Samuel Thomas Evans
Sir Samuel Thomas Evans GCB PC QC (May 1859 – September 13, 1918), was a Welsh barrister, judge and Liberal politician.
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, and qualified as a solicitor in 1883. In 1891 he was called to the Bar, and gained a large practice on the South Wales circuit. In 1901 he became the last QC created by Queen Victoria.
Evans served on the Neath Town Council during the 1880's. In 1890 he was elected to the House of Commons for Mid Glamorgan, a seat he held until 1910, combining his parliamentary work with his legal practice in Wales. He was a Recorder of Swansea from 1906 to 1908 and became a Bencher of the Middle Temple in 1908. The latter year he was appointed Solicitor-General in the Liberal administration of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, and office he retained when H. H. Asquith became Prime Minister the same year.
In 1910 Evans decided to give up his political ambitions 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. His reputation as a judge rests mostly on his role as President of the Prize Court established during the First World War. Evans had been knighted in 1908, sworn of the Privy Council in 1910 and was appointed a GCB in 1916. However, he declined the offer of a peerage.
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. Evans died in September 1918 and was buried at Skewen.