THE P RTAL
David Lewis: A Welsh Hero of The Oxford Movement
By Br Sean THE OXFORD Movement is rightly associated with its three main protagonists: Newman, Keble
and Pusey. Tese Oriel dons provided the movement with the leadership, enthusiasm and intellectual rigor which would ensure its success, so much so that by the mid 1830s the influence of the Oxford Movement began to eclipse the hugely popular Evangelical Movement. Yet despite their greatness, the genesis, progress and consequences of the Oxford Movement cannot be reduced to Keble, Pusey and Newman alone.
Te movement is indebted to many men, who in
their own particular way, contributed to its cause. Here we will try to thrown light on some ‘men of the movement’ who have long since fallen into obscurity and seem to have been forgotten by history. One such man was David Lewis.
Lewis was born in Llanddeiniol, Ceredigion,
Wales in 1814. Lewis was educated locally and in Twickenham where his father’s brother, David Lewis D.D. (Oxon), had founded a grammar school. He came up to Oxford in 1834, a year aſter the movement had begun. Naturally as a Welshman he was an alumnus of Jesus College, where he graduated in 1837. Lewis was followed by his brother, Evan Lewis, who matriculated at Jesus in 1838, and who would also become a leading Tractarian figure in Wales.
Having taken Anglican Orders aſter graduation, Lewis
became curate of a proprietary chapel in Roehampton, which was then a centre for Tractarianism. In 1839 he was appointed a Fellow of Jesus College, later becoming Dean and Vice-Principal. During the end of Newman incumbency at the University Church Lewis served as his curate from 1842 until 1843.
Newman’s Letters and Diaries attest to their frequent
walks and dining together. Lewis was in fact a valuable support to Newman in the difficult months following the publication of Tract XC in 1842, which ultimately heralded Newman’s
retirement to Littlemore and
resignation of his beloved ministry at St. Mary’s. While Lewis did not live at Littlemore Newman greatly admired Lewis’s intellect, and made him his friend and confidant. Inspired by Newman, Lewis followed him into the full communion of the Roman Catholic Church on 31 May 1846, having earlier resigned his Fellowship at Jesus College.
With special thanks to Rhidian Jones On Pilgrimage - 2
Saturday 15 September 2012 National Pilgrimage to Walsingham Te Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of
Walsingham is organising a National Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham on Saturday 15 September 2012.
In 1849 Lewis married the Hon. Jane Meuthen.
As a layman he wished to do his part for the legacy of the movement, particularly for converts. He was instrumental, together with the Duke of Norfolk and A. Fullerton, in the founding of the first London Oratory, in King William Street, the Strand in 1849. From 1860 he settled in Arundel where he devoted the remainder of his life to the study of Canon Law, Church history and the lives of the saints. Troughout his life he maintained close ties with the Oratorians of the Brompton Oratory, always making it his custom to dine with them on St. Philip’s Day.
He died at Arundel in 1895. To Lewis we can certainly
apply Newman’s words: ‘Blessed are they who resolve – come good, come evil, come sunshine, come tempest, come honour, come dishonour, that he shall be their Lord and Master, their King and God.’
Newman trust and affection for Lewis is seen
through their correspondence. In 1847 Newman informed him, in advance, that he and a group of his friends were to become Oratorians. Te following year when Newman published anonymously the novelLoss and Gain, he turned to Lewis, asking him to act as intermediary with the printers.
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