Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lewis, John Delaware

LEWIS, JOHN DELAWARE (1828–1884), miscellaneous writer, born in St. Petersburg in 1828, was only surviving son of John Delaware Lewis, a Russia merchant, by Emma, daughter of James Hamilton Clewlow, R.N. He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, graduated B.A. in 1850, and proceeded M.A. in 1853. While at Cambridge he published, under the pseudonym ‘John Smith of Smith Hall, gent.,’ a volume, ‘Sketches of Cantabs’ (London, 1849, 18mo), which had considerable success, and reached a third edition in 1858. Lewis was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in Michaelmas 1858, and went the south-eastern circuit. From 1868 to 1874 he represented Devonport as a liberal in the House of Commons, unsuccessfully contesting the same constituency in February 1874 and in 1880, and Oxford in March 1874. He was a J.P. for Devon and Hampshire, and a lieutenant in the Pembrokeshire artillery militia. He spent much time at Arcachon. He died at Westbury House, Petersfield, Hampshire, on 1 Aug. 1884.

Lewis married, on 6 Jan. 1868, Teresa, eldest daughter of Sir Jervoise Clarke-Jervoise, but left no issue. Lewis was a versatile scholar, who wrote as well in French as in English. Besides contributions to periodical literature, he published, among other works:

  1. ‘Across the Atlantic,’ London, 1850, 8vo.
  2. ‘Our College,’ London, 1857, 8vo.
  3. ‘Science and Revelation,’ 1871.
  4. ‘Hints for the Evidences of Spiritualism, by M.P.’ 1872, 1875.
  5. ‘Juvenalis Satiræ, with a literal English Prose Version and Notes,’ London, 1873, 8vo; 2nd edit. 1882, 2 vols. 8vo.
  6. A translation of Pliny's ‘Letters,’ London, 1879, 8vo.
  7. ‘Esprit des Grecs et des Romains,’ 1881.
  8. ‘De la Procédure criminelle en France et en Angleterre,’ 1882.
  9. ‘Causes Célèbres,’ Paris, 1883.

At the time of his death he was engaged upon an edition of Seneca's works and an English-French dictionary.

[Information kindly supplied by H. Le Roy Lewis, esq.; Times, 2 Aug. 1884; Academy, 9 Aug. 1884.]

W. A. J. A.