Dictionary of Welsh Biography


A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z



LEWES , Sir WATKIN ( 1740 - 1821 ), lord mayor of London ;

second son of Watkin Lewes , Penybenglog , Melinau , and Ann Williams of Ambleston, Pembs. His father was rector of Melinau ( 1735-59 ) and of Newport, Pembs. ( 1759-70 ). The son was educated at Shrewsbury school and Magdalene College , Cambridge , where he graduated in 1763 . He entered the Middle Temple [ 1760 ], and was called to the (Chancery) Bar in 1766 . He m. Rebecca Eleanora , eldest daughter and co-heir of Thomas Popkin of Fforest , near Swansea , who brought him considerable estates in Glamorgan , and Rudbaxton in Pembs. Having contested Worcester unsuccessfully in four elections, he sought civic and parliamentary honours in the City of London . His rise was rapid; in 1772 he was made sheriff and also alderman of Lime Street Ward , was knighted in 1773 , and in 1780 became lord mayor . In 1771 he had presented addresses in the Tower from the counties of Pembroke , Carmarthen , and Cardigan to the political prisoners , John Wilkes , the lord mayor Crosby , and alderman Oliver . In 1780 he was elected one of the four M.P. s for the City of London , which seat he retained until 1796 . He took an active interest in Welsh literature and music , and was at one time Treasurer of the Society of Ancient Britons ; [he was the second president of the Cymmrodorion , in succession to Richard Morris ]. The last part of his life was clouded by financial difficulties; he was arrested for debt and ended his days ( 13 July 1821 ) in the London Coffee House on Ludgate Hill within the rules of the Fleet prison .

Sources:

  • The Pembroke County GuardianColumn of antiquarian notes in , 1900—. 1906. Reprints in volume form are occasionally found , 1900-3 , 63;
  • West Wales Historical Records , 1910–29 , iii, 111;
  • Y Cymmrodor , xix, 1906 (89-123), 1919 (148 );
  • The Welsh Outlook Monthly Journal of National Social Progress , xiii, 1926 (286-8);
  • [ Y Cymmrodor , 1951 , 52-3].

Author:

John James Evans, M.A., (1894-1965), St Davids

Published date: 1959