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First Archbishop of Ontario





With Prefatory Note by the



Foreword by








Chapter I. Birth and Boyhood

Chapter II. Education and Ordination

Chapter III. Consecrated First Bishop of Ontario

Chapter IV. First Journey to London as Bishop

Chapter V. The First Lambeth Conference

Chapter VI. Work in the Diocese

Chapter VII. Elected First Archbishop of Ontario

Chapter VIII. The End of an Active Life



It is an honour and a pleasure to obey the request of Mrs. Lewis to write a few words for the book she is about to publish, giving to the world the life of her late husband, the Archbishop of Ontario.

A man of profound scholarship, endowed with talents above the ordinary, and possessed of a warm heart and genial disposition, Archbishop Lewis was held in high esteem by all who knew him. As his Chaplain I saw probably more of him than others, and I learned to regard him as a capable adviser, a wise administrator and a valued friend.

In the many difficulties which constantly occurred in a Diocese so large and varied as that of which he was Bishop, he had a marvellous faculty of reaching a satisfactory settlement with the fewest words and least friction. His decisions were readily accepted and acknowledged as best. His natural humour saved many a situation and softened many a dispute. The Diocese of Ontario was his making, and the evidence of his strong rule is still present. Much of its constitution was his work, and the soundness of it has been proved by the fact that it has more or less entered into the life of other Dioceses of Canada.

It was a fitting recognition of what he had done for the Church in Canada when, as the first Archbishop [xiii/xiv] in any of the Colonies or Dominions, he became the first Primate of all Canada. He will never be forgotten. His handsome and commanding presence, his ringing voice, his fearless championship of the Church have been among the foundation-stones of the Church of England in Canada.

I rejoice to know that so capable a writer as Mrs. Lewis is giving us a book which will be of the utmost value in all that deals with the history of the growth of the Church in Canada, with which the name of John Travers Lewis is intimately and inseparably associated.

CLARE L. NOVA SCOTIA, Archbishop of Nova Scotia and Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada.


The Archbishop of Ontario was related to a branch of the fighting Travers, whose descent may be traced from:

Laurentin Travers de Nateby
in Comitato de Lancaster
20th Eduard Ist--A.D. 1292.

A more recent trace is that of Major-General Sir Robert Travers, C.B., K.C.M.G., etc., who resigned in 1823, and was presented by the inhabitants of Cephanolia with an address and a gold sword. He was killed by a fall from his horse in 1834.

A portrait of Lady Travers and her ring were sent as heirlooms to the Archbishop's father to be descended to the John Travers of future generations.

Lord Nelson, almost in his last hour, gave his stick to another member of the family, and another appears to have joined the ill-fated Franklin expedition.

He gave all these to his son, John Travers Lewis, Chancellor of the Diocese of Ontario.

A list of the John Travers came from one family of eight sons.

In addition to the list of twenty-two given in Appendix B, many members of the family have served and are serving their country in the profession of arms. Perhaps no instance can be quoted where one family has produced so many soldiers.

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