LEWEN, William (c.1657-1722), of St. Swithin’s, London, and Ewell, Surr.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1708 - 1710
7 Mar. 1711 - 1722

Family and Education

b. c.1657, 2nd s. of Robert Lewen of Wimborne Minster, Dorset.  m. 30 July 1685, Susannah (d. 1737), da. of Robert Taylor of Turnham Green, Mdx., s.p.  Kntd. 17 Dec. 1712.1

Offices Held

Dep.-gov. of Lustring Co. by 1696; master, Haberdashers’ Co. 1709–10.2

Alderman, London 1708, sheriff 1712–13, ld. mayor 1717–18; col. Blue Regt. 1711–14.3


Lewen was descended from a Dorset family of modest means. His elder brother set up as a merchant at Poole, while he himself went to London where he engaged in the importation of wine. In January 1698 he received a royal pardon for trading with France during the war. His first attempt to become an alderman of London in December 1707 failed, but he was elected the following year. He stood successfully for Poole at the general election of 1708, during his brother’s mayoralty. His return was classed as a loss for the Whigs by Lord Sunderland (Charles, Lord Spencer*). The following year he was one of the unsuccessful Tory candidates for a directorship of the East India Company. He voted against the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell in 1710.4

Although Lewen did not stand for Poole in 1710, he was returned at a by-election the following year, caused by the expulsion of Thomas Ridge. He voted against the ministry over the French commerce bill on 18 June 1713, and was noted as a Member engaged in trade. In the Worsley list, and two other comparative analyses of the 1713 and 1715 Parliaments, he was classed as a Tory. An opposition Member in the 1715 Parliament, Lewen died on 16 Mar. 1722, shortly after its dissolution.5

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. Hutchins, Dorset, iii. 246.
  • 2. HMC Lords, n.s. ii. 139; Beaven, Aldermen, i. 96.
  • 3. Beaven, 96; Hutchins, 246.
  • 4. CSP Dom. 1698, p. 7; Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 249; Add. 70420, newsletter 19 Apr. 1709.
  • 5. Hutchins, 246.