LEWIS, ERASMUS (1670 - 1754), writer of ‘news-letters’ and holder of posts under the Government

Name: Erasmus Lewis
Date of birth: 1670
Date of death: 1754
Spouse: Anne Lewis (née Jennings)
Gender: Male
Occupation: writer of ‘news-letters’ and holder of posts under the Government
Area of activity: Literature and Writing; Public and Social Service, Civil Administration
Author: William Llewelyn Davies

b. at Abercothy, about six miles from Carmarthen. He went to Westminster School in 1686 and to S. John's College, Cambridge, 1690, graduating in 1693. In October 1698 he was in Berlin with his ‘cousin,’ George Stepney, and writing ‘news-letters’ to George Ellis, M.P.; at the same time he was seeking some Government post.

As his career is described in the D.N.B. this account can be brief. He lived at various times in Europe, where he held Government posts, e.g. in Paris (1700 or 1701). In June 1702 he was at Carmarthen, possibly as schoolmaster. He became secretary to Robert Harley (afterwards earl of Oxford) in 1704, whilst in 1708 he was a British Government secretary in Brussels; later he was under-secretary of State under the earl of Dartmouth, etc. From 1710 Dean Swift in his Journal to Stella makes frequent references to Lewis, who had become a member of a literary and political circle which included the Dean, Robert Harley, Alexander Pope, John Arbuthnot, and a person who is not named in that connection in D.N.B., viz. Thomas Mansel (1st baron Mansel) of Margam, Glam.. There are several letters, 1700-13, from Lewis to Thomas Mansel in the Margam and Penrice collection in the N.L.W. — letters which are full of political, military, and social news (and gossip) and which throw interesting light on the history of Britain and Europe; in one letter (16 September 1704) Lewis says that he hoped to try to buy ‘the Estate late Sir Rice Rudds, in Carmarthenshire.’ In October 1712 he was given the post of provost-marshall-general in the Barbadoes, but he appears to have discharged the duties of the post by deputy; in November of the same year he was returned M.P. for Lostwithiel, Cornwall.

Lewis m., 1 October 1724 (at S. Benet's, Paul's Wharf, London), Anne Bateman (née Jennings), widow of Thomas Bateman; they lived in Cork Street, Burlington Gardens, London. He died 10 January 1754 and was buried in Westminster abbey; his wife had been buried there previously (25 November 1736). He left property in various Welsh parishes.

Author

Published date: 1959

Article Copyright: http://rightsstatements.org/page/InC-RUU/1.0/