second son of Watkin Lewes, Penybenglog, Melinau, and Ann Williams of Ambleston, Pembrokeshire. His father was rector of Melinau (1735-59) and of Newport, Pembrokeshire (1759-70). The son was educated at Shrewsbury school and Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he graduated in 1763. He entered the Middle Temple [ 1760 ], and was called to the (Chancery) Bar in 1766. He married Rebecca Eleanora, eldest daughter and co-heir of Thomas Popkin of Fforest, near Swansea, who brought him considerable estates in Glamorgan, and Rudbaxton in Pembrokeshire. Having contested Worcester unsuccessfully in four elections, he sought civic and parliamentary honours in the City of London. His rise was rapid; in 1772 he was made sheriff and also alderman of Lime Street Ward, was knighted in 1773, and in 1780 became lord mayor. In 1771 he had presented addresses in the Tower from the counties of Pembroke, Carmarthen, and Cardigan to the political prisoners, John Wilkes, the lord mayor Crosby, and alderman Oliver. In 1780 he was elected one of the four M.P. s for the City of London, which seat he retained until 1796. He took an active interest in Welsh literature and music, and was at one time Treasurer of the Society of Ancient Britons; [he was the second president of the Cymmrodorion, in succession to Richard Morris ]. The last part of his life was clouded by financial difficulties; he was arrested for debt and ended his days (13 July 1821) in the London Coffee House on Ludgate Hill within the rules of the Fleet prison.
Published date: 1959
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