Philip Evans was born in Monmouth in 1645, was educated at Jesuit College at St. Omer (now in France), joined the Society of Jesus in Watten on 7 September 1665, and was ordained at Liège (now in Belgium) and sent to South Wales as a missionary in 1675.
He worked in Wales for four years, and despite the official anti-Catholic policy no action was taken against him. When the Oates’ scareswept the country both Lloyd and Evans were caught up in the aftermath. In November 1678 John Arnold, of Llanvihangel Court near Abergavenny, a justice of the peace and hunter of priests, offered a reward of £200 (equivalent to £30,000 in 2015) for his arrest.
Despite the manifest dangers Father Evans steadfastly refused to leave his flock. He was arrested at the home of a Mr Christopher Turberville at Sker, Glamorgan on 4 December 1678.
Father John Lloyd, a Welshman and a secular priest (a priest not associated with any religious order), was a Breconshire man. He was educated in Ghent (now in Belgium), and from 1649 at the English College, Valladolid, Spain. He took the ‘missionary oath’ on 16 October 1649 to participate in the English Mission. Sent to Wales in 1654 to minister to covert Catholics, he lived his vocation while constantly on the run for 24 years. He was arrested at Mr Turberville’s house at Penlline, Glamorgan on 20 November 1678, and imprisoned in Cardiff Gaol. There he was joined by the Jesuit, Philip Evans.