Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lewis, Edward

LEWIS, EDWARD (1701–1784), miscellaneous writer, born in 1701, was probably the son of John Lewis, a farmer of Aldersey, Cheshire, who was educated at Wrexham, was admitted a subsizar of St. John's College, Cambridge, on 3 July 1719, graduated B.A. in 1722, and proceeded M.A. in 1726. On 23 Sept. 1725 he was presented by Sir Henry Ashhurst to the rectory of Emmington, Oxfordshire, and 18 July 1726 he became rector of Waterstock in the same county. He was also, he says, chaplain to the Earl of Cadogan. He died 4 Nov. 1784; there is a tablet to his memory in the chancel of Waterstock Church. He married, on 4 Sept. 1725, Elinor Manby, who died 17 Jan. 1766. Lewis's chief works were: 1. ‘Sinners saved by Jesus Christ as preached in Scripture, but Church Fathers and Clergy are no sure Guides to Heaven,’ Oxford, 1756, 8vo; a visitation sermon, in which Lewis showed his distrust of Roman catholic doctrines. 2. ‘The Patriot King, displayed in the Life of Henry VIII, King of England, from the time of his Quarrel with the Pope till his Death,’ London, 1769, 8vo; another edition the same year. This had the same object as No. 1, and is equally violent in tone. Lewis also translated two sermons by Chrysostom, under the title of ‘The Sin of Sodom reproved,’ London, 1772 and 1776, 8vo. Baker considers him to have been the author of ‘The Italian Husband, or the Violated Bed avenged,’ a moral drama, London, 1754, 8vo, chiefly on the ground that ‘the author of the most ridiculous of all dramatic performances’ might also have written Lewis's ‘Patriot King.’ It must be distinguished from Ravenscroft's tragedy of the same name, acted in 1697 (Genest).

[Information kindly furnished by the Rev. J. H. Ashhurst, Robert G. C. Proctor, esq., and J. F. Scott, esq.; Baker's Biog. Dram.; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

W. A. J. A.