Newman, John (1786-1859) (DNB00)

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NEWMAN, JOHN (1786–1859), architect and antiquary, was baptised at St. Sepulchre's Church, London, on 8 July 1786 (parish register). His father, John Newman, a wholesale dealer in leather in Skinner Street, Snow Hill, and a common councillor of the ward of Farringdon Without, died at Hampstead on 1 Oct. 1808. His grandfather, William Newman, was a currier by trade, who began life as a poor boy, but, owing to his intelligence and self-education, became partner in a large business on Snow Hill. He was elected alderman of the ward of Farringdon Within in 1786, sheriff of London on Midsummer day 1789. Owing to his political views, he was never made lord mayor. He died at Streatham, Surrey, on 12 Sept. 1802.

John was employed under Sir Robert Smirke [q. v.] in the erection of Covent Garden Theatre in 1809, and at the general post office in 1823–9. He designed the Roman catholic church of St. Mary, Blomfield Street, Moorfields, in 1817–20, which was used as the pro-cathedral of the arch-diocese of Westminster till 2 July 1869 (plans, sections, and view of interior in Britton and Pugin's Public Buildings, ii. 5–10; drawings in Royal Academy exhibitions 1819 and 1821); the houses in Duke Street, London Bridge, with wharves and warehouses, constructed when the line for the new bridge was prepared in 1824; the Islington Proprietary School, Barnsbury Street, 1830; the School for the Indigent Blind in St. George's Fields, Southwark, 1834–8, which was in the Gothic style, and considered of great merit (description, with plans and elevations, in Civil Engineer, 1838, pp. 207–10); St. Olave's girls' school, Maze Road, Southwark, 1839–40 (plans, elevations, and sections in Davy's Architectural Precedents). From about 1815 Newman was one of the three surveyors in the commission of sewers for Kent and Surrey, and with the other surveyors, Joseph Gwilt [q. v.], and E. I'Anson [q. v.], published a ‘Report relating to the Sewage,’ &c. in 1843. He was for many years in the office of the Bridge House Estates, and eventually succeeded to the clerkship. He held several surveying appointments, including that to the commissioners of pavements and improvements for the west division of Southwark, and to Earl Somers's estate in Somers Town, London. He was honorary architect to the Royal Literary Fund from 1846, and to the Society of Patrons of the Charity Children's Anniversary Meeting in St. Paul's Cathedral.

In connection with his professional work he was enabled to make a good collection of antiquities found in London and the neighbourhood. Some bronzes of his from the bed of the Thames were, with others, made the subject of a paper by Charles Roach Smith [q. v.], read before the Society of Antiquaries in June 1837. Among them was the colossal bronze head of Hadrian, now in the Anglo-Roman room of the British Museum. In 1842 Smith again made use of Newman's collection when reading another paper before the society on ‘Roman Remains recently found in London.’ In 1847 Newman exhibited before the Archæological Association an earthen vase of noticeable form found during the excavations for the new houses of parliament. His collection was sold by auction at Sotheby's in 1848. He was a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries from 1830 till 1849, and an original fellow of the Institute of British Architects, in which society he originated the travelling fund. He retired in 1851.

Newman married in 1819 a daughter of the Rev. Bartholomew Middleton, sub-dean of Chichester. He died at the house of his son-in-law, Dr. Alexander Spiers [q. v.], at Passy, near Paris, on 3 Jan. 1859.

Arthur Shean Newman (1828–1873), son of John Newman, was born at the Old Bridge House, Southwark, in 1828. He had an extensive architectural practice, and in conjunction with his partner, Arthur Billing, erected many churches and other buildings in various parts of the country. Among his principal designs were St. James's Church, Kidbrooke, in 1867; Christ Church, Somers Town, for George Moore (1806–1876) [q. v.], in 1868; and Holy Trinity Church, Penge, in 1872. He also restored Stepney Church. He was for many years surveyor to Guy's Hospital and to the St. Olave's district board of works, as well as to the several bodies under whom his father had held appointments. He died on 3 March 1873, and left a son, Arthur Harrison Newman, who followed his father's profession, and succeeded to his practice.

[Dict. of Architecture; Gent. Mag. 1802 p. 886, 1808 p. 955, 1859 p. 433; Lewis's History of Islington, p. 269; Wheatley's London Past and Present; Royal Academy Catalogues; Archæologia, xxviii. 38, 45, xxix. 152; Journal of the Archæological Association, ii. 102; information from Arthur H. Newman, esq.]

B. P.