Newton, Henry (1618-1701) (DNB00)
NEWTON, afterwards PUCKERING, Sir HENRY (1618–1701), royalist, baptised at St. Dunstan's-in-the-West, London, on 13 April 1618, was younger son of Sir Adam Newton, bart. [q. v.], of Charlton, Kent, by Katharine, daughter of Lord-keeper Sir John Puckering [q. v.] (Nichols, Collectanea, v. 372). On the death of his elder brother, Sir William Newton, he succeeded to the title and estates. At the outbreak of the civil war he raised a troop of horse for the king, and was present at the battle of Edgehill (Lady Anne Halkett, Autobiography, Camd. Soc. p. 10). His bravery in the field was very conspicuous. But after the king's defeat at Naseby he sought to make terms with the parliament, and in 1646 his fine was fixed at 1,273l. (Cal. of Committee for Compounding, p. 1200). The commons on 13 July 1647 ordered his fine to be accepted, and pardoned his 'delinquency' (Commons' Journals, v. 242). Newton, however, still wishful for the triumph of the royal cause, was about to join the king's forces in Essex in June 1648, when he was seized by order of the parliament, and only released on promising to live quietly in the country (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1648, pp. 106, 120,124, 127). In 1654 Newton inherited by deed of settlement the estates of his maternal uncle, Sir Thomas Puckering, on the death of the latter's only surviving daughter, Anne, wife of Sir John Bale of Carlton Curlieu, Leicestershire. He thereupon assumed the surname of Puckering, and removed to Sir Thomas's residence, the Priory, Warwick, where in August he received a visit from John Evelyn, who thought it a 'melancholy old seat, yet in a rich soil' (Diary, ed. 1850-2 i. 297). Both Puckering and his wife were eminently charitable to distressed cavaliers. At the Restoration Puckering was appointed, by patent, paymaster-general of the forces. On 26 March 1661, and again on 6 Feb. 1678-9, he was elected M.P. for Warwick. His activity as a justice of the peace, together with his leniency towards the Roman catholics, made him unpopular (Cal of State Papers, Dom. 1666-7, pp. 117, 168). In 1691 he gave the bulk of his library to Trinity College, Cambridge, and was afterwards for some time in residence there. It is uncertain whether this donation included the Milton MSS. now in Trinity College Library. He died intestate on 22 Jan. 1700-1, and was buried in the choir of St. Mary, Warwick. As he left no issue the baronetcy became extinct, while the estate devolved by his own settlement upon his wife's niece Jane, daughter and coheiress of Henry Murray, groom of the bed-chamber to Charles II, and widow of Sir John Bowyer, bart., of Knypersley, Staffordshire, for her life, with remainder to Vincent Grantham of Goltho, Lincolnshire.
Lady Puckering, who died in 1689, was Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Murray [q. v.], provost of Eton College, and sister to Lady Anne Halkett [q. v.] Puckering proved a great friend to Lady Halkett, whose pecuniary circumstances were much embarrassed. He lent her 300l. before her marriage, and even fought a duel in Flanders with Colonel Bamfield, one of her suitors, who was suspected of having a wife still living, and was wounded dangerously in the hand (Lady Halkett, p. 53). After Lady Puckering's death, Puckering forgave Lady Halkett all her debts to him. Among the Tanner MSS. (xxxviii. 88) in the Bodleian Library is a letter from Puckering to William Champneys, dated 13 Oct. 1679, respecting his father's Latin translation of Sarpi's 'Council of Trent.' Thomas Fuller dedicated the eighth section of the eleventh book of the seventeenth century of his 'Church History' to Henry, eldest son of Puckering, 'a hopeful youth,' who died before his father.[Colvile's Worthies of Warwickshire, pp. 596599 (and authorities cited therein); Evelyn's Diary; Dugdale's Warwickshire, ed. Thomas; Burke's Extinct Baronetage; Cal. of Committee for Advance of Money, pp. 693, 1433; Cal. of State Papers, Dom. 1664-5, pp. 116, 214; Administration Act Book, P.C.C., for May 1701; Hasted's Kent, ed. Drake, 'Hundred of Blackheath;' Fuller's Church Hist. ed. Brewer, vi. 155.]