Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Wansum more, a blast from the past.

Having written the last few posts on the early history of Thanet, with surprisingly little criticism or corrections from other historians I decided it was time to reread my source material.

The bloke in the picture above is Thanet’s first historian John Lewis who was writhing at the end of the 1600s and the beginning of the 1700s his book “The History and Antiquities as well Ecclesiastical as Civil of the Isle of Tenet, in Kent”, the Second Edition, With Additions published in 1736 being the best and most sought after edition available from me in a cheap reprint click on the link to buy it describes what I have been trying to describe on about 7 pages.

I have scanned the relevant pages from my copy in case you haven’t got one handy click on the link to read so you can read it and see what you think.


  1. I love the word "SLUB" - pity we don't use it nowadays.

  2. Was he writhing in penury though Michael ?

  3. Rick the short answer is no not at all and reading between the lines of the stiff and rather elegant Latin of the Archbishop Wake who in 1717 gave him the valuable Mastership of the Eastbridge Hospital in Canterbury. Wake's private notebook (Notitia Dioces Cantuar,) now in Canterbury Cathedral Library describes Lewis as, a conscious studious hardworking jolly good chap. "vir probus, doctus, diligens; concionator bonus." I am afraid our Lewis was thought by his contemporaries to be a bit of a crawler toadying to the archbishop of the day.

    This is the sort of thing they had to say about him and his work:

    Of the book The Antiquities of Thanet, Thomas Alien, Vicar of Murston, sometime Fellow of University College, writes to his friend Thomas Heame, the antiquary, of Edmund Hall that "it has only an indifferent character and is a poor performance." Heame refers to "that vile, silly Pimp, that vile wretch, Lewis the Pyrate, the same poor writer that drew up and published Wicliffs Life. He is a Wiclivist, Calvinist, Puritan & Republican, and hath wrote and published divers other things of no manner of Esteem among honest learned men. Lewis has the character of a rogue and a villain."

    I hope you will find this on his financial situation helpful: John Lewis was Vicar of St. John's in Margate from 1705 to 1746. It was not a good living, about £50 a year. By the favour of Archbishop Tenison he also received the proceeds from Rectory of Saltwood with Hythe £80 per year and the "ecclesia desolata" of Eastbridge £30 per year until 1708 when he became Vicar of Minster in at £250 a year. In today's money £24000 is about the equivalent £300 then.

  4. Interesting answer there Michael, but I think Rick was in fact attempting a joke.

    'Writhing' in penury?

  5. Sorry Sam I just don’t understand.


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