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Lewis, Maria Theresa (DNB00)


LEWIS, Lady MARIA THERESA, (1803–1865), biographer, was only daughter of George Villiers, third son of Thomas Villiers, first earl of Clarendon, by his wife, Theresa Parker, daughter of the first Lord Boringdon. George Frederick William Villiers, fourth earl of Clarendon [q. v.], the well-known statesman, was her brother, and she was granted the precedence of an earl's daughter February 1839. She was born on 8 March 1803, and married for the first time, on 6 Nov. 1830, Thomas Henry Lister [q. v.], who died in 1842. On 26 Oct. 1844 she married her second husband, Sir George Cornewall Lewis, bart. [q. v.] Lady Theresa had a taste for literature. She was descended in the female line from Edward Hyde, the great earl of Clarendon, whose life was written by her first husband, and in 1852 she published in three volumes ‘The Lives of the Friends and Contemporaries of Lord Chancellor Clarendon;’ the book gives biographies of most of the people whose portraits were to be found in the Clarendon gallery at The Grove, Watford, which had descended successively to her father and brother; the lives of Lord Falkland, Lord Capel, and the Marquis of Hertford occupy the greater part of the volumes. Miss Mary Berry [q. v.] was so well impressed with the undertaking that she bequeathed her papers to Sir Thomas Frankland Lewis, Lady Theresa's father-in-law, with the proviso that in the event of his death they were to go to Lady Theresa. Accordingly, in 1865 was published in three volumes ‘Extracts of the Journals and Correspondence of Miss Berry from the year 1783 to 1852,’ edited by Lady Theresa Lewis. The work is judiciously done. Lady Lewis also edited a novel by the Hon. Emily Eden, and dramatised two fairy tales for juvenile performers. She survived her husband two years, and died 9 Nov. 1865, at the principal's lodgings, Brasenose College, Oxford.

[Annual Register, 1865, pp. 325, 327; Gent. Mag. 1865 pt. ii. p. 802.]

E. L.