Newman Hall, Essex

Quendon Hall, Essex - once named Newman Hall after Thomas Newman who built the original house here c.1540. Most of the existing house was built between 1670 and 1680.

Odd references appear in obscure parts of the Newman family records of a connection to Newman Hall in Essex. The most notable reference appears on the memorial to a Thomas Newman (died 1649) on the wall of the Newman chapel in the church at Fifehead Magdalen, which is inscribed (in Latin) with the words “Thomas Newman is at rest beneath this altar, From the lineage of Newman [of Newman Hall, Essex]”. The words "de Newman Hall, Essex" have been inserted at a later date (see photo below). It is not known when or by whom the words were added.

According to the History of Quendon Hall (as Newman Hall is now named), it was built c.1540 by a Thomas Newman. Robert Newman's "Newman One Name Study" indicates that this Thomas Newman died in 1586 leaving Newman Hall to his only daughter Anne Wilford. Thus Newman Hall passed out of Newman possession in 1586, long before Thomas Newman of Fifehead's death in 1649, and longer still before his memorial was installed in the Newman chapel at Fifehead. Robert Newman's data shows that this Thomas Newman's father was also Thomas Newman, born c.1500. However the earliest appearance of the name Thomas in the Fifehead Newman pedigree is Thomas Newman of Fifehead Magdalen and Stoney Stoke c.1540 - 1574. It therefore seems entirely unlikely that the Newmans of Newman Hall in Essex were in any way connected to the Newmans of Fifehead.

Another reference to the Newmans of Essex appears in a sometimes misleading family history titled "The Newmans of Wessex" which states that:

"Francis [II] Newman, 2nd of Nth.Cadbury was succeeded by his nephew Francis [III] Newman, 3rd and last of Nth.Cadbury and of West House, both co.Somerset. This Francis speculated on, bought, and built Newman Street near Oxford Street, London, and Newman Hall, co.Essex, both purchased on credit from William Berner." Campbell Newman also wrote to me (email dated 29 Oct 03) saying: "I believe that a spectacular night of gambling (by Francis Newman of North Cadbury) was the explanation for William Berner's re-possession of Newman Street and Newman Hall."

In fact there is almost certainly no link between Francis Newman of North Cadbury and Newman Hall in Essex which passed out of Newman hands some 140 years before Francis Newman was born.

Background Notes: A Google search for Newman Hall in Essex conducted in Oct 2011 came up with three references:

  1. describing an Anne Newman who was born about 1575 in Newman Hall, London, Middlesex.
  2.,_William_%28DNB00%29 referring to a WINSTANLEY, WILLIAM born about 1628, second son of William Winstanley of Quendon, Essex, who wrote an elegy on Anne, wife of Samuel Gibs of Newman Hall, Essex, and
  3. which describes Quendon Hall in Essex (a grand building used for weddings and receptions), saying that “in 1553 it became the property of Thomas Newman, who pulled down the old manor house near the church and built a mansion in the deer park, which he named Newman Hall”.

In 2010, a website at also described Quendon Hall in Essex as being formerly Newman Hall, saying that "the Lordship of Quendon was in the possession of the Crown until 1530 when it came into the hands of Thomas Newman who built the house c.1540. It is a fine 2 storey 16th-17th century brick house in a deer park. The main portion of the present house was built 1670-1680 but suffered badly in a fire of c.1880. The south front is an outstanding example of its period. The park was still stocked with deer in 1975 enclosed by a modern fence."

It is worth recalling Wayne Dexter Newman's observation in his article published in the April 1998 edition of the Newman Name Society Chronicle, when referring to the same memorial to Thomas Newman, concluded that:

This is the only mention of an Essex origin for the Fifehead line that I have come across. By far the stronger indication is that the family originated in Wiltshire and later spread its branches into Somerset, Gloucestershire, London, Cork, Quebec and other parts. The suggested use of the Fifehead crest by the Essex family [would] have to be confirmed from other sources to give it credence. However, if for the moment we take the Essex connection at face value, the 'descended from an illustrious judge' would be a lead worth exploring. Presumably this DOES mean a judge in the Essex Newman line. If the existence of a likely candidate could be verified, then it may provide means of firmly linking the two families. Exploratory delving is called for.

Page updated: 30 Dec 2015 - references added to Robert Newman's "Newman One Name Study" largely dismissing the possibility of a link between the Newmans of Essex and the Newmans of Wessex.
Page updated: 5 Sep 2012 - enlarged image of Fifehead memorial and image of Quendon Hall added
Page created: 1 Feb 2010