Frances Charlotte Newman
1758 - 1834

 Relationship to me: Great Great Great Great Uncle Gen -5
 Born 1758 presumably at Cadbury  
Died 1834 at Piddletrenthide Dorset
 Age 76  
 Father:      Francis (Frank) Newman of North Cadbury c1720-1796
 Mother: Jane Sampson, daughter of Henry Sampson of Wells - Buried North Cadbury 2 Aug 1784 or 1794 1729 - 1784 (or 1794)
 Brothers: none c1762-1836
 Sisters: (younger) Jane, married William Walter Yea at N.Cadbury 1st May 1783 (see Debrett's Baronetage of England) 1760 - 1829
  Catherine, married James Rogers of Rainscombe, in 1788 - see Access Genealogy 1762 - 1832
 Married: 9th Nov 1778, to her first cousin, Francis Newman. [Marriage record kindly supplied by Harold Biggs.]
 Children: Francis, born May 1779, died June 1779. Buried North Cadbury
  Henry, stillborn December 1780. Buried North Cadbury 26th Dec 1780.
  Frances Charlotte - married Robert Albion Cox, Alderman of London 1784 - c.1846
  Augusta Catherine, born Nov. 1785, died May 1786. Buried at North Cadbury Church May 28th 1786. (Her husband, Francis, claimed that this was not his child.)  1785 - 1786

Frances seems to have had an unlucky life. Brought up in what might be imagined as the luxury of Cadbury Court, she married her first cousin Francis Newman, eldest son of her father's younger brother Henry. Married sometime in 1779 (see Chancery Proceedings C12/629/31), she was only 20 or 21 and he just 19 or 20. No doubt the marriage was necessitated by Frances's pregnancy since her first child was born in May of the same year. Frances lost this first child within the year, and suffered a second loss in 1780 when the next child, a son, was stillborn. In May 1784 to a daughter who named Frances Charlotte after her mother. By then (according to the Newman-Rogers' Bible) the cousins were living at Furston House in the village of Cadbury, Devon (not to be confused with the villages of North and South Cadbury in nearby Somerset!)

By then the marriage was on the rocks. Francis had got himself into debt, due (he claimed) to the failure of his uncle and father-in-law Frank Newman to honour a promise to give him title to (and income from) parts of the Cadbury and Sparkford estates. [Given what we now know of Frank Newman's character, this claim was probably true.] At any rater, in 1783 it appears that the couple jointly agreed to mortgage some of the lands in their possession to raise money to pay off Francis's debts.

Yet within 12 months, around May 1784 immediately following the birth of baby Frances Charlotte, the couple became estranged when Francis absconded with Lydia Sheridan. Francis claimed that in October 1784 he met up with Frances in London where he was then living with Lydia. Shortly after this she became pregnant again, giving birth to her fourth child, Augusta, in November 1785. Francis denied paternity of the child, claiming (see Chancery Proceedings C12/629/31) that he believe that Frances had "conducted herself in a very improper manner and had a connection with one or more person or persons (while he and she were separated) and that she was delivered of one or more child or children". At any rate, the baby survived for a few short months, being buried in North Cadbury in May 1786, shortly before Lydia Sheridan presented Francis with a son.

In 1786 Frances (together with her father and daughter) began the first of a series of court proceedings against her husband relating to his failure to pay her an agreed annuity of £100 per year from the income from parts of the Cadbury and other estates. Family arguments continued through 1791 and 1792 (see Chancery Proceedings C12-184-20) between Francis and his brother-in-law James Rogers.

In 1796, the remaining Newman estates were sold, and Frances and her father moved to a cottage in Piddeltrenthide in Dorset where Frances lived for the rest of her life. It is not known whether she ever sought a divorce from her husband or he from her. Most likely they did not bother, given their (apparently) impecunious situations and the difficulties and expense of obtaining divorce in those days (see Breakdown of Marriage before 1857).

It is perhaps interesting that in her will dated 1823, Frances left all her real estate and the residue and remainder of her personal estate goods chattels to Thomas Tomkins of Piddletrenthide who she also nominated as the sole executor of her will. Was he, perhaps, her lover and father of baby Augusta who died in 1786?

Either because Frances's only surviving child Frances Charlotte had no children of her own, or because her father requested it, Frances left an important family heir-loom - the Newman-Rogers' Bible - to her nephew, Francis Newman-Rogers.

Last updated: 16th Sep 2012
Updated: 30th May 2012

Updated: 26th Oct 2011
Page created: 11th June 2005.