Memoirs of Sir Isaac Newton's life/Genealogy of Newton
writing the accounts I was gathering on that head, & sent them in letters to Dr. Mead, to be transmitted to Mr Conduit. His daughter was marryed to Xthe honorable John Wallop eldest son of Lord Lymington; into whose hands all Sir Isaacs papers & manuscripts came, along with Mr Conduits: & also the letters that I wrote. as these & Mr Conduit's cannot now be obtain'd, I thought it advisable to recover as well as I cd. what I had wrote, from the original draughts left by me. & tis my happyness that whatever relates to him, requires no ornament of speech; & tis sufficient if I can but imitate his own plain way of writing. †this year Mr Conduit publishd Sr. Isaac's admirable book de mundi systemate, & sent me a copy of it. likewise Sr. Isaacs own third edition of his Principia. In 1729 Chancellor King presented me to the Living of all saints, Stamford. when I removed thither, he sent me Sr. Isaac's chronological treatise, he put out, & that on Daniel, & the Apocalypse in 1733.
Mr Ralf Clark, apothecary at Grantham (with whose θgoing to Scotland, of the death of King George I . I made diligent search for the Registers of the parish, of births, buryals, & marriages: especially the older ones, which generally have been very ill kept. nor can we say much in commendation of those of more modern date. they commonly give us the bare name of persons, without , , or such other marks, as ascertain the identity of person. the old ones for the most part are lost, destroyd, or obliterated; for want of care, & due preservation.Sr. Isaac had lodged when a schoolboy) & I, were busy at Mr Mason's rector of Colsterworth, in our inquirys; when the Express came by post,
thus are the national records, of all others most important, the most neglected! on this occasion, I cannot help observing, that tis too much the case thro'out the kingdom. frequently the task of keeping a Register book is committed to a parish clark, illiterate, that can scarcely write, sottish, or indolent. a task on which the fortunes, & emoluments of the whole kingdom, in a great measure depends. the setling descents, births, buryals, marriages, titles to estates, & matters of highest consequence, both civil & religious, are thus left at random, without any reasonable proof, or certainty, adequate to the weight of matters depending thereon.
Is it to be wondered at, when the publick, always penurious toward the parochial clergy, have provided no stipend, much less a proportionable one, to its necessity, & use. is it to be wonder'd at, when the public tamely suffers the solemnization of matrimony, the very foundation of all Society, & government, to be done at the Fleet, & in obscure, private rooms, by obscure private persons, with impunity, & in open defiance of the Laws.
Mr Mason, at my request, searching into some old Town chests, at length met with a few vellum leaves, being the parish register from anno 1571 to 1642 inclusive; the very year Sr. Isaac was born. but there is intermitted, not lost, from anno 1630 to 1640 inclusive. which is a space of time in which his fathers marriage happen'd, & probably other circumstances in his family, or among his relations, which have assisted us in our present inquiry. however very luckily upon the last leaf, which has been miserably abusd, is this memorable account, under the title baptiz'd anno 1642.
Isaac sonne of Isaac & Hanna Newton jan 1.
tis probable, that the civil wars then beginning, was the reason, why it ends in this leaf. from those leaves I extracted all of the name of Newton, are numerous. but for the reason aforemention'd, of being generally bare names only, without mention of fathers, mothers, husband, wife, & the like, they were of no great service in drawing out his genealogy, as was my purpose to doe. Sr. Isaac himself had been inquisitive in this way, sometime ago. for at Colsterworth, in of John Newton his heir at law, I saw a half sheet of paper of Sr. Isaac's own hand writing; being a draught thereof, as far as he knew it, with orders for searching Registers, to make it more perfect. But I believe, his request was never fully answerd; & that Sr. Isaac never saw the leaves aforemention'd, of the old Register.
I took an exact copy of this writing. thus,
Let the Registers of Westby, & Bichfield be searched, from the beginning to the year 1650; & extracts be taken of whatever marriages, births, & buryals have been in the family of the Newtons. & if the old Register of Colsterworth can be found, let the like extract be taken out of that. & let the extracts be taken, by copying out of the Registers, whatever can be met with, about the family of the Newtons, in words at length, without omitting any of the words.
- Direct your letter to Sr. Isaac Newton, at his house in Jermyn Street, in Saint James's parish, in Westminster, London.
Thus far Sr. Isaac. & in it we have a specimen of his great, & scrupulous accuracy, in every thing he did, or wrote.
when Sr. Isaac was knighted, he made this inquiry
following; & caused an entry ^of it to be made in the books at the heralds office. a copy of my Mr Le neve Norroy, sent to me, on my request. thus far Sr. Isaac's entry at the Heralds office.my the late revd. Mr John Fisher rector of Westby & Basinthorp, gave me extracts of all of the name of Newton, appearing in his Register; from , & other helps, I improv'd the genealogy in the form following.
this family had its name from Newton, a Boroughtown in Lancashire. Isaac was a common name in this family. one dyd at Colsterworth about 30 years ago, whose family ended in a daughter.XIn the Colsterworth Register I found an Isaac Newton, son of Robt. baptized 21 Sept. 1606.
the ayscoughs were a very , & wealthy family in Lincolnshire, from a hamlet of that name, near Bedal yorkshire. one of ours built that elegant tower steeple at great Paunton, as some say. some of them still remain at Cathorp. James Ayscough, surgeon and apothecary in my native town Holbech, came from Sustern near Colsterworth, was to Sr. Isaac's . an ingenious man. he usd to take me, when a lad, along with him a simpling in Fleetwoods, gave me an early inclination to the study of physick.
Sr. Michael Newtons family came from the younger branch, & was rais'd by ^marriage with with the coheiress of Hickson; who was very rich. the other sister revivd the luster of the antient family of the Welbys near Grantham; wh is a younger branch to the Welbys of Gedney in Lincolnshire Holland, to wh elder branch I am related.
the country about Colsterworth, where Sr. Isaac Newton was born, I that have seen most part of England, think, to be exceeded by none; for a fine air, & for pleasantness; being most agreably diversify'd with open heaths, rich meadow, & inclosure, woods, & parks: the most beautiful cornfields, springs, brooks, & rivers. underneath tis a white stone rock, fit for building.
this place produc'd the greatest genius of human kind. He was born in the Mannor house, wh was the family estate, where they hold a Court leet, & a Court baron. the old copys, & records of the Court are lost. But it has been in the Newton family, ever since Queen Elizabeths time. We see in the genealogy, John Newton purchasd it; who lived at Westby, & dy'd 1563. the report is, that it was bought of the great Cecil, to whom Q. Elizabeth gave it, or of his son. this, & otherlands hereabouts, fell to the crown; when the Lord Rochford was beheaded by VIII. wh Lord is buryed at Stoke Rochford, hard by: which estate is now Mr Turners. a place remarkable for a fine spring. there was a Roman Villa there. I have seen the remains of it, & Roman coyns there found.
this Mannor of Wulsthorp probably belong'd to Ulfus and took its name from him. he was 4th son of Harold slain by . his mor. was Agatha sister to Edwin, & Morcar, earls; & sons of Algar, the great Mercian Duke, the remain of the royal blood of the Mercian kings; who sprung from Stamford, & the Marsh country of Holland, whence the name of Mercian, & who had a very great estate in this country.
Earl Morcar own'd Colsterworth, Skillington, Basingham, Stoke beforemention'd, & Strawston, all in this neighbourhood. a wood near Horn Lane retains his name to this day, Morcar's wood; near it Ulfsoaks, corruptly Wulfox.
King Harold, Ulfs father, had likewise a great estate in this country; both Stamford, & Grantham, all that the conqueror gave to his favorite, Robert de Todenei, lord of Belvoir, now the Duke of Rutlands. he ownd Uffington, Talington, Ropesly, Denton, Gretford, Braceborough, Sempringham, XGreetham, Burley on the hill. and many more townships. but Ulf as being a son of Harolds was kept prisoner in Normandy by the conqueror together with all his relations, & Duncan son to the King of Scotland. he thought, they might have some pretence to the crown.
king William Rufus set our Ulf at liberty: being a quiet honest man, he gave him his estate, & honor'd him with knighthood. & here at Wulsthorp in all probability he spent the remainder of his days, in great honor, & contentment. I suppose he like-†wise own'd Wulsthorp by Belvoir, & Wulsthorp by Stamford.
The Mannor house of Wulsthorp in the parish of Colsterworth Lincolnshire, where Sr. Isaac Newton was born: being his own estate.
this mannor of Wulsthorp, which was Sr. Isaac's paternal estate, is about £30 but he had another estate at Sustern adjacent, which came by his The whole is about £80 p ann. & descended to his next heir John Newton, who is deriv'd from his 2d . this idle fellow I knew very well, whilst I lived at Grantham. he soon spent it, by cocking, horseracing, drinking, & folly.
Sr. Isaac was a posthumous, & only child. his mor. was marryed again to a neighboring clergyman, Mr Barnabas Smith, minister of North witham near Colsterworth jan. 27 1645. She had three children by him.