Newcomen, Elias (DNB00)

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NEWCOMEN, ELIAS (1550?–1614), schoolmaster, descended from the Newcomens of Saltfleetby, Lincolnshire, was younger son of Charles Newcomen of Bourne, Lincolnshire. Matthew Newcomen [q. v.] was his second cousin. He matriculated as a pensioner of Clare Hall, Cambridge, on 12 May 1565, but migrated to Magdalene College in that university, where he graduated B.A. in 1568–9, and commenced M.A. in 1572 (Cooper, Athenæ Cantabr. iii. 17). He was elected to a fellowship in his college; but Dr. Kelke, the master, ejected him from it, on the ground of his not having been duly admitted. Soon afterwards Newcomen set up a grammar school in his own house near London, having usually twenty or thirty scholars, the children of well-to-do parents. In 1586 he was an unsuccessful candidate for the head-mastership of Merchant Taylors' School. He was warmly recommended by Lord Chancellor Bromley and Sir Edward Osborne, alderman of London. Lord Cheyne was another liberal patron. He was still engaged in tuition on 2 July 1592, when he wrote a letter to Mrs. Maynard, assuring her that he would take great care of the education of her son (Lansdowne MS. 72, f. 180). In 1600 he was presented to the living of Stoke-Fleming, Devonshire. He died and was buried there in 1614. A brass to his memory is in the church (Worthy, Devonshire Parishes, 1887, i. 371). He married in 1579 Prothesa Shobridge of Shoreditch. His great-grandson, Thomas Newcomen the inventor, is separately noticed.

He published ‘A Defence and true Declaration of the Thinges lately done in the Lowe Countrey, whereby may easily be seen to whom all the Beginning and Cause of the late Troubles and Calamities is to be im- puted. And therewith also the Schlaunders wherewith the Aduersaries do burden the Churches of the Lowe Countrey are plainly confuted,’ black letter, London (John Daye) [1575?], 12mo. This is a translation of a work which had appeared in Dutch and Latin, and it is dedicated by Newcomen to his ‘singular good lord and patron, the Lord Cheyne.’ The printing of the book is erroneously ascribed by Ames to William Middleton. A letter from him to Sir Francis Walsingham, written in October 1588, is in the Record Office (State Papers, Dom., Eliz. ccxvii. art. 78).

[Ames's Typogr. Antiq. (Herbert), 1. 576; Cal. State Papers, Dom. Eliz. 1581–90, p. 556; Strype's Whitgift, pp. 26, 59, fol.; Marshall's Genealogist, passim.]

T. C.