In the early 17th century two members of the Wise family were fined
for recusancy. (fn. 7) In the later 17th century three
or four inhabitants who attended a Quaker meeting at Alvescot included the prosperous farmer
William Wise, and Joseph Briscoe (d. 1715) of
Lew left land at Alvescot to benefit poor Quakers
attending the Witney and Alvescot meetings. (fn. 8)
Two Lew inhabitants belonged to the Congregational church at Witney in 1835 and another
4 by 1840, (fn. 9) when a small stone chapel with
reportedly 160 sittings, said to have been
planned before Lew church was contemplated,
was built near University Farm on the initiative
of the Witney minister Robert Tozer. (fn. 10) The
Witney church belonged to the Association of
Baptist Congregational Churches, and there was
evidently co-operation with the Baptist chapel
at Cote: one of the Lew members was baptized
there in 1839, and in 1856 trustees of Lew
Congregational chapel included the minister of
Cote. (fn. 11) Average attendance in 1850-1 was 33,
but only 14 were present on Census Sunday, and
during the 1860s and 1870s Dissent in Lew
declined steadily. From 1856 to 1858 and again
by 1875 the chapel was let to the parish on
weekdays for use as a school, and in 1878 only
one dissenter was reported. (fn. 12)
||H. E. Salter, 'Oxon. Recusants', O.A.S. Rep. (1924),
19-20, 40, 46, 53.
Bp. Fell and Nonconf. 5, 50-1; O.R.O., BOQM 1/ii/3;
ibid. MS. Wills Oxon. 8/4/34.
||O.R.O., WCC I/1, pp. 101, 117.
Ch. and Chapel, 1851, no. 265; W. H. Summers, Hist.
Berks., S. Bucks., and S. Oxon. Congregational Churches
(1905), 273; Giles, Hist. Bampton, 87, stating that it was not
completed until after Lew church was finished in 1841.
||O.R.O., WCC I/1, p. 117; Oxf. Chron. 8 Mar. 1856;
Summers, Hist. Congregational Chs. 272.
Ch. and Chapel, 1851, no. 265; O.R.O., MSS. Oxf.
Dioc. c 332, pp. 54-6; c 335, ff. 25-6; c 338, f. 29V.; c 341,
ff. 48-9; c 344, ff. 33-4; below, educ.