Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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LEWIS , EVAN ( 1818 - 1901 ), dean of Bangor ,

a member of a family which is very interesting on account of its connection with the Oxford Movement . His father was EVAN LEWIS of Llanilar, Cards. , a cadet of the Lewises of Dinas Cerdin , Llandysul . The father had a brother, DAVID LEWIS ( 1778 - 1859 ), who was b. at Llanddeiniol, Cards. , and went up from Ystrad Meurig school to Magdalen Hall , Oxford , in 1807 , graduated in 1812 , and proceeded D.D. in 1826 ; after serving in various London parishes he kept a grammar school at Twickenham , where he d. 4 Jan. 1859 ( Glan Menai , Enwogion Sir Aberteifi ). Evan Lewis of Llanilar 's elder son was DAVID LEWIS ( 1814 - 1915 ), cleric , afterwards Roman Catholic . He went up to Jesus College , Oxford , in March 1834 , at 19, graduated in 1837 , became Fellow ( 1839-46 ) of his college, was dean in 1843 , and vice-principal 1845-6 . He was also Newman 's curate at S. Mary's , and with him went over to Rome . He became immersed in canon law and hagiography , and from 1860 till his death in 1895 lived at Arundel .

The rest of this note will deal with Evan Lewis of Llanilar 's younger son Evan , b. (after the father's death) 18 Nov. 1818 . He went to Ystrad Meurig , then to a school at Aberystwyth , and afterwards to his uncle David 's school at Twickenham . In April 1838 he went to Jesus College , Oxford , graduating in 1841 ; he was a notable oarsman , and under his captaincy the college boat went head of the river. He was ordained by Bethell of Bangor in 1842 , and served curacies at Llanddeusant , Anglesey ( 1842-3 ), Llanfaes and Penmon ( 1843-5 ), Llanfihangel Ysgeifiog ( 1845-6 ), and Llanllechid ( 1847-59 ) under J. H. Cotton (q.v.) , whose daughter was Lewis 's first wife. In 1859 he was given the important living of Aberdare , remaining there till 1866 , when he became rector of Dolgelley . He was appointed in 1884 dean of Bangor , and d. there 24 Nov. 1901 ; he was buried at Llandygai . With the support of bishop Bethell (the only bishop in Wales at that date who favoured the Tractarians ), and in the company of men like Morris Williams ( Nicander ) , Griffith Arthur Jones , and Philip Constable Ellis (all three separately noticed), he strove vigorously and successfully to propagate the principles and practices of the Oxford Movement in his diocese. At Llanllechid , he swept away the old custom of substituting contemporary hymns for the ‘ Te Deum ’ and the ‘ Magnificat ’; he insisted on chants and upon choral singing ; so too at Dolgelley he introduced Gregorian chanting . While still a curate , he took part in the vigorous controversy known as the ‘ Bangor debate ,’ speaking and writing in defence of ‘ Catholic ’ views, against Nonconformists like John Phillips ( 1810 - 1867 ) (q.v.) and William Davies ( 1820 - 1875 ) (q.v.) — one of the products of this debate was Lewis 's book Yr Olyniaeth Apostolaidd , 1851 . He read a paper on ‘ The Church in Wales ’ at the Church congress at Swansea in 1879 . He was a zealous Welshman , the founder of S. Mary's Welsh church at Aberdare , and the translator of a number of hymns into Welsh .

Sources:

  • Y Geninen , March 1902 and 1903 ;
  • Yr Haul , 1902 ;
  • David Evans , Adgofion yr Hybarch David Evans, Archddiacon Llanelwy (Lampeter, 1904) , 35-6;
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ;
  • Foster , Alumni Oxonienses ;
  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present (1908) (references to other works by him).

Author:

Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959