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John Travers Lewis, Bishop of Ontario, is a native of the County of Cork, Ireland, and was born June 20, 1825. He is a son of Rev. John Lewis, M. A., once rector of St. Anne’s, Shandon, Ireland, and grandson of Richard Lewis, at one period Inspector-General of Revenue in the South of Ireland. He was educated at the University of Trinity College, Dublin, and was graduated in 1846, being gold medalist and senior moderator in ethics and logic, and obtained classical and mathematical honors in his under graduate course. Some years later he had conferred on him the degree of LL.D. He was ordained Deacon in 1848, at the Chapel of Christ College, Cambridge, by the Lord Bishop of Chester; was ordained Priest by the Lord Bishop of Down, and appointed to the Curacy of Newtownbutler in the County of Fermanagh.
Vacating this living soon afterwards, in 1850 Mr. Lewis came to Canada; was appointed by the Lord Bishop of Toronto to the parish of Hawkesbury, Canada West (now Ontario), and after officiating there for four years, was placed in the rectory of Brockville, where he remained for seven years, making for himself a good name by the assiduity with which he attended to the Master’s work.
In the summer of 1861, the Synod met at Kingston, and elected the subject of this sketch to the Bishopric of Ontario, which office he now holds, with residence at the capital of the Dominion. As he had been in Canada but eleven years, and was only thirty-six years old when made bishop, it was truly a great honor conferred upon him, and time has shown the wisdom of the choice. He is a fine scholar, a lucid and logical thinker and speaker, and a power in the Church.
Bishop Lewis has written hundreds of pamphlets, tracts and sermons, which have been published and widely circulated; among them “The Church of the New Testament,” “Does the Bible need Re-translating’?” “The Primitive Method of Electing Bishops,” &c., &c.
In 1851, Anne Harriet Margaret, daughter of Hon. Henry Sherwood, once Attorney-General of Upper Canada, became the wife of Bishop Lewis; and of eleven children, the fruit of this union, only seven are living.