LEWIS, Francis (c.1692-1744), of Stanford-upon-Soar, Notts.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
b. c.1692, 3rd but 1st surv. s. of Thomas Lewes*. educ. Trinity, Oxf. matric. 25 June 1707, aged 15; New Coll. Oxf., BCL 29 Nov. 1709. m. by 1713, Sophia (d. 1757), da. of Sir Samuel Dashwood*, 2s. 1da. suc. fa. 1696, gdfa. ?1702.1
Sheriff, Notts. 1713.
Lewis’ grandfather was a Turkey merchant who purchased land in Buckinghamshire and Nottinghamshire. Most of the Buckinghamshire property was sold to pay his father’s debts, leaving Lewis as a Nottinghamshire landowner. The location of his main estate at Stanford-upon-Soar on the southernmost tip of the county explains his appointment to the Leicestershire bench in 1712.2
Lewis was nominated sheriff of Nottinghamshire in 1713 as a replacement for Julius Hutchinson who may have been regarded as unreliable in an election year. Lewis was then returned unopposed for East Retford in a by-election in April 1713. The presence in the Commons at this time of two other Members named Lewis prevents any certain identification of his actions in the House. Lewis voted against the French commerce bill on 18 June 1713, a vote which may have been influenced by his links with the mercantile community, especially with the Dashwoods (both his grandmother and his wife came from that family, and his sister had recently married a son of Sir Robert Dashwood, 1st Bt.*). Despite this vote against the ministry he was classed as a Tory on the Worsley list. He was returned unopposed at the general election of 1713. He stood at Nottingham in 1715, but finished bottom of the poll. Later in that year he was reported to be implementing vigorously the laws against Catholics. Indeed, when Sir Francis Molyneux, 4th Bt.*, suggested to the new Duke of Newcastle that a few Tories should be added to the lieutenancy, he included Lewis in his list with the comment that he might be detached from the ‘high party’. Whether Molyneux’s hopes were fulfilled is unknown, but Lewis did not stand again. He died on 3 Mar. 1744 in his 52nd year and was buried in Stanford church. A monument erected by his wife referred to his
peculiar vivacity and agreeable turn of thought [which] with a sound judgment, strict honour, inflexible justice and a beneficent disposition, improved and perfected by a clear knowledge and serious practice of religion, highly adorned all offices of life.3