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Trying to write up the story of one branch of the Bewley family without actually doing any primary research myself, has been an exercise in depending on the work of others and the generous comments of at least one who is continuing the research. At first I based my account on the work of Jane W. T. Brey, A Quaker Saga: The Watsons of Straw-berryhowe, the Wildmans, and other Allied Families from England's North Counties and Lower Bucks County in Pennsylvania (Phila.: Dorrance & Company, 1967). Then an e-mail-cousin, Tim Lockwood, sent me a copy of his work in progress, "Tim Lockwood's 'Bewley' pedigree prior to Ruth (nee Bewley) Latimer (drawn from The Bewleys of Cumberland, by Sir Edmund Thomas Bewley, published in Dublin in 1902 by William McGee)". This sent me to the internet where I found a copy of Sir Edmund's work transcribed in pdf format by Thomas Bewley and his son Richard. What a gift to Bewley descendants! However, as is often the case with history in general and genealogy in particular the game did not end with what appeared in 1902 as the definitive work. Tim Lockwood has been delving in the British National Archive and discovering both new documents that escaped Sir Edmund's gaze, and new interpretations for the melange of data. Therefore, for now I shall leave out the entire narrative from the twelfth to the early sixteenth century. At the point in the 1650s when some members of the Bewley family became convinced of the faith and practice of Friends, I am able to do my own research in Fox's Journal and Besse's Sufferings.

For those who care about such things, Sir Edmund Bewley proved to the satisfaction of the Ulster King at Arms that his family are directly descended from the original Cumberland De Beaulieu families. Therefore direct descendants are entitled to use the family coat of arms with the motto, "Glory is the Reward of Valor".

English Roots


During reconstruction, we'll start with RichardF. Here is an explanation of the numbering system used on this page.

RichardF Bewley of Hesket Hall and Brayton (in the manor of Aspatrick), died ca. 1552. The hamlet of Brayton had belonged to the Prior of Carlisle and Richard probably got it after Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries. He received one quarter of the demesne of Woodhall which he gave to his second son MatthewE. Richard was a "tenant of customary freehold lands in the manor of Caldbeck" as early as 1516, and had succeeded to the Hesket estate by September 1534. He was named to various commissions from 1522 to 1535 (during the reign of Henry VIII). Richard and his son Matthew both appeared at the Muster Roll in Caldbeck ca. 1530. Richard had a "hors and harnes", while Matthew was among the "Bowmen havying jacks, sallets, and horsys." (A jack was a coat of mail and a sallet was a helmet.) Son Thomas was returned as "sick" when the list of men for border service was drawn up, so he may also have been ill on the muster day. In 1552 Richard was nominated an Overseer of the border watchers from Dalston to Caldbeck, but in October when it was time to "perfect" the appointment, his son Thomas served instead. It seems likely that Richard died that year.[8]

The parish of Caldbeck was large, about 18,000 acres of mountainous land with deposits of lead, copper, limestone, and coal. It was used extensively for raising sheep. The church was built in 1112 in the township of Low Caldbeck. It was "greatly embellished" in 1818 so no longer looks like it would have back in the sixteenth century.[9]

The 1536 so-called Pilgrimage of Grace was, among other things, a popular revolt against tithes. Sir Edmund wrote that Richard "appears to have been coerced at first to join the movement, but he afterwards used his influence in checking it." His explanation apparently was accepted, because he was included on the Commission of the Peace for Cumberland in 1538.[10]

Richard had two sons:

i. Thomas, m. Marian __ of Barwick; inherited Hesket and Brayton; sold a portion of Brayton in 1572; had a son William who d. 1589 after his father.

ii.MatthewE, d. 1643.

The principal dwelling house of Woodhall seems to have been in MatthewE Bewley's quarter, and the eldest son and heir in each succeeding generation seems to have lived there. In the large parish of Caldbeck, nearly all the timber of value apparently was in this part of the Woodhall lands. Matthew was named in the Muster Roll, as noted above. He was listed as owner of part of Woodhall in the 1560/1 Survey of Wharton Manors.[11]

In 1588, the year the Spanish armada came to grief, Matthew was succeeded at Woodhall by his son ThomasD Bewley. In 1598 Thomas witnessed the will of a cousin, named George Bewley, also of Woodhall, because he had inherited another quarter of the demesne. George's son, twelve-year-old George Bewley, Jr. inherited.[12]

Children of Thomas Bewley (order uncertain):

i. GeorgeC, d. 1643.

ii. Margaret married a cousin, George Bewley called "of Woodhall, son of Thomas" in a 1595 court roll to differentiate him from his cousin George, only son and heir of William (great grandson of Ralph) who owned another 1/4 of Woodhall. So there were three George Bewleys living in parts of Woodhall.

GeorgeC Bewley, the elder, died in 1643. During his life George managed to get possession of more lands within the manor. For this he paid an additional yearly tax of 3sh 4d above his original 20 shillings tax. Gorge was named as Thomas's son in a License in a 1595 Court Roll. He was identified as a tenant of a division of Woodhall in a Wharton Manor survey of 1633, and he was named in the Subsidy Rolls of 1624 and 1626.[13]

George's will was dated 8 July 1643 and in it he mentioned his sister Margaret and her son John, his brother-in-law George Bewley, as well as his own (unnamed) wife, three surviving sons, and some grandchildren.[14]

Children of George Bewley (the elder) and his wife, (order uncertain):

i. ThomasB, b. ca. 1595; m. ca. 1630 Dorothy ___.

ii. William of Penrith, died as a relatively young man in 1636; bur. 28 First Mo. 1636; m. 7 May 1632 Elizabeth GRAME;

iii. George, m. 9 Oct. 1645 Margaret RAP or RAFE, and they resided in Penrith. Margaret was bur. 15 Second Mo. 1662, as a widow. Two daughters.

iv. Mungo, yeoman, m. Jane BEWLEY, daughter of Thomas Bewley of Hasket. Mungo is an old knickname for St. Kentigern, a Scottish Christian monk who revived Christianity in Cumberland after the Romans left in the fifth century. Mungo acquired property at Ivegill in Hesket-in-the-Forest parish. They had a son George and daughters Mabel who m. David HODGSON, and Bridget. Mungo became a Friend and suffered for it. He died at Ivegill in 1676. His will, written 9 Aug. 1676, pr. 24 Sept. 1676 mentions his wife, children, and grandchildren William and Mary Bewley and David Hodgson. He also left 40 sh to "friends att ye monthly meeting".

v. Jane, m. ____ ASBRIGG, had a son John to whom his grandfather bequeathed "2 of my best Ewes & lambes".

ThomasB Bewley was born about 1595. He married ca. 1630 Dorothy ___.[15] In 1643 he paid £300 for a free-hold manor house and lands at Haltcliffe, about a mile from Woodhall, in Caldbeck parish. He rebuilt the manor house, and on a stone that still exists is the carved inscription, "TBD BVILT THIS HALL 1653". After the death of his father and brother William, Thomas received John's Close in the territories of Newlands and parish of Sebergham. As eldest son and heir he also inherited Woodhall, which in November 1661 he turned over to his second son, Thomas.

ThomasB and his brother Mungo and cousin George Bewley of Woodhall were among those convicted and convinced by George FOX's preaching of the faith and practice of those called in derision "Quakers". At the end of July 1653 Fox came to Haltcliffe Hall, home of Thomas Bewley. Thomas was about 58, "already obedient to the Spirit of God in his heart".[16] In his Journal Fox later wrote, ". . . but when night came I walked out [of the house] and lay out all night." In spite of this somewhat puzzling beginning, Thomas and his family were convinced, and Fox often stayed at their home.[17] The next year Joseph BESSE recorded in his book of Sufferings, "Thomas Bewley and Hugh STAMPER, standing at the Sessions in Carlisle with their Hats on, were by the Justices committed to Prison without any legal cause assigned. After a month's Confinement, they were discharged without paying Fees: But Hugh Stamper was afterward arrested for Fees, and again imprisoned and detained there one and twenty Weeks."[18]

In Carlisle Fox's reception had been mixed. While some townspeople and the Baptist minister opposed him, the soldiers garrisoned at the castle received him warmly and protected him from the mob. Thomas purchased a house in the Abbey in which the fledgling Friends group in Carlisle could worship. But as the political situation changed, during the time of Richard Cromwell (1658-'59) when the tattered dream of the Commonwealth came unravelled, soldiers drove the Friends out of their building. Then with the Restoration of the Stuart monarchy the magistrates shut them out of the city altogether. Three decades later, after the Act of Toleration a new meeting was begun in 1693 and a meeting house finally built in 1702.[19] But that's getting ahead of the story.

With the restoration of the monarchy and the election of a Cavalier Parliament bent on revenge, persecution of Friends intensified. In 1660 Thomas STORDY, brother-in-law of Thomas's son GeorgeA, was imprisoned for nine weeks for refusing to take the oath of allegiance. Anne Bewley was imprisoned 22 weeks for the same cause. In 1661 Thomas Mark "on an Attachment out of the Exchequer, were committed to Carlisle Goal in the Month called April this Year, and detained there about three Years.[20] In 1662

Thomas Stordy, being at Carlisle Assizes, went to visit some of his Friends there in Prison, but was illegally detained by the Goaler, and the next Day, he, with Stephen Pearson, then a Prisoner, was had to the Sessions-house, where the Oath of Allegiance was tendred them, which they refusing, were sent back to Goal among the Felons: Next Day they were indicted on the Statute of 3 K. James, found guilty, and had Sentence of Premunire passed upon them; by which they were adjudged to forfeit all their Lands, Goods, and Chattels, to be out of the King's Protection, and to suffer Imprisonment for Life. Soon after the Sheriff seized their Cattle, Corn, and other Goods, and proclaimed a publick Sale of them; at which they were sold far beneath the Value, in regard very few cared to buy them. However they were at length disposed of and carried away, without any Regard to the Prisoners or their Families, nor would the Sheriff, though earnestly desired, allow any thing to the poor Labourers, who had been employed in gathering in the Corn, and whom the Prisoners, thus plundered, were unable to pay. Under this hard Sentence Thomas Stordy and Stephen Pearson continued close Prisoners several Years, enduring their great Sufferings with exemplary Patience and Constancy, being supported by the Testimony of a good Conscience in their Obedience to the Precept of Christ, Swear not at all.[21]

That same year (1662) Thomas's brother Mungo and cousin George were persecuted:

George Fletcher, a Justice of the Peace, signalized himself by a violent Procedure at a Meeting at Howhill in Sowerby Parish, into which he, with a Retinue armed with Swords and Pistols, rushed in after an hostile Manner, and finding a Person on his Knees, the Justice struck him over the Head, and when he continued Praying, ordered him to be pulled down backward, and then caused him, together with John Slee, George Bewley, Mungo Bewley, Anthony Fell, John Banks, and others of the Assembly, to be dragged down the Hill in a violent and cruel Manner, and afterward sent them to Carlisle Goal. At the next Sessions John Slee was fined 10l. and the rest 5l. each, for which Fines. Fines were taken from John Slee, three Kine, one Bull, and an Heifer, worth 13 l. from George Bewley, three Kine worth 8 l. and from Mungo Bewley, two Horses worth 5l. 2s. 6d. At the Time of making these Distresses George Bewley was remaining a Prisoner for the same Fine.[22]

In 1663 when Fox visited the north counties again, he wrote, "And so after I had visited Friends in [Northumberland] and settled them upon Christ their foundation, their rock and their teacher I passed through Northumberland till I came into Cumberland, and came to the [Haltcliffe Hall] of old Thomas Bewley's. And Friends came about me and said, would I come there to go to prison, for there was great persecution in that country at the time. And I had a General Meeting at Thomas Bewley's, large and precious, and the Lord's power was over all."[23] There were many meetings held in the barn, which was still standing in 1967.[24]

After a brief respite, the authorities cracked down shortly after this visit from Fox, and Besse recorded, "Thomas Bewley, after frequent Seizures of his Goods for Tithes, was this year, on an Exchequer Process, committed to Prison at Carlisle, where he lay near three Years." Thomas Bewley the younger, suffered seizures to the value of £11 for a Claim of £2.18.00 for Tithes.[25]

In 1673 Besse recorded that "Thomas Bewley of Haltcliffe-Hall, aged about seventy-eight, was persecuted by Arthur Savage Priest, for 3l. Prescription Money, and taken from him his Feather Bed, Bedclothes, and a Cupboard, worth 5 l. The Hardship on the poor old Man's Case so affected the Neighbourhood with Compassion, that when the Bayliff exposed the Goods to Sale, no Body would buy them at any Rate: Whereupon the Priest sued the Bayliff, and made him pay both his Demand and his Costs." The following year Priest Savage "again prosecuted the said Thomas Bewley for Tithe of Wool, Lambs, &c. and not withstanding his very great Age, sent him to Prison." When he was released is not known. In 1676 Besse recorded, "On the 20th of the Month called January this Year, Thomas Bewley, Son of old Thomas Bewley aforesaid, and Alice Nicholson of Wood-house, Widow, were committed to Prison on an Exchequer Process, at the Suit of Arthur Savage, Priest of Caldbeck; at which Time also George Bewley, an elder Son of the same ancient Man, was detained in Prison by the same Priest, where he had then lain about two Years."[26]

In 1682, on "the 20th of the month called April the following Persons were continuing Prisoners for Tithe, at the suit of Arthur Savage, Priest of Caldbeck, viz. Thomas Bewley and Alice Nicholson, who had then been Prisoners five Years and three Months". In this Year were discharged out of Prison . . . George Bewley, who had lain in Prison more than five Years at the Suit of Arthur Savage, Priest of Caldbeck."[27] The priest seemed aptly named.

Friends' records state Thomas Bewley was buried December 11, 1680 at the age of about eighty-five. Someone listed his burial ("14 December 1680 at Whelpo") in the Caldbeck parish register. His wife Dorothy, on the other hand, was listed as being buried in Caldbeck on May 21, 1682. Interment in the Caldbeck parish churchyard suggests that she was not a Friend.[28] Whelpo is to the west of Caldbeck, and appears today as a rural area with no discernible village center.

Children of Thomas and Dorothy (__) Bewley (order uncertain):

i. GeorgeA, yeoman; b. in Woodhall; d. Haltcliffe Hall, bur. 21 July 1691 at the Whelpo meeting house; m. Elizabeth STORDY, sister of Friends minister Thomas Stordy of Moorhouse. She signed the 1659 anti-tithe "Handmaidens of the Lord" petition. They enlarged Haltcliffe Hall and their initials are carved on a stone window lintel: "GB EB 1687" and then again "GB EB 1690". George was a staunch Friend and withstood persecution. His will, dated 10 July 1691, describes in detail his goods. They had five children:
a) George who m. 18 Sept. 1695 Sarah RAWLINSON;
b) Samuel who m. 16 Oct. 1701 Sarah GREEHOW;
c) Ruth who m. 1681 Samuel BROWN;
d) Elizabeth who m. Bryan LANCASTER;
e) Abigail who m. 1688 George PEACOCK of Mosedaile.

ii. Thomas, b. before 1643; bur. 26 May 1693 at Whelpo; m. 8 April 1658 Margaret MARK, daughter of Thomas of Mosedale in the parish of Caldbeck. In November 1661 Thomas's father, ThomasB, transferred Woodhall to his second son, while reserving certain interests for himself and his wife during their lives. Young Thomas and Margaret rebuilt Woodhall in 1669, inscribing their initials over the doorway: TB MB 1669. A photo of the lintel is in the down-loadable pdf of The Bewleys of Cumberland. Thomas joined Friends and suffered persecution. Apparently meetings for worship were held for years in Woodhall. They had 10 children, of whom only 5 grew to maturity.[29]

Their children who lived to adulthood were:
a) John, ca. 1658, bur. 4 June 1703 in the Caldbeck parish church, m. Ann __, and had 3 daughters, all listed in the parish register, so presumably was not a Friend;
b) George d. 20 Jan. 1748/9 in Edenberry, Ireland, m. (1) Lucy ___, who d. in childbirth and was bur. 23 July 1692 at Whelpo; m. (2) Blessing FERNWELL (?); went to Ireland after his father's death perhaps as a Friends' minister; returned in 1704 to take possession of Woodhall;
c) Marye, b. 1659, d. in Ireland, m. 1694 Thomas WILSON. He was a Friends minister with a powerful voice and travelled to Pennsylvania at the height of the Keithian controversy, helping steer American Friends on a true course;
d) Thomas, b. 23 Oct. 1673; a tallow chandler in Dublin, m. Mary ___, had 4 daughters; he inherited one ewe lamb from his grandfather Thomas Mark, the elder, of Mosedale.
e) Mungo, b. 3 June 1677; d. 1747, Friends minister, removed to Ireland, travelled in the ministry in America and was present at the wedding of his first cousin Rebecca (Mark) Watson's granddaughter Mary Paxson to Joseph Richardson. Mungo inherited one ewe lamb from his grandfather Thomas Mark, the elder, of Mosedale.

iii. Mary, b. before 1643; d. after 1696; m. 8 Apr. 1658 Thomas Marke, Jr.

MaryA Bewley, only daughter and third child of Thomas and Dorothy (__) Bewley, was born before 1643 and died after 1696. On 8 April 1658 at Carlisle Meeting she married Thomas MARKE, Jr. son of Thomas and Elizabeth (SLEE) Mark of Mosedale. Thomas Jr. was born in Mosedale, in Caldbeck parish, and died 20 June 1696 and was buried the next day in Carlisle. His sister Margaret married Mary's brother Thomas.[30]

Mary and Thomas Marke lived at Mosedale until about 1680 when they moved to Bleckell Hall in St. Cuthbert's Parish, nearer Carlisle. They were staunch members of the Society of Friends, but are not recorded as being persecuted over non-payment of tithes. Persecution was largely dependent on the vindictiveness of a local "priest", justice, or landowner.

Children of Thomas Jr. and Mary (Bewley) Marke: [31]

i. Benjamin1, b. 14 Apr. 1659; m. 13 Aug. 1690 Sarah LANGHORNE; 4 sons.

ii. Isaac, b. 20 July 1662; bur. 18 Sept. 1673.

iii. Rebecca, b. 24 Feb. 1663; bur. 11 Nov. 1742 in Bucks County, Penna.; m. 4 Jan. 168_ Thomas WATSON; 7 children. Rebecca inherited "a heifer named Boney" from her grandfather Thomas Marke in 1696. For more on their descendants, see the Paxson Lines.

iv. Mary, b. 19 Mar. 1666; d. after 1696 when she was mentioned in her father's will.

v. Thomas, b. 24 Mar. 1670; m. Elizabeth HUDSON; 6 children.

Immigrant Generation

Rebecca Marke1, daughter of Thomas Jr. and Mary (Bewley) Marke, married 4 January 168_ Thomas Watson. They emigrated to Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Their daughter Mary WATSON, born ca. 1687, married William Paxson in May 1711. They had eight children.

Eventually this story will be continued on a Watson page, but it has not yet been posted. In the meantime, you can follow the link (above) to William Paxson.

"Dandelion", block print by Anne EG Nydam
copyright 1996, used with her kind permission

Return to the list of Collateral Lines
See the Paxson genealogy home page.

If you have corrections or additions, please contact me at .

Citations of Sources

1. Frank Edward Bewley, "The Bewleys of Cumberland and my Family History", at, seen 2/14/2011. I appreciate his permission to "all are welcome to make use of my material." For more detail, including the role a de Beaulieu may have played in deposing the unfortunate Edward II, see Sir Edmund Thomas Bewley, The Bewleys of Cumberland and their Irish and Other Descendants with Full Pedigrees of the Family from 1332 to the Present Day (Dublin: William McGee, 1902), 9-23.

2. Sir Edmund Thomas Bewley, The Bewleys of Cumberland and their Irish and Other Descendants, 1-8.

3.Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, 5th ed., 4 vols. (London: 1842), 2:459.

3a. Henry Chandlee Forman, Tidewater Maryland Architecture and Gardens (New York: Bonanza Books, 1956), 157.

4. Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, 5th ed. (London: 1842), 3:572, 2:3.

5. Bewley, The Bewleys of Cumberland, 52-53.

6. Bewley, The Bewleys of Cumberland, 68.

7. Bewley, The Bewleys of Cumberland, 70. Later, when his daughter Isabel Whitlay was buried on top of him, a small brass tablet was set in the floor of the aisle. See a rubbing of it Ibid., opp. p. 70.

7a. Matthew Emmott, "Cumbria's castles and pele towers" (2011) on the web at He includes a photo of the present church building.

8. Bewley, The Bewleys of Cumberland, 71-76.

9. Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, 1:466.

10. Bewley, The Bewleys of Cumberland, 73-74.

11. Bewley, The Bewleys of Cumberland, 90.

12. Bewley, The Bewleys of Cumberland, 90-91.

13. Tim Lockwood from Sir Edmund Thomas Bewley. I have not checked these documents myself.

14. Bewley, The Bewleys of Cumberland, 92.

15. Jane Brey offers Nicholson as Dorothy's surname, but there is nothing in Edmund T. Bewley's research to corroborate this. Brey apparently made the claim because the Nicholsons held another 1/4 of the demensne lands of Woodhall, and the Bewleys eventually came into ownership of it, too.

16. William C. Braithwaite, The Beginnings of Quakerism, second ed., revised by Henry J. Cadbury (York, Eng.: William Sessions Limited, 1981), 117.

17. John L. Nickalls, ed., The Journal of George Fox (Cambridge: At the University Press, 1952), 156; see also 164-65.

18. Joseph Besse, A collection of the sufferings of the people called Quakers, for the testimony of a good conscience from the time of their being first distinguished by that name in the year 1650 to the time of the act commonly called the Act of toleration granted to Protestant dissenters in the first year of the reign of King William the Third and Queen Mary in the year 1689 (Volume 1)

19. Braithwaite, The Beginnings of Quakerism, 372-3.

20. Besse, Sufferings, 128.

21. Besse, Sufferings, 129.

22. Besse, Sufferings, 129.

23. Nickalls, ed., The Journal of George Fox, 454.

24. Jane Brey, A Quaker Saga, .

25. Besse, Sufferings, 130.

26. Besse, Sufferings, 132. Besse noted that Alice Nicholson "was a poor Widow, with six Fatherless Children, whose Husband had died in Prison at the same Priest's Suit."

27. Besse, Sufferings, 133.

28. Bewley, The Bewleys of Cumberland, 97.

29. Bewley, The Bewleys of Cumberland, 99-103.

30. Jane Brey, A Quaker Saga, 49.

31. Jane Brey, A Quaker Saga, 49, 56, 92-94, 264-67.

last updated on 5m/26/2013.