BEAW, William (c.1676-1738), of Doctors’ Commons, London

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Feb. - Nov. 1701

Family and Education

b. c.1676, 1st s. of William Beaw, bp. of Llandaff 1679–1706, by Frances, da. of Alexander Bowsier of Southampton, Hants.  educ. Magdalen, Oxf. matric. 4 Nov. 1681 aged 15, BA 1685, BCL 1686, DCL 1695; Doctors’ Commons 1696.  m. bef. 1686, Margaret, da. of Richard Lyster of Rowton Castle, Salop, 3s.  suc. fa. 1706.1

Offices Held

Chancellor, dioc. of Llandaff 1687–d.


Beaw was descended from Guillaume Beau, who took part in the siege of Boulogne in 1544, and whose issue settled first in London and then in Berkshire. His father served as a Royalist major of horse in the Civil War before taking holy orders, eventually becoming bishop of the impoverished see of Llandaff. Beaw entered Oxford in 1681, where he trained for the civil law, and after leaving university he became his father’s secretary before being appointed chancellor of Llandaff diocese in 1687, an office he held for the rest of his life. At the first general election of 1701 Beaw was elected at Mitchell, a return he probably owed to his sister’s marriage to a Protestant branch of the Arundells, a Catholic family who were lords of the manor at Mitchell. Beaw’s contribution to the first 1701 Parliament was negligible, though he was listed as one of those who in this Parliament had opposed the preparations for war against France. He was arrested for debt in 1703 and spent the rest of his life in the Fleet prison. His father had long complained that he could not support his own large family out of the income of such a ‘scandalously poor’ see as Llandaff, and indeed when he died in 1706 he left nothing but debts, his widow relying on a pension of £40 p.a. from the royal bounty to keep her from starvation. Beaw died in the Fleet on 6 Jan. 1738.2

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Bradney, Mon. iv. 68; G. D. Squibb, Doctors’ Commons, 185.
  • 2. Bradney, 67–68; HMC Lords, iv. 15–17; Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 17; HMC Portland, iv. 166; Cal. Treas. Bks. xix. 31; xxi. 230; xxvii. 546; Hist. Reg. Chron. 1738, pp. 6–7.