LEWEN, Edward (d.1619), of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumb. and Hetton, co. Dur.
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Family and Education
yr. s. of Robert Lewen of Newcastle by his 3rd w. Jane, da. of Christopher Brigham of Newcastle. m. 4s. 1da.
Alderman, sheriff, Newcastle 1577-8, mayor 1587-8; gov. Newcastle merchants co. 1587.1
Lewen, a coal merchant, is not mentioned in the proceedings of the Commons. His term as mayor coincided with the invasion threat in 1587-8, when Newcastle was strongly garrisoned. His services at that time were recalled ten years later, when he figured in the grand lease controversy (see CHAPMAN, Henry). Lewen had originally leased mines in Whickham, one of the areas where the grand lessees had gained a controlling interest, and this no doubt strengthened his support of the campaign to break their monopoly of the coal industry and their grip on local government. According to Henry Saunderson, who led the opposition to the lessees, Lewen was one of the most substantial men outside their group, and for seven years as alderman had been an outspoken critic of the lessees. He had also been, in Sanderson’s words, particularly ‘zealous in religion’ and had proved, during his mayoralty, a loyal servant of the Queen. The controversy continued until 1600, but Lewen had apparently withdrawn by 1597, when Sanderson wrote his account of the dispute. Subsequently, he played little part in the town’s affairs and held no further office. Probably he had returned to his country estate: in 1607 he was described as of Fawside and Hetton-le-Hole, when he sold the latter. He was buried at St. Nicholas, Newcastle, in February 1619.2
Ref Volumes: 1558-1603
- 1. Northumb, Peds. ed. Foster, 78; T. E. Watson, Hist. Lewen Fam. 114, 115, 122, 123.
- 2. Surtees Soc. cxii. 24-7; CSP Dom. Add. 1580-1625, pp. 218-23, 237; J. U. Nef, British Coal Industry, i. 151; R. Welford, Hist. Newcastle and Gateshead, ii. 113; Surtees, Hist. Dur. i. 214; R. Welford, Monuments of St. Nicholas, Newcastle, 16.