LEWIS, William (c.1625-61), of Bletchington, Oxon. and The Van, Glam.
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Family and Education
b. c.1625, 2nd s. of Sir Edward Lewis (d.1630) of The Van and Edington Priory, Wilts., and bro. of Richard Lewis. educ. Jesus, Oxf. matric. 12 Oct. 1638, aged 14; travelled abroad (France, Italy) 1642-6. m. 24 June 1649, Margaret, da. and h. of Lawrence Banastre of Boarstall, Bucks., 2s. 2da. suc. bro. 1647.1
Commr. for assessment, Oxon. Jan. 1660-d., militia Mar. 1660, j.p. Mar. 1660-d., dep. lt. c. Aug. 1660-d.
Lewis was head of a very old, but thoroughly Anglicized Glamorgan family, distinguished chiefly for prudent marriages, but not previously aspiring to a seat in Parliament. His father, a courtier, married the widow of the 1st Earl of Hertford’s heir, and bought the remainder of a long lease of Edington in 1629, dying there in the following year. Lewis’s mother was careful to preserve neutrality in the Civil War, sending her eldest sons abroad lest their uncles, the Marquess of Hertford and the 4th Earl of Dorset, should engage them in the royalist cause. The Glamorgan committee testified in 1648 that Lewis was well-affected and had made large contributions to their funds; but it was probably a paternal uncle of the same name who sat with them throughout the Interregnum. Lewis’s marriage to a Buckinghamshire heiress enabled him to buy an estate at Bletchington in 1656 for £10,000. He probably owed his election for Devizes, ten miles from Edington, to his mother, whose lavish hospitality at the Priory was notable chiefly for her excellent brew of beer. As she also secured the return for Westbury of another son, it is impossible to distinguish his record in the Convention, but he was clearly inactive. Lord Wharton seems to have regarded him as a moderate Anglican. One or other of the brothers was appointed to the committees for altering the entail on Lord Hertford’s estates, attainting Oliver Cromwell, and considering the petition of a former serjeant-at-arms; but they made no speeches. He lost his seat at the general election, and died later in the same year. His widow brought Bletchington and other lands worth in all £38,000 to her second husband, the 5th Duke of Richmond; but on her death in 1667 the Boarstall estate went to her son Edward Lewis.2