BEAVANS, Francis (d.1602), of Oxford and Hereford.

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

educ. Broadgates Hall, Oxf. by 1572; All Souls, fellow 1573, BCL 1579, DCL 1583, incorp. LLB Camb. 1581. m. Katherine, da. of Morgan Awbrey of London, 1s.

Offices Held

Principal, New Inn Hall, Oxf. 1585-6, of Jesus, Oxf. 1586-d; chancellor, diocese of Hereford 1586; j.p. Herefs. from 1584.


Beavans was a native of Carmarthenshire who had a successful academic career at Oxford, culminating in his appointment as principal of Jesus College for life when he obtained a new charter for the college on 7 July 1589. He was one of the heads of colleges who wrote to the Earl of Essex and Lord Buckhurst on 9 June 1598 after a complaint of a ‘tumultuous disorder’ committed by some of the university. On 13 Oct. 1590 Beavans was made an advocate and one of the commissaries appointed to visit the church and diocese of Llandaff during the vacancy following the death of Bishop Blethyn.

He presumably acquired his seat in Parliament for Bishop’s Castle through his post as chancellor of the diocese of Hereford.

In his will, made 1 Dec. 1600, he asked to be buried in Hereford cathedral and made a small bequest to Bishop Westfaling of Hereford. He left to his brother John lands bought from Sir John Vaughan, and the remainder of his property, after minor bequests, to his wife during the minority of his only son. Although the details are obscure, it is possible that he was in financial difficulties, as he referred to a number of mortgages and bonds. Bishop Westfaling had reported in 1587 that Beavans was the only j.p. in Herefordshire worth less than £20 in land or goods, but recommended that he should be continued on the commission, ‘in respect of the better executing of his office’. Beavans died in 1602. Since he had failed to appoint an executor in his will, he was declared intestate and the administration of his goods was granted to his widow. An inquisition post mortem held the following September revealed that he held no land of the Crown in chief, having sold the property known as Bridgescourt in Kingstone near Hereford on 27 Sept. 1600, to Morgan Awbrey of London, presumably one of his wife’s relatives.

VCH Oxon. iii. 264, 278; HMC Hatfield, viii. 201; Strype, Whitgift, ii. 67; Strype, Annals, iii(2), 454; PCC 48 Montague; C142/773/205.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Patricia Hyde