Lewes was the second son of Reverend Watkin Lewes, of Pen-y-Benglog, Melinau, and Ann Williams, of Treamlod (Ambleston), Pembrokeshire. He was educated at Shrewsbury School and at Magdalene College, Cambridge, from which he graduated in 1763. He was elected alderman for the London ward of Lime Street and Sheriff of London in 1772, and was knighted in 1773. In 1780 he was elected Lord Mayor of London.
In October 1781 he was elected at a by-election as one of the four Members of Parliament (MPs) for the City of London He served as an MP until his defeat at the 1796 general election. He stood again at the general election, in 1802, but was unsuccessful.
- Lewis Namier; John Brooke (1985). The House of Commons 1754-1790. Boydell & Brewer. p. 40. ISBN 978-0-436-30420-0.
- "Lewes, Watkin (LWS759W)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Stooks Smith, Henry (1973) [1844–1850]. Craig, F. W. S. (ed.). The Parliaments of England (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 210. ISBN 0-900178-13-2.
- Media related to Watkin Lewes at Wikimedia Commons
|Parliament of Great Britain|
| Member of Parliament for the City of London
With: Frederick Bull to 1784
Nathaniel Newnham to 1790
John Sawbridge to 1795
Brook Watson 1784–93
William Curtis 1790–1818
John William Anderson 1793–1806
William Lushington 1795–1802
Harvey Christian Combe
John William Anderson
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