Newport, Andrew (DNB00)

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NEWPORT, ANDREW (1623–1699), royalist, was second son of Sir Richard Newport, knight, of High Ercall, Shropshire, first baron Newport [q. v.], and younger brother of Francis Newport, first earl of Bradford [q. v.] He matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, on 3 July 1640 (Foster, Alumni Oxonienses). His father and elder brother were both active royalists, and High Ercall was one of the garrisons held longest for the king in Shropshire; but it is doubtful whether Andrew Newport took part in the civil war. His name does not appear in any list of persons fined for delinquency (Cal. of Compounders, p. 924; Vicars, Burning Bush, p. 403). His real services to the royalist cause began under the protectorate, and from 1657 he acted as treasurer for money collected among the English cavaliers for the king's service (Cal. Clarendon Papers, iii. 263, 340, 359). He belonged to the energetic and sanguine section of younger royalists headed by John Mordaunt, who opposed the cautious policy recommended by the ‘Sealed Knot.’ Charles, in his instructions to Mordaunt on 11 March 1659, writes: ‘I desire that Andrew Newport, upon whose affection and ability to serve me I do very much depend, and know he will act in any commission he shall be desired, may be put in mind to do all he can for the possessing Shrewsbury at the time which shall be appointed.’ Newport accordingly played a very active part in preparing the unsuccessful rising of July 1659 (Clarendon Papers, iii. 427, 469, 492, 534). After the Restoration he became one of the commissioners of the customs, and in 1662 was captain of a foot company at Portsmouth (Dalton, Army Lists and Commission Registers, i. 30). He sat for the county of Montgomery in the parliament of 1661–78, for Preston in that of 1685, and for Shrewsbury from 1689 to 1698. He died on 11 Sept. 1699, and was buried in the chancel of Wroxeter Church, Shropshire. A portrait of Newport attributed to Kneller is at Weston.

In the preface to the second edition of Defoe's ‘Memoirs of a Cavalier’ (printed at Leeds) the publisher identifies Newport as their author. Another edition, published in 1792, is boldly entitled ‘Memoirs of Colonel Andrew Newport.’ There is no warrant for this identification in the statements of the preface to the 1720 edition, and the account given of his own services in Germany and in the civil war by the hero of the memoirs is incompatible with the facts of Newport's life. An examination of the contents of the memoirs shows conclusively that it is a work of fiction. The question is discussed in Lee's ‘Life and Newly Discovered Writings of Daniel Defoe,’ i. 329, and Wilson's ‘Life of Defoe,’ iii. 500. The former considers it to be mainly a genuine work.

[Four letters of Newport's are printed in Collections relating to Montgomeryshire, vol. xx., from the Herbert papers in the possession of the Earl of Powis, and a brief account of his life is given in a note, p. 54; cf. 10th Rep. Hist. MSS. Comm. iv. 396. A number of letters from Newport to Sir Richard Leveson are among the manuscripts of the Earl of Sutherland, 5th Rep. pp. 151–60.]

C. H. F.