Lewis Private Schools, London

The following information and images were very kindly submitted by Annette James, whose ancestors ran private schools for boys in London.
John Bone Lewis was born on 18th March 1817 in London, son of John Bone and Caroline Lewis.  He was baptised at St Marylebone on 3rd August 1817, with the middle name of Lewis and the surname Bone.  However, on 27th March 1831, he was baptised again, this time at St Pancras Church, with the surname of Lewis and the middle name Bone!   His mother sadly was found drowned in the Regent Canal in 1852 with a Farthing and debtors note in her hand, when they dragged her out. 

On 18th September 1844, John married Jane Ashby at St Mark's Parish Church, Clerkenwell, their six children being born between 1845 and 1860.

Between 1837 and his death in 1897, John worked as a Teacher at Private Schools, his addresses being 170 Pentonville Road, 56 Pentonville Road, 129 St John St., Clerkenwell and 19 Gloucester Street, Clerkenwell.   In 1840, John received the lease to 129 St John St., Clerkenwell from Sekford's Charity for £20 per annum and, in the 1851 census, he is listed as a Schoolmaster at this address.  This lease continued to 1895, rising to £40 per annum in 1881.

In 1861, an advertisement appeared in the Clerkenwell News, advertising Lewis Adult Academy, located at 170 Pentonville Road, established 1837.  It seems that this property had been leased from a Mr G. Bassil for a term of 31 and a half years.  However, in 1891, John is also listed as a Schoolmaster at 56 Pentonville Road.

John died on 16th December 1897, aged 80 years, and is buried in Abney Park Cemetery, London.  A transcription of John's will is attached below, together with a very detailed inventory of the school contents.  It is interesting to note the telescopes and charts of  the Heavens and rivers on Mars ... it is understood that, during his lifetime, John Bone Lewis was very interested in the heavens and it is said that he used to go onto Highgate common with his brass telescope to study the stars. 

Henry John Lewis was born on 7th August 1845 at 129 St John Street, Clerkenwell, Middlesex, son of John Bone Lewis and Jane
Ashby.   By the 1861 census, he was living at 19 Gloucester Street, Clerkenwell, working as a Baker, his Grandfather, William Ashby, being in the same trade.

In 1867, Henry became engaged to Emma Ann Balch and they married on 7th October 1867 at St James, Pentonville, London.  Their eight children were born between 1867 and 1883.

By 1871, the family were living at 524 Kingsland Road, Hackney, London and Henry's occupation was listed as Writing Master and Accountant.  They moved to 35 Balls Pond Road, Islington, by 1881, by which time Henry was listed as a Teacher of Writing.  Following moves to 370 Hackney Road, Bethnal Green and 94 Kennington Park Road, Lambeth, Henry died at Kennington on 26th May 1902.

It is believed that the addresses at Pentonville Rd., St John Street and Kennington Park Road were the schools of which John and Henry were Masters.  56 Pentonville Rd was also a school after the Lewis family. It was then run by a Charles J Williams.


Annette would be pleased to hear from anyone who has a connection with this family or who may be able to help her to find out more about John Bone Lewis's father, who is the brickwall in her family tree!
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Brickwall Club,
5 Apr 2012, 06:12
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