1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lewes, Charles Lee

LEWES, CHARLES LEE (1740–1803), English actor, was the son of a hosier in London. After attending a school at Ambleside he returned to London, where he found employment as a postman; but about 1760 he went on the stage in the provinces, and some three years later began to appear in minor parts at Covent Garden Theatre. His first rôle of importance was that of “Young Marlow” in She Stoops to Conquer, at its production of that comedy in 1773, when he delivered an epilogue specially written for him by Goldsmith. He remained a member of the Covent Garden company till 1783, appearing in many parts, among which were “Fag” in The Rivals, which he “created,” and “Sir Anthony Absolute” in the same comedy. In 1783 he removed to Drury Lane, where he assumed the Shakespearian rôles of “Touchstone,” “Lucio” and “Falstaff.” In 1787 he left London for Edinburgh, where he gave recitations, including Cowper’s “John Gilpin.” For a short time in 1792 Lewes assisted Stephen Kemble in the management of the Dundee Theatre; in the following year he went to Dublin, but he was financially unsuccessful and suffered imprisonment for debt. He employed his time in compiling his Memoirs, a worthless production published after his death by his son. He was also the author of some poor dramatic sketches. Lewes died on the 23rd of July 1803. He was three times married; the philosopher, George Henry Lewes, was his grandson.

See John Genest, Some Account of the English Stage (Bath, 1832).