Edward Lewis d.1677

From Book Owners Online

Edward LEWIS d.1677

Biographical Note

Possibly the man of this name who graduated BA from Oriel College, Oxford in 1597 (MA 1605), though he may be a later Edward Lewis. Vicar of Chirbury, Shropshire from 1628 until his death.


Lewis bequeathed his manuscripts to a relative, John Farmer, and the rest of his books (ca. 200 volumes) to form a parish library for Chirbury, for the use of the schoolmaster and any other parishioners who might wish to read them. It constituted one of the earliest parish libraries founded in Shropshire. Th books were not to be borrowed, and at some point after Lewis's death the library was chained. About 100 volumes survive today, housed in Shropshire Archives. The contents are largely theological, mostly printed in the first half of the 17th century (about a third are 16th century, and only a few post-1650), in Latin and English. Some books belonged formerly to Edward Herbert, Lord Herbert of Cherbury, or to other members of the Herbert family, and the links between Lewis and the Herberts are explored by Roberts in his article (see below). An earlier theory that some of the books belonged to the poet George Herbert has been discounted.

Characteristic Markings

Lewis commonly inscribed his books "Liber Edvardi Lewis", or similar, and sometimes added a price paid; he rarely annotated them. Most of the books are in straightforward calf or sheep bindings of their time; a few Oxford bindings have been noted.


  • Foster, J., Alumni Oxonienses, Oxford, 1891.
  • Perkin, M., A directory of the parochial libraries of the Church of England, London, 2004, 175.
  • Roberts, D., The chained parish library of Chirbury, The Library 7th ser 19 (2018), 469-83.