1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Mews, Peter

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MEWS, PETER (1619-1706), English royalist and divine, was born at Caundle Purse in Dorset on the .2 5th of March 1619, and was educated at the Merchant Taylors' school, and at St John's College, Oxford, of which he was scholar and fellow. When the Civil War broke out in 1642 he joined the Royalist army, and, having been made a captain, was taken prisoner at Naseby; but he was soon released and in 1648 sought refuge in Holland. He became friendly with Charles I.'s secretary, Sir Edward Nicholas, and being skilful at disguising himself was very useful to the Royalists during the rule of Oliver Cromwell, undertaking two, journeys to Scotland in 1653. Before this Mews had been ordained. Taking the degree of D.C.L. and regaining his fellowship at Oxford after the Restoration, he became archdeacon of Huntingdon, vicar of St Mary's, Reading, and chaplain to the king; then, having obtained two other livings, he was made canon of Windsor, canon of St David's, and archdeacon of Berkshire. In 1667, when at Breda arranging peace between England and Holland, he was chosen president of St John's College, Oxford, in succession to his father-in-law, Dr Richard Baylie, afterwards becoming vice-chancellor of the university and dean of Rochester. Appointed bishop of Bath and Wells in 1672, Mews resigned his presidency in 1673, and in 1684 he was elected bishop of Winchester, apposition which this “ old, honest cavalier, ” as Thomas Hearne calls him, filled until his death on the 9th of November 1706. The bishop is buried in Winchester cathedral. Mews lent his carriage horses to pull the cannon at a critical moment during the battle of Sedgemoor, where he was wounded whilst accompanying the royal army. He was, however, in sympathy with the seven bishops, and was only prevented by illness from attending their meeting; and as visitor of Magdalen College, Oxford, he supported the fellows in their resistance to James II., admitted their nominee, John Hough, to the presidency, and restored the ejected fellows in October 1688. He took the oaths to William and Mary in 1689. In the absence of Compton, bishop of London, Mews took the chief part at the consecration of Tillotson as archbishop of Canterbury in 1691.

See S. H. Cassan, Lives of the Bishops of Winchester (1827); and the Nicholas Papers, edited by G. F. Warner (1886–1897).