstead, London  
John S. Bevan Son S Male 12 Hampstead, London  
Dorethea M. Bevan Daug S Female 9 Hampstead, London  
Edith L. Bevan Daug S Female 7 Hampstead, London  
Eric J. Bevan Son S Male 6 Hampstead, London  
Ernest G. Bevan Son S Male 4 Hampstead, London  
Kenneth A. Bevan Son S Male 2 Hampstead, London  
Evelyn B. Crosbie Governess S Female 34 Westbourne Park, London Governess
Mary J. Buckle Servant S Female 20 Crick, Monmouthshire Cook
Eliza J. Edwards Servant S Female 18 Southwark, London Nurse
Ada M. Seago Servant S Female 17 Beccles, Suffolk Housemaid

57 Wellesley Road is now the Trevi Guest House see

Above 57 Wellesley Road, Great Yarmouth today.

Standing (L-R): William Clarke, Dorothea, John, Edith, Eric. Sitting: Hubert, Annie Susan (Winifred on knee), James Alfred, Ernest Guy. In front: Kenneth. Geoff.

Above photo of James Bevan and his family in August 1907

Standing (L-R): Eric, Dorothea, John, Edith, William Clarke, Ernest Guy. Sitting: Eric, Annie Susan (Winifred on knee), James Alfred, Evelyn Crosbie. In front: Kenneth, Geoff.

Above another photograph from that session in August 1907 which included thye Governess Miss Evelyn Crosbie. She retired to Kilburn and died in about 1950.

His eldest son, Hubert, was born in Bristol on 4th June 1883. He married Margery Faulkener Fielding (born Yarmouth Sept. 1887) at Great Yarmouth in September 1910. He lived into his 70's. Hubert was christened at St. Nathaniels, Bristol on 5th July 1883. Hubert was at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

His second son William Clarke Bevan was named after a preacher his father had heard in Bristol. He had four children, Jean, Esmond, Marion and Llewelyn. William Bevan died on 2nd February 1938, the day before his father. It was this meeting with the evangelist William Clarke that changed James Bevan's life and life-style. William Bevan passed is central exams at Theological College in July 1905 at Durham University.

Eric Bevan taught at Wycliffe College after he went to St. Johns College, Cambridge.

Above James Bevan leading a Sunday school parade through Great Yarmouth. Unknown date. Image courtesy of Tim Edwards.

James Bevan was Vicar of Herringfleet, Suffolk from 1906-08.

Above St Margaret, Herringfleet. The early Norman tower is attached to a thatched nave and tiled chancel.

The 1911 Census lists the Bevan family at St. Georges Parsonage, Great Yarmouth.

Name Relation Marital Status Gender Age Birthplace Occupation
James Alfred Bevan Head Married Male 52 Melbourne, Australia Clerk in Holy Orders
Annie Susan Bevan Wife Married Female 50 Monmouth  
John Stacey Bevan Son Single Male 22 Middlesex, London Student
Dorothea Mary Bevan Daughter Single Female 19 Middlesex, London Living at home
Edith Llewellyn Bevan Daughter Single Female 17 Middlesex, London School
Eric James Bevan Son Single Male 16 Middlesex, London School
Ernest Guy Bevan Son Single Male 14 Middlesex, London School
Kenneth Graham Bevan Son Single Male 12 Middlesex, London School
Edward Geoffrey Bevan Son Single Male 9 Great Yarmouth, Norfolk School
Winifred Annie Bevan Daughter Single Female 6 Great Yarmouth, Norfolk Scholar at home
Oswald Montague Cleife Lane Boarder Single Male 16 Hereford School
Laura Hilary Johnson Servant Single Female 19 Beccles, Suffolk House Parlour Maid (Domestic)
Lilian Catchpole Servant Single Female 18 Fritton, Suffolk Housemaid (Domestic)
Ada May Rayner Servant Single Female 18 Croxton, Norfolk Cook (Domestic)

Up to 1911 the Bevans had 13 children, 3 of whom had died. Hubert and William had left home.

James Alfred Bevan has been almost forgotten. The fact that he was the first captain of Wales should have been enough but the scale of their defeat has been something that many people have tried to forget.

Bevan made a will in 1936 while living at St. Georges Parsonage, Alexandra Road, Great Yarmouth. The executors were Ernest Guy Bevan and William Clarke Bevan.

In 1936 James Bevan retired. Above newspaper reports.

Above the James Bevan photograph used in his retirement announcement.

In 1940, James Bevans son, Kenneth A. Bevan became Bishop of East Szechwan (China). Born 27th September 1898 Great Yarmouth. Living in China at this time was potentially very dangerous. While he was in China his 3 daughters attended the school that Eric Liddle, the Olympic athlete immortalized in the film Chariots of Fire, was headmaster.

Above Kenneth Graham Bevan, Bishop of Eastern Szechwan 1940-1950. Vicar of Woolhope with Checkley, Herefordshire 1950. Rural Dean of Hereford 1955. Prebendary of Hereford Cathedral 1956. Master of Holgate Hospital at Hemsworth, Pontefract in 1966. He also served as Assistant Bishop in Wakefield until he retired, aged 79, to York. He died in 1994.

Above Woolhope Church, Herefordshire

Above Front Entrance of Holgate Hospital, Hemsworth, West Yorkshire.

Above his son John Stacey Bevan who became vicar of St. Lukes in Barton Hill, Bristol. The caption read "The Rev. J. S. Bevan and Mrs Bevan examining some of the gifts presented to them by the parishioners of St. Luke's Church, Barton Hill, which Mr Bevan is leaving after 27 years. The presentations were made during the farewell gathering in the church hall." He died on 5th November 1964.

Above St. Lukes, Barton Hill, Bristol. Now surrounded by High Rise Flats.

Soon after this Bevan retired and moved to his son, Ernest Guy Bevan's, house at 41 Forest Road East, Leytonstone.

Bevans wife Annie died of pneumonia in Maudsley Hospital, Denmark Hill on 20th July 1937. Her death certificate indicates her usual address was that at Forest Drive East. Her Memorial Service was held at St.Paul's Leytonstone and she is buried at Hampstead Cemetery.

Above the Maudsley Hospital c1918. The Maudsley Hospital in Denmark Hill, London SE5, was opened in 1923 as a London County Council (LCC) hospital devoted to the early treatment of acute mental illness. It was largely built by 1914, but was requisitioned for military use as a Neurological Clearing Hospital during the First World War. It was united with Bethlem Hospital under the new National Health Service (NHS) in 1948. Since 1999 it has been part of the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust.

Bevan was resident at St. Paul's Vicarage, Leytonstone in 1938 where he died on February 3rd of prostrate cancer. The actual address is 41 Forest Drive East, Leytonstone. Coincidentally his son, William Clarke Bevan died the day before on February 2nd 1938.

James Alfred Bevan's obituary appeared in The Times on 5th February 1938 and said

BEVAN.- On Feb. 3. 1938, at St. Paul's Vicarage, Leytonstone, JAMES ALFRED BEVAN, lately incumbent os St. George's, Gt. Yarmouth. Service St. Paul's, Leyton. Tuesday 1pm., and at Hampstead Cemetery 2.15

On the day that his obituary appeared in The Times Wales played Scotland at Murrayfield. They lost 8-6 to a penalty awarded to Scotland 2 minutes from time in front of 60,000 people. A minutes silence wasn't taken. Bevan's place in Welsh Rugby history had been completeley forgotten about.

His Memorial Service was held on the 8th February 1938 at St.Paul's at 1pm and the funeral took place at Hampstead Cemetry at 2.15pm. St. Paul's church was pulled down a number of years ago and its parish was amalgamated with the neigbouring parish of St Catherines. A new building erected, which is known as the "Cornerstone" - there's actually a drop-in centre there too. St Pauls was in Canterbury Road Leyton.

Above St. Paul's Church, Leytonstone in 1952. Image courtesy of Vestry House Museum (London Borough of Walthan Forest). Next door is Leyton County High School for Boys where the actor Derek Jacobi was a pupil.

awaiting permission to show certificate

Above a copy of the Entry of Death of James Alfred Bevan.

Bevan is buried in Grave No.79 Section K12 at Hampstead Cemetery along with other family members.

Above the grave of James Alfred Bevan . Also buried in the same plot are his daughter Grace Elizabeth Bevan (died 26th November 1890), his wife Annie Susan Bevan (died 20th July 1937), and his daughter Dorethea Mary Bevan (died 12th February 1966).

On 19th February 1981 at the town hall in Grosmont there was a celebration of the centenary of the 1881 game. Various dignatories from the rugby world attended as well as members of the Bevan family. There are a couple of pictures of James Alfred Bevan hanging in the town hall at Grosmont.

Above Centenary Dinner Menu.

Above from the Abergavenny Chronicle February 26th 1981.

Above on the 12th February 2006 Wales played Scotland at the Millenium Stadium. The programme included 3 pages on James Alfred Bevan and 1881. This was Mike Ruddock's last match as head coach of Wales.

The Rugby Unions of Wales and Australia celebrated the 100th year of Test rugby between the countries with the establishment of the “James Bevan Trophy”. To be played for each time the two sides meet, the James Bevan Trophy played for the first time in the Bundaberg Rum Rugby Series in Australia. Wales met the Qantas Wallabies at Telstra Stadium, Sydney, on May 26th 2007 and at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on June 2nd 2007.

Above the James Bevan Trophy.