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On 30 Dec. 1721 Bridget m. ARTHUR BEVAN , barrister-at-law , Laugharne . Bevan became recorder of Carmarthen borough , 1722-41 , and a Member of Parliament , 1727-41 . In May 1735 he was appointed Judge of Equity in South and North Wales . He was the executor of the will of Sir Richard Steele . He d. 6 March 1743 , aged 56, and was buried at Laugharne church . (The date of his death is given by most writers as 1745. )
Derllys Court in Bridget Bevan 's early days was a centre of religious and educational life. Her rector in 1700 wrote a letter to the S.P.C.K. , advocating the erection of a charity school in every parish in Great Britain . It was natural, therefore, for her to be interested in the work of her father and pastor , and she founded at least two schools of her own at Llandilo Abercowin and Llandebïe . She exercised great influence on Griffith Jones , and when he began his Welsh circulating schools , sometime between 1731 and 1737 , she became his chief patron and adviser . Between 1732 and 1738 he wrote 175 letters to her, 94 of which have been published. Sometime after the death of his wife in 1755 , Griffith Jones went to live at Mrs. Bevan 's home at Laugharne , where he d. 8 April 1761 , bequeathing to her the funds of the schools and his private fortune, totalling £7,000, with instructions to carry on the circulating schools. This she did very successfully until her death in 1779 ; indeed, the year 1773 with its 242 schools and 13,205 pupils was the most flourishing in the history of the movement. She bequeathed £10,000 for the continuation of the schools, but her will was disputed by two of her relatives who were also trustees, lady Elizabeth Stepney of Llanelly and Admiral William Lloyd , Danyrallt , Llangadock . The whole fund was placed in Chancery , and remained there for a period of thirty years, having in the meantime accumulated to over £30,000. In 1804 the money was released and devoted to the educational purposes intended by Mrs. Bevan , but in 1854 the schools then set up were absorbed into the system of the National Society . The Welsh circulating school movement had come to an end.
Besides being a patron of the Welsh circulating schools , Madam Bevan was interested in most of the religious, philanthropic, and educational movements of her time. She d. 11 Dec. 1779 and was buried at Llanddowror church on 17 Dec.
Dr Mary Clement, Ph.D., Llanelli / Aberystwyth
Published date: 1959