His mother, Margaret Prichard, was Catholic, but his father, Morgan Lewis, was a Protestant school headmaster; David, the youngest of nine children, was raised Protestant. He was reconciled to Catholicism in Paris, France at age 16. Studied at the English College in Rome, Italy from 1638. Ordained in 1642. Joined the Jesuits in 1645. Spiritual director of the English College in Rome. He returned to Wales in 1648 and spent over 30 years ministering to persecuted Catholics from the village of Cym, living in a farmhouse that served as a base for missionary work. During the increased persecutions triggered by the Titus Oates Plot, David was betrayed by a servant, and arrested in November 1678 at Llantarnan, Wales. Condemned in March 1679 for the crimes of being a priest and saying Mass. Imprisoned and interrogated in London, then returned to Usk. One of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.
- hanged, drawn and quartered on 22 August 1679 in Usk, Monmouthshire, Wales
- buried in Usk
- his grave has become a pilgrimage destination
Sweet Jesus, receive my soul. – Saint David’s last words
- “Saint David Lewis“. CatholicSaints.Info. 30 May 2014. Web. 3 July 2015. <>