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Sir Michael Newton and his family

Sir Michael Newton, 4th Baronet, K.B., M.P., of Barr's Court, Gloucestershire, and Culverthorpe, Lincolnshire, was born circa 1695, the only son of Sir John Newton (d. 1734), 3rd Baronet, by his wife Susanna. As of Michaelmas 1731, the date of his stud book presented on these pages, Sir Michael Newton was already a knight but had not yet succeeded his father.

Sir Michael Newton's mother, Susanna,was a daughter of Michael Warton (d. 1688), M.P., of Beverley, Yorkshire, by his wife Susannah, daughter of John Poulett, M.P., 1st Baron Poulett. Susanna Warton Newton was sister to Sir Michael Warton (1648?-1725), M.P., of Beverley, Yorkshire, who had been knighted in 1666, had succeeded his father to the Beverley estates in 1688, and had served as Lord of the of Admiralty 1689-1690.

Another sister to Michael Warton and Susanna Warton Newton, Elizabeth Warton, married Charles Pelham [senior] of Brocklesby, Lincolnshire. It was through these two sisters that their respective sons, Sir Michael Newton and Charles Pelham [junior], became co-inheritors of the estate of their uncle, the wealthy Sir Michael Warton, when the latter died unmarried in 1725. It is not surprising, therefore, that many of the horses listed in Sir Michael Newton's stud book of 1731 are said to have been obtained from Sir Michael Warton.

Sir Michael Newton's own sister, Carey, married Edward Coke (1696-1707), of Holkham, Norfolk. Edward was the only son of Robert Coke (1650-1679) by his wife, Lady Anne Osborne, daughter of Thomas Osborne, successively first Earl of Danby, Marquis of Carmarthen, and Duke of Leeds . The eldest son of Edward and Carey Newton Coke was Thomas Coke (1697-1758). Thomas Coke was only about ten years old when his father died, and he became a ward, one of his guardians being his maternal grandfather, Thomas, Duke of Leeds (d. 1712). Thomas Coke later became Baron Lovel of Minster Lovel, Viscount Coke of Holkham, and Earl of Leicester [1st Coke creation]. It is probably Thomas Coke who owned the stallion referred to in Sir Michael Newton's stud book as "Lord Lovils Arabian".

The second son of Edward and Carey Newton Coke was Edward Coke (1701-1733), eternally famous as the early owner of the stallion later known as the Godolphin Arabian. The three other children of Edward and Carey Newton Coke were:
Robert Coke, who married, as her second husband Lady Jane Holt, daughter of Thomas, Marquess of Wharton, and herself de jure Baroness Wharton;
Carey Coke, who married Sir Marmaduke Wyvill, 6th Baronet; and
Anne Coke, who married Philip Roberts. Philip and Anne Coke Roberts had a son named Wenman Roberts, who assumed the surname of Coke, and his son, Thomas William Coke, became the first Earl of Leicester [2nd Coke creation] in 1837. By then, Thomas William Coke was reputed to be the largest land-owner in England.

The Newton family, originally of Haydor, Lincolnshire, was not as wealthy as the Coke family, but it was far from impoverished, even before the Warton inheritance. According to The House of Commons 1715-1754 (Romney Sedgwick, ed.), the Newtons had "derived their fortune from a Grantham usurer, whose money was used to acquire the reversion of the estates and baronetcy of an unrelated insolvent namesake, Sir John Newton, 1st Bt., of Barr's Court, Gloucestershire, the last of his line."

Sir Michael Newton served as Member of Parliament for Beverley from 1722 to 1727, succeeding his maternal uncle, Sir Michael Warton, who had been M.P. for Boroughbridge 1675-1679, for Kingston-Upon-Hull 1679-1681, and for Beverley 1689-1702 and 1708-1722. (Warton's father, Michael Warton, had served as M.P. for Beverley from 1666 to 1687.) Sir Michael Warton did not stand in 1722, according to The House of Commons 1715-1754, and in 1723 "he wrote to his old friend, Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford, complaining that 'a distemper in the guts ... tyrannizes over the poor remains of life my fever has left, worse than this Walpolish government over an agonising free people.' "

When Sir Michael Warton died (25 Mar. 1725), he left "his real property to his heirs at law. One of these was Michael Newton, to whom he also left all his personal estate, subject to legacies, including liberal benefactions to Beverley. Another was Charles Pelham." Also in 1725, Sir Michael Newton was invested as a Knight of the Bath (27 May).

In 1727, Sir Michael Newton transferred his Parliamentary interest to Grantham, and Charles Pelham, who had served as M.P. for Great Grimsby from 1722, became the M.P. for Beverley. Newton represented Grantham from 1727 until his death in 1743; Pelham represented Beverley from 1727 to 1734 and again from 1738 (2 Feb.) until his retirement in 1754.

Sir Michael Newton was only about 48 years of age when he died (6 Apr. 1743). Charles Pelham not only outlived his cousin by twenty years but was also about sixteen years senior to him, Pelham having been born circa 1679. Pelham, incidentally, would have been been only about thirteen when his father died in 1692, so presumably the Brocklesby estate was managed by guardians during his minority.

In 1714, when he was about 35 years of age, Charles Pelham married his first wife, Anne, daughter of Sir William Gore, lord mayor of London. Anne died in 1739; Pelham married as his second wife Mary, daughter of Robert Vyner of Gautby, Lincolnshire. Neither marriage produced any children. At his death in 1763, Charles Pelham was about 84 years old.

Like his cousin, Sir Michael Newton was about 35 years old when he married, but in his case there was only one marriage and his wife survived him. In 1730 (14 April) Michael Newton married Margaret, Countess of Coningsby, daughter of Thomas Coningsby, 1st Earl of Coningsby. Four years after his marriage, Newton succeeded (12 Feb. 1734) his father as 4th Baronet. Sir Michael and his wife, who lived until 1761, had one son and one daughter. The son, John, died as an infant, and there are several rather extravagant stories about his death. One version is that he was dropped from the roof of the manor house after having been carried there by an ape; another says that he was dropped down a stairway by his nurse when she was surprised by the sight of an ape. Whatever the truth of the matter, upon the death of Sir Michael Newton in 1743, the baronetcy became extinct.

Sandra K. Snider

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