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Bews News

I have further exciting news on the Bews front and am expecting additional 
information within a few days from
the Anglo-French Society who are now investigating this name.

It would appear that the Bews came from Calvados (which is the area noted 
from the Calvados liqueur which
is made from apples) and that the name itself comes from an abbreviation of 
Bayeux (of tapestry fame) which,
in turn, is a name derived from Ba(d)iocasses, the seat of a tribe of Gauls.

The Bews came to England with William 'the Conqueror' in 1066 and, with the 
St Clairs, were given land in the
South West (Cornwall, Devon, Somerset).   They were also to be found in 
Wales where it was thought that it
might be an abbrevation of the name 'ab Hughs' which transliterated itself 
into "Bews" but, as Wales and the
SW are adjacent geographically it is much more likely that they are of the 
same stock on both sides of the
Bristol Channel i.e. Norman.  The addition of the suffix 's' and the 
insertion of an 'e' is simply a piece of typical
English tautology.

A Robert le Beu is mentioned in the records of Cornwall in 1242 and there 
is a further mention of Richard                       Bewes who was Member 
of Parliament for Liskeard, Cornwall in 1384.  There are Bewes still living 
in Cornwall
and I have no doubt they of the same blood as the Bews we find in Orkney 
(and in Australia).  After all, the
name Sinclair has been rendered in 70 different ways since 1066 so it is 
not surprising to find a couple of
variations in the spelling of Beu as Bews or Bewes or to find them (like 
the Sinclairs) at opposite ends of the
British Isles (about which more anon).

Niven Sinclair

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