William Lewin (died 1598)

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William Lewin
Spouse(s) Anne Goldsmith
Thomas Lewin
Justinian Lewin
John Lewin
Anne Lewin
Catherine Lewin
Judith Lewin
four other children
Father Edmund Lewin
Mother Juliana Goche or Googe
Died 15 April 1598
Buried St Leonard, Shoreditch

William Lewin or Lewyn (died 15 April 1598) of London and Otterden, Kent, was a college fellow, tutor, ecclesiastical lawyer, and judge. He also served three times as a member of parliament for Rochester.


William Lewin, said to have been of 'humble origin',[1] was one of the five children of Edmund Lewin (son of John Lewin of Cuffley, Hertfordshire) by Juliana Goche, the daughter of William Goche of Good Easter, Feodary of Essex.[2][3]

He matriculated as a pensioner at Christ's College, Cambridge, in November 1559, graduated B.A. in March 1562, M.A. in 1565, and Doctor of Laws in 1576. He was a Fellow of his college from 1562 to 1571, University Proctor for part of 1568, and Public Orator of the University in 1570/71. When the Queen visited Cambridge in 1564, Lewin was chosen to address her.[1] Lewin's cousin Elizabeth had formerly been the Queen's nurse, and his cousin Thomas Lewin had also been in the Queen's service; however according to Houlbrooke, Lewin's advancement at Cambridge was 'most directly assisted' by William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, the university's Chancellor, to whose elder daughter, Anne Cecil, he is thought to have been tutor.[2][1]

In 1576 Lewin was appointed a Judge of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, a position he held until his death. He became Chancellor of the Diocese of Rochester in 1586 and was Prebendary of Chichester and of St Asaph, from 1587. He was also a Master in Chancery from 1593 to 1598. Lewin was a member of parliament for Rochester in Kent, in 1586, 1589 and 1593.[4]

Lewin married Anne Goldsmith, the daughter of Francis Goldsmith of Crayford, Kent,[5] a lady celebrated for her beauty and virtues in Gabriel Harvey's dedication of Ciceronianus to her husband, by whom he had at least ten children, including three sons, Thomas, Justinian (1586 – 28 June 1620), and John, and three daughters: Anne (d.1645), who married Sir Lawrence Washington (1579–1643)[6] of Garsdon, Wiltshire, Registrar of the Court of Chancery, by whom she was the mother of Lawrence Washington (1622–62);[7] Catherine, who married James Paget of Northamptonshire; and Judith (1590–1625), who married Sir John Isham of Lamport Hall, near Northampton.[2][8]

Lewin's heir was his second son, Justinian (1586 – 28 June 1620), who was a lawyer and a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber to James I, and married, on 14 May 1607, Elizabeth Capel, the daughter of Arthur Capel of Little Hadham, Hertfordshire.

He died on 15 April 1598 and was buried in St Leonard's, Shoreditch. There is also a monumental inscription to him at Otterden, Kent.



External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Thomas Bynge
Cambridge University Orator
Succeeded by
John Becon