William Newman of Fifehead
???? - 1589

 Relationship to me: Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great uncle Gen -15
Born unknown  
Died 1589  
Age ??  
Father:      John Newman of Salisbury c.1445* - 1529
Mother: ????
Brothers/Sisters: Robert Newman of Sturminster Newton
Married: Alice, grand-daughter of James de Havilland  

The following text is copied from the Newman Name Society Chronicle No. 6 dated April 1989. It was almost certainly written by Tony Newman, the founder of the Newman Name Society who extensively researched the Newmans of Fifehead:

William Newman was the son of John Newman of Sarum, and Dorothy. He was one of four children. John Newman died young, his will is dated 1519, his widow later marrying William Chafyn, a mercer of Sarum.

William Newman is variously described as 'of Poole', 'of Fifehead' (that is, Fifehead Magdalen, Dorset), and 'of Sarum'. He also appears in some documents as 'alias Everod', or 'alias Evered', in common vith other Newmans Iiving in north Dorset during this time. Although William Newman's father was from Sarum (Salisbury) there were Newmans in Dorset (actually near Yetminster) at least as far back as 1394, where again, an Everard/Everod alias appears in leases of land and in other documents.

By William's day Poole had already become a thriving centre of commerce. The town's rise to importance has been linked with the arrival and settling of the de Havilland family in 1469 after the seige and battle of Mont Orgueil, Jersey (in 1467). Already a distinguished family, the de Havillands had been lords of Haverland near Valogne, Norrandy in 1050. For his valour and loyalty during the retaking of Mont Orgueil from the French, Thomas Sieur de Havelland was awarded a patent granting advantageous trading priviledges on the mainland. He sent his second son James, to Poole where he soon became the richest trader in the town. Into this prominent family married William Newman. His bride was Alice, grand-daughter of James de Havilland. From then on William's fortunes became entwined with those of the de HaviIlands.

Alice's grandfather had been mayor of Poole in 1491, 1498 and 1502. Her father was mayor in 1519, 1529 and 1537, then William Newman became mayor in 1551, again in 1568, then for a third time in 1575. The record shows that at least five other de Havillands held the mayoral title between 1506 and 1593. One, Alice's uncle John de Havilland, was elected mayor on four separate occasions. William Newman and Christopher de Havilland (who was to become mayor in 1569), initiated proceedings for creating Poole a county corporate. The importance of this objective is indicated by the (then) sizeable sum of five hundred pounds allocated by the principal townspeople toward this end. The Great Charter of Poole was finally signed and sealed by Queen Elizabeth I on 23rd June 1568.

On 15th September 1571) William Newman (recorded as Mr. Wyllm Neweman), was one of twelve 'appoynted for the benche', that is, appointed justices. From the earliest times Poole had been represented by two members of parliament. In 1553, during Edward VI's reign, those members returned to parliarent were Thonas Whyte and William Newman. In the thirteenth year of the reign of Elizabeth I, William Newman was again returned to parliament this time accorpanied by George Carlton.

William's nephew Nicholas also lived in Poole, being described as 'a merchant of Pole'. William was one of those named in Nicholas' will. After the will (ref no. 716) was proved on 27th January 1580, William chose, for reasons unknown, to contest it. However the will was confirmed by definitive sentence on 26th June 1582.

In William's own will (ref no. 907), proved in 1589, he desired to be buried in the grave of his father and mother in the east part of Saint Thomas' Church, Sarum. In the event he was buried next to his late wife Alice in Saint James' Church, Poole. The will mentions two nieces (both nee Newman), a cousin John Newman and his wife Ursula, and John and Ursula's children: Alice, Joan, Dorothy and Elizabeth Newman. Also mentioned is a tenement owned by William, in Crane Street. Crane Street does not appear on a modern map of Poole.

Note: The date of William's will, 1589, leaves some doubt as to whether he was the son of John Newman who died (according to the article) seventy years earlier in 1519, unless John died very much younger than supposed.

Page created 4 May 2019