Richard Newman of Fifehead
1620 - 1695

 Relationship to me: Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather Gen -9
Born 1620  
Died 24th September 1695; b. October 17, 1695 at Fifehead Magdalen  
Age 75  
Father:      Richard Newman of Fifehead 1584 - 1664
Mother: Elizabeth Perry d. 1620
Brothers: (elder) Thomas Newman c.1619 - ????
Sisters: (elder) Ann c.1615 - ????
  Jane c.1617 -????
Married: Anne Harbord 1634 - 1690
Children:  Richard Newman of Evercreech Park 1650 - 16823
  Elizabeth m. (1) Thomas Warre Jul 1672 at Westminster and (2) Edward Scott 1653 - before 1685
  Anne Christianna m. Sir William Honeywood Bart. of Elmstead 15 July 1675 c1655 - 1736
  Frances m. John Oxenham Jan 1676 at Westminster 1659 - after 1681
  Charles Harbord 1667-1683
  Thomas ???? - 1668
  Francis Holles Newman 1671 - 1714
  According to Harold Biggs' researches, there was another unnamed daughter who died 23 July 1673.


This Richard Newman matriculated into Pembroke College, Oxford on 30th October 1635 and graduated with an B.A. on 18th June 1639, becoming a Barrister at Law of the Middle Temple in 1640. It is claimed that in later life he was appointed High Steward of Westminster (date unknown).

Most Newman family histories record that this Richard Newman joined the Royalist forces during the English Civil War (1642 - 1651) taking the rank of Colonel. He was said to have lent money in support of Charles I, and in 1651 assisted the young king Charles II escape after the Battle of Worcester where Charles's largely Scottish army was defeated at the hands of Cromwell's New Model Army. Furthermore, Richard was said to have been imprisoned for his efforts supporting the king though not where or when. It was likewise recorded that after Charles regained his throne at the Restoration in 1660, he rewarded Richard with an augmentation to his Coat of Arms in the form of an "escutcheon gules" (red shield) and a "crowned portcullis or" (gold coloured portcullis with crown on top), plus a large cash reward (though this may have beenreimbursement of funds loaned to Charles's father) - see Heraldry Society's page. The same story appears in Arthur Charles Fox-Davies’s “Complete Guide to Heraldry” which states that following the Battle of Worcester “the King escaped through the gate of the city solely through the heroic efforts of Colonel Newman, and this is kept in remembrance by the inescutcheon of augmentation, viz: "Gules, a portcullis imperially crowned or.”

Research by Harold Biggs has suggested that some of the above anecdotes should relate to Richard's father (Richard Newman 1584 - 1664). It is certainly possible that at the start of the Civil War in 1642, at the age of 58, Richard's father (Richard N 1584 - 1664) fought on the Royalist side, however it is less likely that he would have taken part in the Battle of Worcester nine years later at the age of 67. If any Newman participated in that action then it's more likely to have been his 31 year-old son Richard (of this web page). However after extensive searches, no evidence has been found to support this family legend.

Three months before his death in 1664, Richard's father was awarded an augmentation to his arms by "King Charles .... remembering the many great & eminent services done unto him & his late Royal father King Charles ...". Hence it seems anomalous that 8 years later (in 1672), Richard (the son) chose, or was obliged, to pay Parliament £287-10s to purchase a Royal pardon (written in Latin) for crimes of "Treasons, .... lese Majeste, .. rebellions, insurrections, conspiracies and concealments .... from the 20th May 1642 .... perpetrated by him, Richard Newman, for waging war against us, our Parliament and Realm of England aforesaid, or for advising, assisting or abetting in the same War, And also all and all manner of killings, felonies, robberies and accessories of the same in the said war (as aforesaid had, made or committed) .....". An English translation of the pardon has been made by Peter Foden who suggests that: "the Pardon does not necessarily imply that Richard was a Parliamentarian. Participation in Civil War on whatever side would open up risks of later prosecution and dispossession. You will notice that the pardon is for ‘waging war against us, our Parliament and Realm of England’. Also that some questions (such as eligibility for office) were still to be debated in Parliament". In effect, it may have been "buying insurance" against an uncertain future.

According to the History of Parliament on-line, this Richard Newman had a residence at Tothill Street, Westminster in 1675 at the time of his daughter Anna Christiana's marriage. Tothill Street is not to be confused with nearby Tufton Street where Richard's son Richard owned a house as mentioned in his will. The location of both streets can be found on the attached map.

Richard also retained the family's home in Fifehead, where in 1693 he was responsible for building the Newman chapel on the north side of the church to cover the vault containing the remains of his ancestors. It may be assumed that he intended that the chapel would house his own remains, and indeed Burke's "Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain Volume 2" confirms that Richard was "interred on 16th October 1695 in the vault at Fifehead". Yet his name is conspicuous by its absence from any of the monuments inside the chapel. So perhaps his memorial was originally given pride of placed on the north wall of the chapel and later removed to make room for Sir Henry Cheere's great monument commemorating Richard's grandson Sir Richard Newman and his family.

According to Harold Biggs' research, this Richard did not inherited the estates of North and South Cadbury and Evercreech Park from his father but purchased them himself, but he did inherit Sparkford Manor from his father. However this deduction is contradicted by Paula Watson (see who states that Sir Richard Newman's great-grandfather (i.e. Richard Newman 1584-1664) "who had been a noted Royalist during the Civil War, bought estates in Somerset, including Evercreech Park in 1657". Either way, it is believed that it was this Richard (rather than his father) who purchased Fifehead Manor in 1660 perhaps using the money rewarded (or repaid) to him by Charles II on his restoration that year.  Note: Prior to its purchase, Fifehead Manor had been leased from the Bristol Canons and Bishops.

A further account of this and several other Newmans can be found in Thornbury & District's Research News No 148 (Apr 2016) which states that it was this Richard Newman who purchased the Thornbury Park estate on 17th May 1679.

It seems that contrary to normal custom, Richard divided his estate between his only surviving sonFrancis Holles Newman, who inherited the Cadbury and Sparkford estates, and his grandson Sir Richard Newman who inherited Evercreech, Fifehead and (presumably) Thornbury Park.

According to a note written by Louisa Annie Rogers in 1947, there then existed a portrait of Col. Richard Newman (or Sir Richard Newman as she refers to him). Presumably this portrait still exists, but unfortunately it was not part of the collection of portraits and other family heir-looms that formed part of the estate of Gertrude Newman-Rogers that was auctioned off in 2008.


  1. An enlightening account of the English Civil War is to be found on a page dedicated to Sir Ralph Hopton who led the Royalist forces in the West of England, and who also happened to be the owner of the Evercreech Park estate before it was owned by the Newmans. Another account entitled "Easter Rising in South Brent" incorporates the text of a short history of the Civil War as it affected the people of South Brent - see also Brent Knoll page].
  2. In Charles Spencer dramatic and detailed account of the escape of Charles II after the Battle of Worcester ["To Catch a King", pub. Bloomsbury 2014 ISBN 978 1 4088 5170 8], there is no mention of a Richard Newman assisting the king in fleeing the city or in any other capacity.

Supplementary information:

From John Newman May 2002: "Col.Richard Newman of Fifehead: High Steward of Westminster. Sherborne school c.1630. Matriculated Pembroke College Oxford 30/10/1635 aged 15. BA 15/6/1639. Barrister at Law of the Middle Temple 1640. Donor to Sherborne School of 'two gloabes'".

Campbell Newman's account offers the following: "Richard had formed a close bond with members of the royalist faction, and during the Civil Wars was elevated to the War Cabinet as High Steward, roughly equivalent to the office of Prime Minister. He gave large sums from the Perry-Guise fortune to the Stewart kings Charles I and II. At the Battle of Warwick (1651), he held the gates of the City to enable Charles II's retreat, a valiant feat of arms which earned his grandson a baronetcy in posthumous gratitude following that King's restoration. The arms of all descendants of Colonel Richard were also commanded to be augmented by a 'portcullis or surmounted by a crown' representing service to the crown before the Gates of Warwick (§.iii). Richard Newman married Anna, daughter of Sir Charles HARBORD, Surveyor-General to Charles I and II, some time before Charles I was beheaded in 1649, and by her had a large family. He died in 1695, aged 75 years." [Note: If the date I have for Anne Harbord's birth is right (1634), then she would have been a very young bride if she married Richard before Charles I's execution in 1649.]

(1) Elizabeth Warre (née Newman): Elizabeth's name came to me from information taken from Tony Newman's "GEDCOM" file: Fifehead.ged. It was subsequently confirmed by Di Clements who came up with "Somerset Wills Sixth Series Will of Sir Charles Harbord 1678: My daughter Newman's daughter, Elizabeth Warre. My son-in- law Richard N." and also from Somerset Wills Fifth Series, the will of Thomas Warre of Shepton Beauchamp 1694, whose inheritors were his "son and heir Thomas Warre, his grandfather Richard Newman, my wife Cicely Warre". An additional reference in Somerset Wills Fifth Series gives the name Dorothy to Elizabeth's daughter in reference to the Will of her cousin Richard Newman of Evercreech. Note 3 below indicates Elizabeth's children were Anne, William(?), Elizabeth and Thomas (but no mention of Dorothy - why?). According to Harold Biggs' researches, Elizabeth died before her husband, and was buried in Shepton Beauchamp Church, Co. Somerset, leaving four children Anne, William, Elizabeth and Thomas Warre. Her husband's will is dated 24 Oct 1685 and administration was granted 26 Jan 1686. A second wife, Cicely, survived him.

(2) Frances Oxenham (née Newman): According to Harold Biggs' researches: "6 Jan. 1675-6 John Oxenham married Frances Newman (3rd born of Richard Newman & Anne Harbord) as her first husband. He was admitted to the inner temple 12 May 1670, as of South Tawton, Co. Devon, Gent. He died, according to his monument, 14 Oct 1680, age nearly thirty years. His relict Frances administered to his estate 8 June 1681, but his nuncupative will was proved 12 Aug 1682, by his father William Oxenham, then of St. Margaret’s Westminster. ..... 28 June 1699 John Oxenham, Gent. (Son of Frances Newman & John Oxenham) and Francis Scott (son of Frances Newman & Edward Scott), who were unfortunately drowned in the Thames. They were half-brothers."

(3) Anne Christianna married Sir William Honeywood Bart. of Elmstead (or Evington, according to Somerset County Council), in Westminster Abbey on 15th June 1675. Her descendants can be found on Tony Newman's "GEDCOM" file: Fifehead.ged. According to her mother's will, there were at least two children, William and a daughter. Her marriage and offspring are also described at

Raymond Mercier wrote on 3rd Aug 2002 to say: "I came across a web site relevant to the Honywood family. This is is about the Church in Elmstead, where there is "On a brass plate: Here lieth the body of Sir William HONYWOOD Baronet who died the 8th of June 1745 in the 94th year of his age". On the road map all I see is Elmsted (not Elmstead) in Kent.

The Newmans during the English Civil War

Jerry Gandolfo made an interesting point in an email he sent to me on 15 Mar 2003. He wrote: "There are constant references to the English Civil War in our family history (having been pivotal events in the Newman and Wyndham families). At first glance, it appears the Newmans, the Wyndhams and the Sandys were all Royalist. Now, I've discovered a very strong Puritan attachment among the Newman and Sandy's families. The English colonies of North America, later to form the original United States, are largely a by-product of the English Civil War. In the northern group of colonies, collectively called "New England" the settlements were dominated by Puritans who did not like Kings Charles I, Charles II or James II. These colonies for the most part reflect Native American Indian names such as Massachusetts and Connecticut (but also with names such as Rhode Island and New Hampshire). The central colonies, collectively called the "Mid-Atlantic" were largely "Royalist" enterprises. These colonies were named for monarchs; Maryland for Queen Mary, Virginia for Queen Elizabeth (the "virgin" queen) and North Carolina for King Charles. (The southern colonies, South Carolina and Georgia were mixed Royalist, Scotch-Irish and French Huguenots.)

King Charles II who was perhaps the central most figure in the English Civil War (aside from Cromwell) was a central figure in North America. During the dominance of the Parliamentarians, Royalist exiles and refugees came to North America, especially to Maryland. During the domination of the Kings, Puritan religious sought a new society by immigration to North America, especially to the Massachusetts Bay colony and it's subsidiary, New London, which subsequently became Connecticut. In fact, at one point, the Governor of Connecticut was named Francis Newman. This Newman was apparently from London, and with other Newmans, were zealous Puritans. In Virginia, Edwin Sandys was a charter founder of the Virginia Colony (although he never actually left England), a zealous Puritan, and was even arrested by James I on suspicion of wanting to make Virginia into a republic. His son, George Sandys did move to Virginia, and his niece married the Governor of Virginia. Another Sandys, James Sandys, was an early settler of Block Island in Rhode Island. Meanwhile, other Sandys, the Barons of Vine, lost everything they had by supporting the Kings in the English Civil Wars. In both cases, it appears there were Newmans and Sandys on both sides of the fence, not an altogether rare situation in civil wars.

Last updated: 1st Jan 2018 - Main text revised; new links added..
Updated: 12th Apr 2016 - Two sisters Ann and Jane added. Thomas listed as the elder brother.
Updated: 7th Jan 2014 - Valuable information supplied by Harold Biggs added,
Updated: 5th Aug 2013 - reference to uncertainty as to whether it was this Richard Newman or his son who was rewarded for supporting the Royalist cause during the Civil War.
Updated: 13th Jul 2012: anecdote added relating to Anne Harbord's father and his descendants.

Updated: 12th Jun 2005: notes added about Col. Richard's and Anne's entry in the Newman-Rogers Bible and Louisa Annie Rogers' mention of Col Richard's portrait.