William Lewis (1787-1870) was one of the leading English chess players and chess authors in the first half of the 19th century. His chess career is closely linked in particular with the second and their decades, when he was among the strongest players in Europe.
Kenneth Whyld says that "he learned much of his chess from Sarratt. Around 1819 he was operator of the Turk, chess mechanical machine, meeting all-comers successfully. With Cochrane he visited Paris in 1821 and, receiving odds of pawn and move from Deschapelles, defeated him in a short match (+1=2). In 1825 Bourdonnais visited England.
Lewis recalled that they played about 70 games, and according to Walker seven of them constituted a match which Lewis lost (+2-5)....
"With no significant playing achievement to his credit Lewis acquired such a high reputation that a correspondent writing to the weekly magazine Bell's Life in 1838 was moved to call him grandmaster. From 1925 he preserved this reputation by the simplest means: he declined to play on even terms. In the same year he opened a club where he gave lessons. Walker and MacDonell were among his pupils."
William Lewis was in his day one of the most diligent chess writers. In 1817-1842 (when counting the first editions only) he published 17 books on chess. Many of them were reprinted still while he was alive (the last one in 1844), and yet Douglas A. Betts, author of the ,,Chess. An Annotated Bibliography of Works Published in the English Language 1850-1968" (reprint Olomouc 2005) mentions after 1850 no reprint of any chess publication by Lewis.