A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Lewis, Sir George Cornewall

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Lewis, Sir George Cornewall (1806-1863). -- Scholar and statesman, s. of Sir Thomas F.L., a Radnorshire baronet, was ed. at Eton and Oxf. He studied law, was called to the Bar in 1831, and entered Parliament in 1847, where his intellect and character soon gained him great influence. After serving on various important commissions and holding minor offices, he became Chancellor of the Exchequer 1855-58, Home Sec. 1859-61, and War Sec. 1861-63. His official labours did not prevent his entering into profound and laborious studies, chiefly in regard to Roman history, and the state of knowledge among the ancients. In his Inquiry into the Credibility of Ancient Roman History (1855), he combated the methods and results of Niebuhr. Other works are On the Use and Abuse of Political Terms, Authority in Matters of Opinion, The Astronomy of the Ancients, and a Dialogue on the best Form of Government. The somewhat sceptical turn of his mind led him to sift evidence minutely, and the labour involved in his wide range of severe study and his public duties no doubt shortened his valuable life.