Lewis Way

Lewis Way (1772–1840) was an English barrister and churchman, noted for his Christian outreach to the Jewish people. He is not to be confused with his grandfather, also called Lewis Way, a director of the South Sea Company.

He was the second son of Benjamin Way (1740–1808) of Denham, Buckinghamshire. Benjamin Way was an MP and a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Lewis Way graduated M.A. in 1796 from Merton College, Oxford, and in 1797 was called to the bar by the Society of the Inner Temple. He was ordained in 1817, and devoted to religious works part of a large legacy left him by a stranger, named John Way (1732–1804).[1]

In 1801 he married Mary Drewe (1780–1848), youngest daughter of the Reverend Herman Drewe of The Grange, Broadhembury,[2] a substantial estate in Devonshire.

On his way to Lebanon, he stayed for a while in Nice, on the Mediterranean coast in what is now France. While there, he donated funds for the construction of the seaside Promenade des Anglais [3] He later lived in Paris as the chaplain to the British ambassador. He founded the Marbeuf Chapel near the Champs-Élysées, where his preaching attracted a fashionable congregation. This church has moved buildings and is now St George's Paris.[4]

Lewis Way's last years were spent in rural Warwickshire in the care of a lunatic asylum at Barford.[5][6]

Mission to the Jewish people

Way, who belonged to the Evangelical wing of the Church of England, was active in its outreach to Jewish people. He was a founding member of The Church's Ministry Among Jewish People.

In 1817 Lewis Way obtained an audience with Tsar Alexander I of Russia, who befriended him and shared his interest in the future of the Jewish people (see History of the Jews in Russia. Way wrote, “It was not an audience of a private man with an Emperor, but rather a most friendly exchange of views of a Christian with a fellow Christian.".[7] The Tsar sent Way to the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle (1818) in what is now Aachen in Germany to obtain a commitment from the post-Napoleonic European heads of state to improve the lot of Europe's Jewish population. He succeeded in that mission.[8]


  1. Brown, Robert (2009) [2004]. "Way, Lewis (1772–1840)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/28905. External link in |= (help) (subscription required)
  2. Henderson, Geoffrey, Lewis Way - A Biography (2015)
  3. Price, Stanley & Munro. The Road to Apocalypse: The Extraordinary Journey of Lewis Way. (2011)
  4. An Anglican Adventure, Church Times
  5. Henderson, Geoff and Carole. "Genealogy". HTS Media. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  6. Henderson, Geoffrey, Lewis Way - A Biography (2015)
  7. Memorandum of an interview with his Imperial Majesty Alexander Emperor of all the Russias – 1818 -Parkes Library Special Collections, University of Southampton, MS 85 Papers of Lewis Way
  8. Henderson, Geoffrey, Lewis Way - A Biography (2015)

External links

* www.htsmedia.com, a biography

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