EVANSON, EDWARD: English clergyman; b. at Warrington (16 m. w.s.w. of Manchester), Lancashire, Apr. 21, 1731; d. at Colford (4 m. n.w. of Crediton), Devonshire, Sept. 25, 1805. He studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge (BA., 1749; M.A., 1753). After having officiated for several years as curate at Mitcham, Surrey, he was given the vicarage of South Mimms in 1768, and in 1769 also that of Tewkesbury. The following year he gave up South Mimms for the vicarage of Longdon, in Worcestershire. For questioning the divinity of Christ and altering the liturgy in conformity to Unitarian views a prosecution was instituted against him. First tried before the bishop of Gloucester, Jan. 16, 1775, the case was appealed to the Court of Arches, then to the Court of Delegates, and finally quashed on technical grounds in 1777. Evanson was very popular with his parishioners, and they subscribed freely to pay his expenses. In 1777 he gave up his charges and a few months later opened a school at Mitcham. After his marriage, in 1786, he purchased an estate at Blakenham, Suffolk, and later preached to a Unitarian church at Lympst¿n. He was the author of The Dissonance of the Four generally received Evangelists (Ipswich, 1792), in which he rejects the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John, and other parts of the New Testament; Arguments against and for the Sabbatical Observance of Sunday (Ipswich, 1792),a result of a controversy with Priestley; and Reflections on the State of Religion in Christendom (London, 1802), which he considered his most important work; also Sermons, with a memoir (2 vols., London, 1807), containing the Easter sermon of Mar. 31, 1771, which led to his prosecution.