BEVILL, Sir William (c.1548-1600), of Killygarth, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1548, 1st s. of John Bevill of Killygarth by Elizabeth, da. of John Milliton of Mewey. educ. ?G. Inn 1561. m. (1) Jane, da. of Sir Thomas Arundell, s.p.; (2) Frances, da. and coh. of Sir Henry Knyvet of Charlton, Wilts., s.p. suc. fa. 19 Jan. 1578. Kntd. 1589.1

Offices Held

Steward W. Looe 1574; j.p. Cornw, from c.1583, q. c.1592, sheriff 1589-90, 1598-9, dep. lt. 1599.2


Bevill was a well-connected country gentleman whose seat at Killygarth lay slightly to the west of West Looe. The house, said Richard Carew, ‘yieldeth a large view of the south coast’, and in Sir William’s lifetime was much visited ‘through his frank invitings’. Well placed, as he was, Bevill helped to defend the Cornish coast during the dangerous years of the 1590s. He also served as colonel of the musters of Lider and Powder hundreds, and helped to raise Boo troops for Ireland. In the Parliament of 159, Bevill was named to the committee concerning vagabondage on 12 Mar. As knight of the shire he was also appointed to the subsidy committee (26 Feb.), a legal committee (9 Mar.) and a committee concerning wool and kerseys (23 Mar.). It is unlikely, however, that he served on this last committee since he was given leave to depart on 21 Mar. on account of his wife’s illness.3

Bevill died suddenly in 1600, and was succeeded by Elizabeth, daughter of his younger brother Philip, who married Bernard Grenville of Stowe.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N.M.S.


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 31; CP, xi. 262; Letters of Robert Cecil (Cam. Soc. lxxxviii), 24.
  • 2. A. L. Browne, Corporation Chrons. W. Looe, 94; CSP Dom. 1598-1601, p. 291.
  • 3. HMC Hatfield, iv. 295; vii. 443; viii. 427; xiv. 96; Carew’s Surv. Cornw. ed. Halliday, 204; D’Ewes, 474, 496, 499, 507.
  • 4. Carew, 204-5; D. Gilbert, Paroch. Hist. Cornw. iv. 203.