Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Richard BEVYS, 1541-1603, Exeter, Devon, England

Richard BEVYS, sometimes spelled Beaves, is my 11th great-grandfather on my maternal line [TERWILLIGER]. He was born approximately 1541 in Exeter, Devon, England.  The illustration on the right is from 1563, showing Exeter situated on the River Exe.

Richard was listed in the Exeter Parish records as a Freeman, a Merchant, on April 29, 1566. One week later, on May 6, 1566, he married Elizabeth PROWSE/Prouz, who apparently was almost 5 years older than him [birth year not yet verified]. She was born 1536 in Chagford, a small village 15miles due west of Exeter. The Prowse/Prouz family were also a well known respected family in the area. A Richard Prowse was Mayor of Exeter in 1568; his relationship to her is not yet clarified.

Richard remained in Exeter and seems to have been very prosperous as a woolen merchant, remarked in any records with the honorific "Mister." He also had several apprentice contracts with young men in the 1570s, according to local records.

Richard and his wife Elizabeth had the following children that I have been able to find records for; all were born in Exeter, some baptized in St Kerrian church (a very small church), and some in a slightly larger church nearby, St Mary Arches. Both are quite close to the very large Exeter Cathedral.  I still need to do more research on Richard's and Elizabeth's families, and also why they used different churches for baptisms of their children.

   1.   Alles [Alice], bap Jan 11, 1567, d. 1569 aged 2 yrs
   2.   Nichollas, bap Dec 5, 1567, d. Nov 14, 1612 aged 44yrs; married w. children
   3.   John, bap Jul 9, 1569, d. Apr 10, 1594 aged 24 yrs; no research done on him
   4.   Allas Alice [ancestor], bap Jun 7, 1572, d. Feb 1631 aged 58 yrs;
               m. Aug 30, 1595 to John MARSHALL in Exeter; 12 children
   5.   Peter, b. abt 1573/74; no further details found
   6.   Wilmott, bap Nov 22, 1574, d. Sep 26 1595, almost 21 yrs.
   7.   Richard, bap Mar 9, 1579; no further research done.
   8.   Elizabeth, bap 1580, d. Feb 5, 1587, aged 8 yrs.

From the gaps above, it is possible there were several other children born who may have died young. Elizabeth, his wife, died July 12th, 1585 aged 49 years.The following year, on May 16th, 1586 in Exeter, Richard married his second wife, Jane Hewish, about whom I have no information.

Richard BEVYS became High Sheriff in Exeter in 1591. And in 1594, was elected Governor of the Guild of Merchant Adventurers.  Finally, in 1602, he was made Lord Mayor of Exeter.

He died unexpectedly on August 26, 1603, while in office as Lord Mayor. Below is the Burial note in the Devon Burial Index for Exeter. Trust me, spelling did not count, and it actually states:

Richard Bevis being mayer, ye 28 of August ....... 1603

Although there is an index stating Richard has a a will, and that it was probated after his death, I have not yet found an image or transcription or abstract of this will. I also do not know if  his second wife Jane, was still alive at the time of his death.

An interesting connection: Richard's granddaughter (Elizabeth MARSHALL, b. 1602/03) married Thomas TROWBRIDGE (b. 1597/98), whose ancestry has been researched back to - Charlemagne. Although I do believe after so many generations, not much of that DNA is being carried in our current family! I loved the long scroll Who Do You Think You Are genealogists unrolled for Cindy Crawford on the show - Oh if only I could see that entire roll as well! Still, at least I know the research was done, and I should be able to find some of it, sooner or later.

If you have any further information about Richard BEVYS or his family, I would love to hear from you; contact through my email address at the very bottom of the blog page.  

Blooger has a glitch in it stopping me from replying to your comments, but please do know that I appreciate your comments very much. You make my day! Thanks so much for stopping by to read my family blog. 

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Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis