Hewins was born in Wolverhampton, West Midlands on 11 May 1865, the second son of Samuel Hewins, a middle-class Midlands metal merchant. He died at his home in London on 17 November 1931. He attended Wolverhampton Grammar School, from whence he obtained the Hatherton Scholarship to Pembroke College, Oxford. He graduated in 1887 with a second class in the final mathematical school, having obtained a first class in the mathematical moderations in 1885. In addition to his studies in mathematics, he had been drawn to economics by the adverse effects of the economic downturn in the 1870s on his family's business. At Pembroke, he was taught by Sir C.H. Firth and undertook economic and social studies of England in the seventeenth century. From early on, however, he rejected the methodology of classical political economy in favour of a more historical approach. In 1892, Hewins married Margaret, the daughter of James Slater of Bescot Hall, Staffordshire. They had a son and two daughters.
From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.