After an education at Westminster School he was apprenticed to Thomas Payne of the Mews Gate, and succeeded to the business of James Edwards, bookseller in Pall Mall, London.
In 1812 Evans began a long career as auctioneer with the sale of the Duke of Roxburghe"s library. Among other famous libraries dispersed by him were those of:
Colonel Stanley (1813);
Stanesby Alchorne (1813);
John Towneley (1814). And
James Edwards (1815).
Other sales were of:
the Duke of Devonshire"s duplicates (1815);
the Duke of Grafton"s library (1815);
the vellum-printed books of Field-marshal Junot (1816).
the Borromeo collection of novels and romances (1817). He also sold the White Knights library (of George Spencer-Churchill, 5th Duke of Marlborough), those of James Bindley, John Dent, George Hibbert, Dudley Long North, and some portions of Richard Heber"s (1836).
Evans"s own marked set of catalogues went to the British Museum, and between 1812 and 1847 the chief libraries sold in England went through his hands. He was in the habit of discoursing upon the books passing under his hammer.
But his expertise as an auctioneer was not matched by ordinary business qualities, and he fell into money troubles.
Evans died in Edward Street, Hampstead Road, London, on 25 April 1857, in his eightieth year. His widow, Susanna, died in Stamford Road, Fulham, on 31 January 1861, aged 80.