Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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LEWIS family, of Van, Glam.

This was a prominent Glamorgan family which can be treated as a whole, as no one of its members was of great historical importance. Its distinguishing characteristics were a lengthy pedigree and a marvellous aptitude for the acquisition of property.


was the first that took the surname. He built the older portions of Van , near Caerphilly, Glam. , and enclosed the park . He purchased the manor of Roath-Keynsham , part of the estate of Keynsham abbey , and was sheriff of Glamorgan in 1548 , 1555 , and 1559 . His wife was Ann , daughter of Sir William Morgan , of Pencoyd, Mon. , a member of the Tredegar family .


his son, was sheriff of Glamorgan in 1569 . His first wife was Margaret Gamage of Coity , at the time widow of Miles Mathew of Llandaff . He added to the Van and built the Lewis house in S. Mary Street , Cardiff , which was finally demolished about 1865 . He d. at Cardiff 2 Nov. 1594 . The ‘inquisitiones’ taken on his death are of considerable local interest.

Sir EDWARD LEWIS ( 1560 - 1628 ),

eldest son of Thomas Lewis [the man who gave the living of Llanfaches to William Wroth , q.v. ], was knighted in 1603 , and was sheriff of Glamorgan in 1601 and 1612 . He indulged in a good deal of litigation and added considerably to the family estates. The most interesting of his purchases was S. Fagans castle , bought from Sir William Herbert of Cardiff in 1616 , and now the Folk Museum of Wales . This included the present house built by Dr. John Gibbon about 1590 . He d. 9 Jan. 1628 .

Sir EDWARD LEWIS (d. 1630 ), the second,

was also knighted in 1603 . He lived at Edington, Wilts. , of which he was lessee. He was Gentleman of the Privy Chamber to prince Henry in 1610 and afterwards to prince Charles . He d. at Edington , 10 Oct. 1630 — two years after his father.

WILLIAM LEWIS (d. 1661 ),

succeeded to the estate and d. in 1661 . His wife was Margaret , heiress of the estates of Brill and Boarstal , to both of which he added. He was a strong Parliamentarian .

EDWARD LEWIS ( 1650 - 1674 ),

who was born 30 July 1650 , bequeathed the Glamorgan estate to his uncle Richard Lewis in tail male.

The uncle, RICHARD LEWIS ( 1623 - 1706 ), purchased the manor of Corsham and was buried there. He certainly neglected and possibly dismantled Van . He d. 7 Oct. 1706 .

THOMAS LEWIS (d. 1736 ),

son of Richard Lewis , was the last Lewis of Van . The date of his birth is not recorded but it must have been before 1668 . He was a member of Parliament for various constituencies for many years. He d. at Soberton, Hants. , his wife's property, 22 Nov. 1736 . ELIZABETH , his only daughter and heiress, m. Other Windsor , third earl of Plymouth of the first creation .


  • G. T. Clark , Limbus patrum Morganiæ et Glamorganiæ being the genealogies of the older families of the lordships of Morgan and Glamorgan (London, 1886) .


Henry John Randall, F.S.A., (1877-1964), Bridgend

Published date: 1959