Newton, Adam (DNB00)
|←Newte, Richard||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 40
|Newton, Alfred Pizzi→|
NEWTON, Sir ADAM (d. 1630), dean of Durham, was a native of Scotland, but spent some part of his early life in France, passing himself off as a priest and teaching at the college of St. Maixant in Poitou. There, for some time between 1580 and 1590, he instructed the theologian André Rivet, then a boy, in Greek. After his return to Scotland he was, about 1600, appointed tutor to Prince Henry, and filled that post until 1610, when, upon the formation of a separate household for his pupil, now created Prince of Wales, he was appointed his secretary.
Several records of gifts in money, and of a wedding present of gilt plate, weighing 266 oz., made to him on his marriage in 1605, testify to the satisfactory way in which Newton performed his duties. In 1605 also he obtained the deanery of Durham through his master's influence, although he was not in orders, and was installed by proxy. The duties of the office must also have been done by proxy, if done at all. In 1606 he acquired the manor of Charlton in Kent, where he built a 'goodly brave house,' the beautiful Charlton House, which still stands, and left directions at his death for the restoration of the church there.
After the death of Prince Henry, in 1612, Newton became receiver-general, or treasurer in the household of Prince Charles, relinquishing to Thomas Murray (1564-1628) [q. v.] his claim to the secretaryship. He retained his post until his death (Cal. State Papers, Dom. Ser. 1630, p. 177). In 1620 he was made a baronet, first selling the deanery of Durham to Dr. Richard Hunt, and no doubt paying for his new honour with the proceeds (Heylyn, Examen Hist. p. 178). After Charles's accession Newton became secretary to the council, and in 1628 secretary to the marches of Wales, the reversion of which office had been granted to him as early as 1611; it was worth 2,000l. year. He died 13 Jan. 1629-30.
Newton translated into Latin King James's 'Discourse against Vorstius' and books i-vi. of Pietro Sarpi's 'History of the Council of Trent,' which had been published in 1620 in London in an English version made from the Italian original by Sir Nathaniel Brent [q. v.] Newton's translation was published anonymously in London in 1620. Thomas Smith speaks of the latter as a very polished version, and calls the author a man 'elegantissimi ingenii' (Vita Petri Junii, p. 17 in Vita quorumdam Eruditissimorum Virorum).
In 1605 Newton married Katherine, youngest daughter of Sir John Puckering, lord-keeper of the great seal in the reign of Elizabeth, whose son shared the prince's studies under Newton's guidance; by her, who died in 1618, he was father of Henry, second baronet, who is separately noticed.[Bayle's Dict.; Funeral Oration by J. H. Dauber on André Rivet; Cal. of State Papers, Dom.; Philipott's Villare Cantianum, 1659, p. 96; Hasted's Hist. of Kent, I. ciii. and 35-9, and new edition, 1886, pp. 120, 121, and notes; Hist. MSS. Comm. 3rd Rep. passim; Nichols's Progresses of James I; Birch's Life of Henry, prince of Wales, which was chiefly compiled from the papers left by Newton; Wood's Athenae, ii. 203, and Fasti, ii. 384, 391; Court and Times of James I, i. 247, 249; Court and Times of Charles I, i. 410; Burke's Extinct Baronetage.]