Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement/Lewis, Evan

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LEWIS, EVAN (1818–1901). dean of Bangor, born at Llanilar, Cardiganshire, on 16 Nov. 1818, was second (and posthumous) son of Evan Lewis of that place (who was descended from the Lewis family of Dinas Cerdyn and Blaen Oerdyn in that county) by his wife Mary, danghter of John Richards, also of Llanilar.

His mother married, for her second hnsband, John Hughes of Tyn-y-beili, Llanrhystyd. His elder brother, David Lewis (1814-1895), fellow of Jesus College, Oxford (1839-1846) and vice-principal (1845-6), served as curate of St. Mary's, Oxford, under John Henry Newman, and joined the Roman catholic communion in 1846. In 1860 he settled for life at Arundel. Devoting himself to a study of the canon law and the lives of the saints, he translated from the Latin 'The Rise and Growth of the Anglican Schism,' by Nicholas Sanders, with an elaborate introduction and notes (1877); and among other works from the Spanish, the writings of St. John of the Cross (1864 ; 2nd edit., with numerous chansee, 1889; new edit. 3 vols., with an introduction by Father Benedict Zimmermann, 1909).

Evan Lewis, after education at Ystrad Meurig and Aberyrstwyrth, went to a school at Twickenham kept by his father's brother, David Lewis, D.D. (1778-1859) (Foster, Al. Oxon.; G. Jones, Enwogion Sir Aberteifi, 98). Following his elder brother David to Jesus College, Oxford, Lewis matriculated on 7 April 1838, and graduated B.A. in 1841, proceeding M.A. in 1863. Of powerful physique, he rowed 'stroke' in the college boat when it was head of the river, and in after life was a great walker. Ordained deacon and priest in 1842 by Christopher Bethell, Bishop of Bangor [q. v.], he was successively curate of Llanddeusant (1842), Llanfaes with Penmon (1843-6), Llanfihangel Ysoeifiog (1845-6), all in Anglesey, and Llanllechid, Carnarvonshire (1847-59). He was vicar of Aberdare, Glamoganshire (1859-66), rector of Dolgelly, Merionethshire, and rural dean of Ertimaner (1866-84), proctor in convocation for the diocese of Bangor (1868-80), chancellor of Bangor (1872-6), canon residentiary (1877-1884), and dean from 1884 till his death at the deanery on 24 Nov. 1901. He was buried at Llandegai churchyard.

He married (1) in October 1859 Anne, youngest daughter by his first wife of John Henry Cotton, dean of Bangor, at one time his vicar; she died on 24 Dec. 1860 at Aberdare, leaving no issue; (2) in 1865, Adelaide Owen, third daughter of the Rev. Cyrus Morrall of Plas lolyn, Shropshire (Burke's Landed Gentry, s. v.), she survived him with three sons and three daughters.

While at Oxford, Lewis, like his brother David, came under the influence of the tractarians, and on returning to Wales he inculcated their doctrines, by speech and pen. At Llanllechid he introduced choral services for the first time in the Bangor diocese, and gradually adopted a dignified ritual. This he supplemented by direct 'catholic' teaching as to the sacraments, being the first Anglican in the nineteenth century to preach in Wales the doctrines of apostolic succession and baptismal regeneration (Archdeacon David Evans' Adgofion, i.e. Reminiscences, 1904, pp. 35-6). Some of the younger clergy followed Lewis's lead, and the movement resulted in a latter-day Bangor controversy (Dadl Bandar). The Rev. John Phillips attacked the ritualist position in two famous lectures delivered at Bangor in November 1850 and January 1852 respectively and shortly afterwards published. Lewis replied to the first lecture in a series of Welsh letters in 'Y Cymro,' signed 'Aelod o'n Eglwys' (a member of the church), reprinted in 1852 in book form. His best work was an elaborate Welsh treatise on the apostolic succession, described as by a Welsh clergyman (Yr Olyniaeth Aposiolaidd gan Offeiriad Cymreig: Bangor, 1851, London, 1869). He also wrote, besides occasional papers on Welsh church questions, and on the Wesleyan succession (Yr Olyniaeth Wesleyaidd), under the pseudonym of 'Amddiffynydd' (i.e. Defender) in 1858. He was much interested in church music, co-operated in the production of the 'Bangor Diocese Hymn Book,' and himself translated into Welsh Faber's 'Good Friday Hymns' and 'Adeste Fideles.'

[For Dean Lewis see Western Mail (Cardiff), 26 Nov. 1901; North Wales Chronicle (Bangor), 30 Nov.; Church Times, 29 Nov. 1901; T. R. Roberts, Eminent Welshmen (1908), p. 306. See also Welsh articles in Y Geninen for March 1902, p. 37, and March 1903, p. 23, and (with portrait) in Yr Havil, 1902, p. 3; private information.]

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