Born 27 December 1858 at Mostyn Quay, Flintshire, only son of Enoch Lewis (great-nephew of Thomas Jones (1756 - 1820) of Denbigh) and of Catherine Roberts, Plas Llangwyfan, Denbighshire. He was educated at Denbigh, Montreal (McGill University), and Exeter College Oxford [ B.A. 1879, M.A. 1884 ], and travelled widely. A lawyer by profession, he became in 1889 first chairman of the Flintshire County Council : he was one of the founders of the Intermediate school system in Wales. He entered Parliament in 1892 as a Liberal, representing the Flint boroughs until 1906, the county until 1918, and the University of Wales, a seat secured for Wales by his efforts, until his retirement in 1922. A close friend of David Lloyd George and Thomas E. Ellis, and with an intense love of Wales, he took every opportunity of bringing Welsh matters to the fore in Parliament. His long and persistent advocacy of the claims of Wales for a share in the museum grants voted annually by Parliament to every country in the British Isles except Wales, resulted in the securing of public grants for the establishment and maintenance of a national museum and a national library for Wales; he became the charter vice-president of the National Library in 1909 and its president in 1926, and was most active in the attempt, which proved successful, to secure the inclusion of the new library as one of the beneficiaries under the (new) Copyright Act in 1911. He was made a Liberal Whip in 1905, parliamentary secretary of the Local Government Board in 1909, and parliamentary secretary of the Board of Education in 1915. He took an active part in arranging for the passing of this Act and of the Teachers' Superannuation Act, and in obtaining educational grants for ex-service men.
Sir Herbert Lewis (he had been made G.B.E. in 1922) was married twice - (a) in 1886 to Adelaide (died 1895), daughter of Charles Hughes, publisher, Wrexham, and (b) in 1897 to Ruth, daughter of W. S. Caine, M.P.; by his second marriage he had a son and a daughter. He was made a privy councillor in 1912, was constable of Flint castle, a freeman of Flint and Aberystwyth, an honorary LL.D. of the University of Wales (1918), and was awarded the gold medal of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion in 1927. A serious accident in Aberystwyth in 1925 brought his public work to an end, and he died on 10 November 1933 at his home, Penucha, Caerwys, Flintshire
Published date: 1959
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