Newton, Samuel (DNB00)

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NEWTON, SAMUEL (1628–1718), notary public, born in 1628, was descended of a family who moved to Cambridge from Newcastle-on-Tyne in the sixteenth century, and was the second son of John Newton (d. 1635), ‘limner,’ of Cambridge, and of Anne, daughter of Mr. Hales, who was subsequently married to Joseph Jackson, minister of Woodnesborough, Kent.

Samuel Newton became a notary public, was made a free burgess of the corporation of Cambridge on 8 Jan. 1660–1, and treasurer of the town four years later. In 1667 he appears as one of the ‘24’ of the town of Cambridge, and in the following year was chosen alderman. In November 1669 he was proposed by the master, Dr. Pearson, and seniors of Trinity College for college auditor. He subsequently became registrar of Pembroke Hall, and on 23 March 1673, jointly with his cousin William Ellis, registrar of Trinity College. In 1671 he was elected mayor for the town of Cambridge. Charles II paid a first visit to the university during his mayoralty. In 1677 he was sworn a justice of the peace for the university and town. Ten years later, 16 Sept. 1687, James II addressed letters to the mayor and aldermen of Cambridge, requesting them to elect a certain Alderman Blackley mayor, and to dispense with all customary oaths except that as to the due execution of his office. On the corporation proving refractory, an order of the privy council, dated 8 April 1688, was sent down, removing the mayor, four other aldermen (among them being Newton), and twelve common councillors. Their places were filled by the king's nominees. Six months later (17 Oct.) the corporation was restored to its original rights, and Newton and his colleagues resumed their offices. He died in his ninetieth year, and was buried at St. Edward's Church on 25 Sept. 1718. Newton married Sarah, daughter of William Wildbore, son of Philip Wildbore, gentleman, of Cambridge. He had a son John, of Cambridge, surviving, and a daughter Mary, whose tomb stands very prominently in the churchyard attached to St. Benet's Church. This tomb is adorned with the arms—two shin-bones in saltire—which are familiar as those of Sir Isaac Newton; nevertheless, there appears to have been no connection between the families.

Newton's manuscript diary, ranging over the period from 1662 to 1717, and of great local and topographical interest, is preserved in the library of Downing College. It was extensively used by Charles Henry Cooper in his ‘Annals of Cambridge,’ and has recently (1890) been printed by the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, under the editorship of Mr. J. E. Foster, of Trinity College.

[Newton's Diary; Cooper's Annals of Cambridge gives the various papers sent by James II, &c., from the corporation common day-book.]

W. A. S.