Philip Evans was born in Monmouth, 1645, and was educated at St Omer where he joined the Society of Jesus. After ordination he was sent to South Wales to work. Despite the official anti-Catholic policy he was left alone for some years by the local officials. In 1678 in the wake of the so-called ‘Popish Plot’ he was taken prisoner, £200 (then a huge sum of money) having been offered as a reward for his arrest. He refused to take the Oath of Allegiance and was kept in Cardiff Castle. He was not put on trial for several months because, it is said, no one could be found to testify against him.
John Lloyd was a Welshman, born in Brecon about the year 1630. He studied for the priesthood in Valladolid, Spain and then returned to Wales where he ministered as a diocesan priest for over twenty years without any recorded problems. Following the ‘Popish Plot’ of Titus Oates, Lloyd was arrested in Glamorgan and charged with having said Mass at Llantilio, Penrhos, and Trievor. He was imprisoned at Cardiff Castle with Philip Evans. They were tried together and were both condemned for their priesthood. They were hanged, drawn, and quartered together on 22 July, 1679 on Gallows Field in Cardiff. Philip Evans spoke at some length to the crowd in both English and Welsh. In the course of his speech he said: “I die for God and religion’s sake; and I think myself so happy that if I had many lives I would willingly give them all for so great a cause.” His companion John Lloyd said very little: “I never was a good speaker in my life”, but that he died in “the true Catholic and Apostolic faith”