LEWES (LEWIS), Thomas (c.1657-96), of West Wycombe, Bucks. and Stanford-upon-Soar, Notts.
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Family and Education
b. c.1657, 1st s. of Thomas Lewes, Vintner, of Little St. Helens, London by 2nd w. Elizabeth, da. of Francis Dashwood, merchant, of London. m. lic. 13 July 1687, aged 30, Anne (d. 18 Jan. 1695), da. of Sir Matthew Andrews of Ashley Hall, Walton-on-Thames, Surr., 3s. (2 d.v.p.) 2da.1
Commr. for assessment, Bucks. 1690.
Lewes’s father was reckoned one of the wealthiest merchants trading to Aleppo after the Restoration. He bought West Wycombe in 167O, but Lewes himself seems to have resided chiefly in Nottinghamshire. However, he was returned for Wycombe to the Exclusion Parliaments, appearing as ‘Thomas Lewis junior’ on the list drawn up by Sir Ralph Verney. He was marked ‘honest’ by Shaftesbury in 1679, and voted for the bill. A moderately active Member, he may have served on five committees in the first Exclusion Parliament, including those to receive proposals for the Royal Fishery, to bring in a bill for the encouragement of woollen manufactures, and to consider the export of cloth to Turkey. In the second Exclusion Parliament he was appointed to the committee of elections and privileges, and to those to examine the proceedings of the judges in Westminster Hall and to take the accounts of the disbandment commissioners. He intervened in the debate of 17 Nov. 1680 on Tangier to urge that the naval base should not be given up, lest it fall into the hands of the French. He left no trace on the records of the Oxford Parliament. He contested Wycombe again in 1685, but his petition was not reported. Lewes’s father was ‘supposed to be a dissenter’ when recommended for the Buckinghamshire commission of the peace and lieutenancy in 1688, but, with Lewes and his wife, was solely responsible for the ‘reparation, ornaments and beauty’ of Stanford church. Lewes himself regained his seat in the Convention, but he was not active. He probably served on five committees, including those to consider the abuses in alnage and the bill for restoring corporations in the second session, and he supported the disabling clause. He continued to sit for Wycombe till his death from apoplexy on 16 Mar. 1696. His father, who survived him, sold West Wycombe to the Dashwoods to pay his debts, but his son Francis sat for East Retford from 1713 to 1715.2