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Presteigne
Important local Victorians
 
  Sir George Cornewall Lewis (1806-1863)  
 

Sir George was son of Sir Thomas Frankland Lewis of Harpton Court near New Radnor (see the early Victorian map of Harpton Court below). The family owned large estates and were powerful men on both sides of the border.Victorian map of Harpton Court
He was educated at Eton and Oxford University and became a lawyer. He earned a reputation for being a learned man and could speak several languages.
He worked for the government for a number of years before becoming an MP himself for Herefordshire. He was involved in other areas of public life serving as one of the founders of the London Library, which was opened in 1841. He was also involved in the running of the British Museum .

 
 

When he lost his seat in parliament 1852 he became editor of a magazine called The Edinburgh Review. He was an author of many books on politics and history.
On his father's death in 1855 he replaced him as MP for the Radnor boroughs and was immediately appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer by the Prime Minister Lord Palmerstone. This is a very important position indeed as the Chancellor of the Exchequer was the man who looked after the country's money.
Old photograph of Harpton CourtSir George went on to serve in two other very important positions. He was Home Secretary, the government minister who looked after law and order in the country.
He was then Secretary of State for War, the minister who organised the defence of the British Empire and conducted wars against her enemies.
He died at the age of 56 in 1863. A monument built in his memory still stands in New Radnor today. (Photograph above: Harpton Court as it was in Victorian times.)

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