Francis Browne Newman:

Francis Browne Newman, Rector 1872-1895

St Catherines’s College Cambridge BA 1862, MA 1867, Deacon 1862, Priest 1863 (Peterborough) Curate of Burton Latimer 1862-68 and 1870-72; of Wooston, Hants, 1868-70. Rector (and patron) of Burton Latimer 12 June 1872, resigned 1895. Died 11 June 1901, aged 75.


Issue: Charles Ernest, Vicar of St Mary’s Northampton, 1895.

(Reference “Northamptonshire and Rutland Clergy from 1500” (1938-43) by Henry Isham Longden)

Francis Browne Newman was curate of Burton Latimer from 1862-68 and 1870-72 during the incumbency of Thomas Bartlett, before becoming Rector himself in 1872. An 1870 curate’s licence shows he had £100 p.a. and use of a glebe house and certain glebe lands. He was obviously a reasonably wealthy man as shown by the photograph below taken on the Rectory lawn with his family and servants. In 1876 he bought from the Duke of Buccleuch, the Manor House for the use of his curate and the farm land. The Duke of Buccleuch realising that part of the land was to be used for building an infant school, donated that part of the land in trust, on which to build a new school. The old freeschool premises were no longer sufficient for the number of pupils attending. Francis Browne Newman provided a new burial ground south of the churchyard on land belonging to himself and in 1891 built St. Crispin’s to be used as a church hall. In 1895 aged 70 he and his wife left Burton Latimer and moved to St. Albans, but before leaving he wrote a pamphlet entitled “Burton Latimer: the church and schools a thirty year retrospect.” His wife died in 1900 and he died the following year aged 75, they are both buried in the churchyard at Burton Latimer.

To read the Reverend Newman's farewell letter to his parishioners,
click here.

Revd. Newman with family and servants c1875
Francis B. Newman, standing fourth from left,
with family and staff outside the Rectory c1875

A Versatile Parson

This was the heading under which the Kettering Leader dated 1st February 1935 carried an article recording the death of the Revd. Charles Newman M.A. This section refers to his father, Francis B Newman.

" During this period he carried out extensive alterations to the Rectory, and as he had formerly been an architect by profession, he designed and supervised the work himself."

The unknown writer goes on: “It is rather a pity, however, that his architectural training did not result in additions in keeping with the original work. A fine Queen Anne mansion was not improved by the superimposing of a Victorian Gothic façade to the lower storey. This type of restoration was not uncommon at that period, and Mr. Newman was not the only sinner in that respect.”

His Work for the Town

“Some valuable work, however, was carried out by Mr. Newman at the Parish Church, and the preservation of the harmony of the structure was due, in no small measure, to his care and expert knowledge.

The tower and the spire were rebuilt and an old story, in connection with this, will stand re-telling.

It is that Mr. Newman instructed the contractor – a Kettering man – to take down the spire, stone by stone, so that each one could be put in to its original place again. This he did. But the work took some time, and the builder was not a young man.

The story goes that Mr. Newman became extremely anxious lest the builder should die with some of the stones still out of place. Fortunately, however, this did not happen, and the work was completed on schedule.”

To read about Francis Newman's death, click here.