Son of the engraver and carpenter Walter Swift Evans and his wife Sophia (nee Spilsbury). He was the cousin of George Eliot (1819 - 1880, pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans), and studied under the artist Samuel Lines (1778 - 1863). He was married to Mary Ann Eliza Hollyer (born about 1846) in 1870 and settled in London shortly after. Evans exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1871 to 1886. He was elected a member of the Royal Institute of painters in Watercolour in 1888 and also the Royal Society of British Artists. Cannock Chase is in Staffordshire. It is a former royal forest.