By the early 17th century the Elizabethan Oxwich Castle, built by the wealthy Mansel family, stood empty. The southern range was converted into a farmhouse leased to tenants and by the end of that century it was home to the Bevan family.
Rowland Bevan - Esquire of Oxwich made his will on his deathbed on April 19, 1760. After the usual preamble he begins by apportioning his lease held land to his son Richard.
I give and devise unto my Son Richard Bevan all that Tenement of Lands which I hold by Lease called Oxwich Green and also two Fields of Closes of ground which I likewise hold by Lease situate within the parish of Penrice and called by the name of Brimehill unto my son Richard Bevan during the Term of the said Leases.
Richard's inheritance also included £150 'together with two Beds and their Appurtenances one chest and Table and three Chairs and also two horses four Oxen four cows and twenty sheep.'
Rowland then turns his attention to his daughter Elizabeth the wife of William Button who receives 'that house at Penrice which I hold by Lease To hold the same unto her during her Life in as large and ample Manner as Ann Davis Widow now holds the same.' She also receives £150.
Rowland makes provision for his grandchildren. To the boys Edward, Samuel, Thomas, Philip, Richard and Rowland Hancorne, Francis, Samuel and Rowland Bevan, he leaves £50 each to be paid when they reach the age of twenty one, adding 'I likewise order the Interest of the said Several Legacies of ffifty pound to be paid by my Executor from the time of my decease at the Rate of four pound per cent per annum towards the Education of my said Grandsons.' Another grandson, also called Rowland Bevan and the son of Francis Bevan, does rather better and receives £500.
The Hancorne sisters, Elizabeth and Mary, receive slightly less - £40 - as does Jane Bevan, but with the same conditions and that the interest also goes towards their education.
Rowland appoints Lewis Tucker and his brother Thomas Bevan to be Overseers of his last Will and Testament. His last bequest is to his servant Ann Guy who receives the sum of thirty pounds and the use of a cottage and garden in Oxwich then occupied by Philip Harry.
Having signed his will in the presence of witnesses, Rowland obviously has second thoughts about the money left to his Hancorne grandchildren and adds a codicil - 'my Will is that the said Several legacies shall be paid them respectively when they shall be put to any Business or occupation.'
The Will was proved at London just over a month later with administration for all the Goods Chattels and Credits going to Rowland's sole executor, his son Francis.