Horace Newton

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Canon Horace Newton (Born 1844, Died 1920) was a priest within the Church of England, philanthropist, and country landowner.

His lifeEdit

He lived at the country house of Holmwood, Redditch, Worcestershire, which he had built for him in 1892-3 by Temple Lushington Moore, (the architect was his nephew by marriage). He bought the land from the Earl of Plymouth.

A deeply religious man, he inherited upon the death of his father William Newton II of Barrells Hall and Whateley Hall, with his brothers T.H. Goodwin Newton and Rev. William Newton III what was described at the time as "an absurdly large fortune", the family owning large chunks of prime Birmingham land (such as part of New Street, including land the current Birmingham New Street station is on) plus Welsh slate quarries and Bryn Bras Castle. Ethel Street and Newton Street in Birmingham are named after the family.

The family had a strong Christian upbringing, and despite their vast wealth devoted their life to helping others, giving away large sums of money, building churches (notably in Ullenhall, the estate village of Barrells Hall) and donating to hospitals and various charities. He also built the impressive "Beechwood Vicarage” near Driffield when he was vicar there.

They firmly believed that "with wealth and property come responsibility" and were generous and kind employers at all of their estates.

For relaxation the family spent three months every summer at their Scottish holiday home, the 26,000 acre Glencripesdale Estate, in the large 50-room (28 bedroom) Glencripesdale Castle he designed with Goodwin Newton.

Religious workEdit

Having been educated at St John's College, Cambridge, where he was a Foundation Scholar, and graduating with Mathematical Honours in 1864,[1] he turned to the Church for his career and life's work.

He was ordained Deacon in 1865, and Priest in 1866, by Bishop Jackson of Lincoln, and was Curate of St Marys in Nottingham.

In 1869 he was appointed first Vicar of Heworth, near York, and in 1878 he was appointed by Archbishop Thomson to the vicarage of Great-With-Little-Driffield.

He became a Canon of York Minster in 1885 having been presented to the Archbishop of York for a Canonry, based on his services as Vicar of Driffield.

While Vicar of Driffield he was noted for his generosity and kindness, giving away many millions of pounds including circa £500,000 (in 2009 money) for the rebuilding of Driffield Church from his own wealth.

He employed many church people (three curates and two scripture readers being in his personal employ), and paid for the rebuilding of the church himself.

He was Vicar of Redditch 1892–1905, and thereafter lived at Holmwood, Redditch (which he had built for him by the architect Temple Lushington Moore, who was also a relative), having been offered the post by Lord Windsor.

When the Kingfisher Shopping Centre was opened in Redditch an office block was named after him within the centre, named Canon Newton House. By coincidence, part of the centre, known as Milward Square, is also named after the family of one of his daughters, Elsie, who married Harry Milward of Milward's Needles



Canon Newton married twice:

Firstly to Frances (Fanny) Storrs in 1866, the younger daughter of Dr Robert Storrs of Doncaster, the first Doctor to note the connection with cleanliness and infection during child birth, years before the more famous Ignaz Semmelweis.[2]

Secondly he married 1905 Katharine Constance Macrell (died 1921) following the death of Fanny Storrs.


Canon Newton and his first wife, Fanny Storrs, had seven children:


  1. ^ "Newton, Horace (NWTN860H)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ Microbiologist Journal September 2005 http://www.sfam.org.uk/pdf/features/childbed.pdf Archived 2011-07-21 at the Wayback Machine