LEWIS, Thomas I (1518/19-1607), of Harpton, in Old Radnor.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Family and Education

b. 1518/19, 1st s. of Hugh Lewis of Gladestry and Harpton, by 1st w. Gwenllian, da. of Meredydd Mathew of Heyhope. m. (1) Anne, da. of James ap Rhys (or Price) of Monaughty, 5s. inc. Edward 1da.; (2) Margaret, da. of Rhys ap Meredydd of Llynwent, Llanbister, s.p. suc. fa. by 1556.2

Offices Held

Sheriff, Rad. 1547-8, Mont. 1592-3; j.p. Rad. 1547, 1558/59-95; escheator, Rad. 1549-50; commr. relief 1550, subsidy 1558, armour 1569, musters 1570, victuals 1574, tanneries, New Radnor and Rad. 1574; capital burgess, New Radnor 1562, common councilman 1563, prob. bailiff 1584; custos rot. Rad. in 1564.3


The Lewis family of Harpton was of ancient Welsh lineage, claiming ancestry from Rhys ap Tewdwr, king of Deheubarth in the 11th century; it was also related to the Lewis family of Gladestry, Thomas Lewis’s father Hugh being first cousin to Ieuan Lewis of Gladestry. A minor figure in the region, Hugh Lewis had served Walter Devereux, 3rd Lord Ferrers, chamberlain of South Wales, but appears to have taken little part in public life and is not known to have been a justice of the peace. By contrast, Thomas Lewis was still in his twenties when he was pricked sheriff of Radnorshire and put on the bench in 1547. In the same year he was a member of the commission charged with reporting on the altar at New Radnor parish church depicting the life and murder of Archbishop Becket, which had been brought to public attention by Admiral Seymour. He probably remained on the commission of peace under Mary, although his name is omitted from the enrolment of 1555.4

Living so close to New Radnor, Lewis was bound to be an influential figure there: he was a member of the common council and is named on the town’s charter of 1563. His Membership for New Radnor Boroughs in two successive Parliaments was followed by an intermission throughout the reign of Mary. No explanation of this is forthcoming but it is unlikely to have been due to religious disaffection: in 1564 the bishop of Hereford was to call Lewis ‘but a neuter’ in matters of faith, and his progress under Elizabeth, when he was knight of the shire in four Parliaments, is thus to be ascribed more to lukewarmness than to enthusiasm. He lived to a great age, dying in 1607.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: P. S. Edwards


  • 1. Hatfield 207.
  • 2. Aged 38 on 25 June 1557. Dwnn, Vis. Wales, i. 252-3; Req.2/22/37; Augmentations (Univ. Wales Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law ser. xiii), 522.
  • 3. SP46/1/33, 162/7; CPR, 1553, p. 364; 1560-3, p. 344; 1563-6, p. 29; E179/224/568; Exchequer (Univ. Wales Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law ser. iv), 314-15; R. Flenley, Cal. Reg. Council in the Marches, 60, 69, 109, 127, 136, 213, 237; HMC Foljambe, 39.
  • 4. Trans. Rad. Hist. Soc. xxx. 4-5; LP Hen. VIII xi, xiv.
  • 5. CPR, 1560-3, p. 344; Cam. Misc. ix(3), 17; Augmentations, 522; PCC 43 Hudleston.