Select Newman Miscellany

Here are some Newman stories and accounts over the years:

Francis Newman of North Cadbury

Francis was the third and last of the Newmans of North Cadbury.  This Francis bought and had built Newman Street near Oxford Street in London and Newman Hall in Essex, both acquired on credit.  He married Jane Sampson, daughter of the Clerk Prebend of Wells, and seems to have lived a life of extravagant pleasure.

By her he had three daughters. The eldest Frances fought with her father, eloped and married her cousin Francis at Piddletrenthide in Dorset in 1778.  On May Day 1788, the two younger daughters were married in a lavish double wedding at North Cadbury, probably in the fashionable rococo style, to the Rev. James Rogers of Newnton, Wiltshire, vicar of South Cadbury, and to Sir William Yea, baronet of St.James in Taunton.

Fond of gambling, alone in a large house (his wife had predeceased him in 1784), and with mounting debts, Francis is said to have lost house and everything that he owned in an all-or-nothing gaming bet one evening in late 1789.  As a result his creditors foreclosed on his properties and there were reports that he ended up in debtors' prison.

Disowned by his two flamboyant younger daughters, he was taken in by and reconciled to his elder daughter Frances and nephew Francis at Piddletrenthide on the Piddle River.  He died there on Christmas Day, 1796.

Arthur Newman of Hendford

Arthur Newman was one of the last "hunting, shooting and fishing parsons." 

He achieved notoriety in the strange case of George Chilcott, a parishioner who Rev. Newman refused to bury.  Instead he kept him in a coffin for three days "whereafter Mr. Chilcott showed signs of life and later made a full recovery" (as reported in the Bridgewater Times in 1880). 

In midlife he absconded from his parish with a mistress, ready to embark for America.  Intercepted by his son on the ship before departure, he was persuaded to return.  However, on his return, he found a petition from his parishioners in Axminster nailed to the locked door of the church barring him from entry.

James Newman of Preston Deanery

Charles Toll, a cousin of the Newmans, had taken over the Preston Deanery estate in Northamptonshire in 1775 and assumed the name of Newman.   He lost his son at sea in 1811.  A plaque at the church of Preston Deanery commemorates this son's life and death.

Within these consecrated Walls
This Marble Tablet
(With Tribute that is due)
Is inscribed to the Memory of
James Newman Newman, Esq. of the Royal Navy,
Captain of his Majesty's Ship Hero,
Of seventy-four Guns.
Wrecked on the 24th December 1811,
Upon the Haak Sands, off the Texel Island,
And every Soul on Board perished!

He was the Son of Charles Newman, Esq.
Of Preston-Deanry, in the County of Northampton,
And of Esther his Wife, who was
Niece of the late Sir John Langham, Bart.
Of the same County.

He has left an aged Father to lament
The Loss of a beloved Son
In the prime of Life;
An affectionate Wife to bewail the Death
Of an excellent Husband;
And his Country to regret as they regard
The Loss of a good and gallant Officer

He was a Man amiable in the highest Degree in Disposition,
And estimable in every Relation of Life

Newmans Coming to America

The table below shows where Newmans came from:


Some may have come Newmans after their arrival in America, boosting the German and Jewish totals above.

The Rev. Samuel Newman of Reheboth

The real founder of Rehoboth was the Rev. Samuel Newman.  The son of Richard Newman, a glover from Banbury in Oxfordshire, he had been a  pastor in the West Riding of Yorkshire for many years.  However, disgusted with the religious persecutions of Archbishop Laud, he had come to America in company with a large number of like-minded emigrants.

He resided four years at Dorchester and was chiefly engaged there in writing his Concordance to the Bible. In 1639 he became pastor of the church at Weymouth.  Four years he led the majority of his church, together with others of Hingham, to a place on the east bank of the Pawtucket river that was called by the Indians Seekonk.  He gave it the name of Rehoboth, a scriptural word meaning enlargement.

Newman had purchased the land from the Plymouth colony and had the land surveyed with title to him.   He had also thought it morally correct to purchase the land from the Indians, rather than just assert the land title granted him by the colony, and had done so. 

The early history of the Newman church was closely identified with the progress of the town, as both were under one government untl 1759.

Robert Newman, Those Lanterns, and That Famous Ride

On the night of April 18, 1775, the sexton of Boston's Old North Church, Robert Newman, climbed the 14-story steeple and held up two lanterns to alert patriots across the harbor in Charlestown that British troops were advancing their way on a munitions raid to Lexington and Concord.

A patriot living in the British commander's own house had informed Revere’s Sons of Liberty resistance movement.  Before Revere began his famous ride warning of the looming invasion, he had asked Newman to raise the alarm using the lantern code: “one if by land, two if by sea."  Newman held two lanterns up.

The next day, April 19th, is celebrated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as Patriots Day and is a legal holiday.

Paul Newman was Jewish

Paul Newman was born in 1925 in the Shaker Heights suburb of Cleveland to Arthur and Theresa Newman. Arthur was Jewish, the son of a peddler immigrant from Hungary, Theresa Catholic from a Slovak family who had immigrated as a young girl in 1904.

His looks might say WASP - fair-skinned with curly light brown hair and striking aqua-blue eyes.  But Newman, who had no religion as an adult, always identified himself as Jewish because, as he once declared wryly, "it's more of a challenge." 

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