Open main menu


LEWGAR, JOHN (1602–1665), Roman catholic controversialist, born in London ‘of genteel parents’ in 1602, was admitted a commoner of Trinity College, Oxford, and matriculated 13 Dec. 1616 (Register of Oxford Univ. ed. Clark, vol. ii. pt. ii. p. 357). He was admitted B.A. 25 Nov. 1619, commenced M.A. in 1622, was incorporated at Cambridge in 1625, and took the degree of B.D. 6 July 1632 (ib. vol. ii. pt. iii. p. 378). He was rector of Laverton, Somerset, 1627–35. Having been induced by Chillingworth to abjure protestantism, he went to Maryland on the invitation of Cecil Calvert, second lord Baltimore, who had been his intimate friend at college. After the death of his wife Lewgar returned to England, some years before the Restoration, in company with Father Andrew White, a jesuit, who had been engaged in missionary work among the aborigines of Maryland. Subsequently he resided in Lord Baltimore's house in Wild Street, London; and he died of the plague, in the parish of St. Giles-in-the-Fields, in 1665.

His works are: 1. ‘Erastus Junior: a solid Demonstration by Principles, Forms of Ordination, Common Laws, Acts of Parliament, that no Bishop, Minister, nor Presbyter, hath any Authority to Preach, &c., from Christ, but from the Parliament,’ London, 1659–60. 2. ‘Erastus Senior, scholastically demonstrating this Conclusion, That (admitting their Lambeth Records for true) those called Bishops here in England are no Bishops either in order or jurisdiction, or so much as legal’ (anon.) [London?], 1662, 12mo, in answer to Mason, Heylyn, and Bramhall. It elicited from R[alph?] C[udworth?] a reply, entitled ‘A Scholasticall Discourse … wherein is answered all which is alleged by Erastus Senior against the order and jurisdiction of the Bishops of the Church of England,’ London, 1663, 4to. Lewgar's treatise has been erroneously ascribed to Peter Talbot in reprints which appeared at Sydney in 1848 and New York in 1850, and in ‘The English Catholic Library,’ vol. ii. London, 1844, 8vo. Talbot wrote a book on the same topic, entitled ‘The Nullity of the Protestant Church of England and its Clergy,’ Brussels, 1658, 8vo (Ware, Writers of Ireland, ed. Harris, p. 193). 3. ‘A Conference between John Lewgar and Mr. Chillingworth, whether the Roman Church be the Catholic Church, and all out of her Communion Heretics or Schismatics,’ London, 1687, 4to.

[Catholic Miscellany, 1826, v. 107; Dodd's Church Hist. iii. 264; Estcourt's Question of Anglican Ordinations discussed, p. 159; Jones's Popery Tracts, pp. 213, 242, 483; Lee's Validity of the Holy Orders of the Church of England maintained, p. 193; Prideaux's Validity of the Orders of the Church of England, 1688, p. 22; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iii. 696; Foster's Alumni, 1500–1714.]

T. C.