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Article taken from local newspaper dated June 1901, transcribed by Sarah Gilbert.

Death of the Reverend F B Newman

Francis Browne Newman, Rector 1872-1895

It is with much regret that we have to record the death of the Rev. Francis Browne Newman M.A., for many years Rector of this parish which occurred on Tuesday afternoon at St Albans, where the rev. gentleman had been residing for the past eight months. The rev. gentlemen graduated at St. Catherine’s College, Cambridge, taking his B. A. degree in 1862 and M. A. in1867. He was ordained deacon in 1862, and priest in 1863, by the then Bishop of Peterborough. In 1862 he was appointed curate of Burton Latimer where he stayed for six years, and was then transferred to Wonston, Hants., as curate. There he remained until 1870. In that year he returned to Burton Latimer, and in 1972 was appointed Rector of the parish. After labouring assiduously for 23 years the rev. gentleman retired for a well-earned rest to “The Wilderness,” Baldock, and went from thence to Verulam House, St. Albans. He was Rural Dean of Weldon from 1892 to 1895. During his long incumbency of this parish, Mr. Newman was greatly esteemed and respected by his parishioners. The death of his wife occurred in November last, and the rev. gentleman himself had been in failing health since. About five weeks ago he was taken much worse, but rallied again. On Sunday, however, the symptoms became serious, and he expired on Tuesday afternoon. The funeral was appointed to take place at Burton churchyard this (Friday) morning at 11 30 0’clock. Mr. Newman was 75 years of age.

During the 23 years the Rev. Francis Browne Newman, M. A., held the position of Rector of Burton Latimer he worked assiduously for the moral, physical, and social welfare of all his parishioners, amongst whom he was very popular, highly esteemed, greatly revered, and deeply respected, his kindly and generous disposition and his philanthropic spirit being the characteristics of his life. Naturally when the sad news reached Burton Latimer on Wednesday morning that the rev. gentleman had passed away the parishioners assumed the garb of mourning, for, although he had left the parish about six years, his memory was still dear to the hearts of many of his congregation. The rev. gentleman graduated at St Catherine’s College, Cambridge, taking his B. A. degree in 1862 and M. A. in 1867. He was ordained deacon in 1862 and priest in the following year by the Bishop of Peterborough at the time. Whilst a deacon he was appointed Curate to St. Mary’s Church, Burton Latimer, where he laboured for six years. In 1868 he was appointed Curate of Wonston, Hants., remaining there until 1870, when he again returned to Burton Latimer as Curate, being appointed Rector of the parish in 1872 - which position he held until 1895. During those 23 years the rev. gentleman was instrumental in effecting vast improvements in the Church and those institutions appertaining to it. He was always ready to put his hand in his pocket for objects that tended to increase the happiness of his parishioners. The fine old Church has been restored and re-seated, an organ has been added, the chancel screen has been embellished, and a new vestry had been erected during his Rectorship; while his donations to those works were very handsome. When the parish commenced to transform from a small village to a busy little town he saw the necessity for a new school, and erected one; while he caused the old school to be also enlarged. Many years ago he established a reading-room for the men of the parish, which was very successful for a time, but then lapsed. However, at great expense to himself, he commenced the British Workmen’s Club, which was afterwards supplemented by his erecting the St. Crispin’s Hall, in which building a very successful social and recreative club is still carried on. The rev. gentleman was appointed Rural dean for the Weldon deanery in 1892, and held it until his retirement. When they left Burton Latimer Mr. and Mrs. Newman and family went to reside at The Wilderness, Baldock, where Mrs. Newman died in November last. After her death he removed to Verulam House, St. Albans, and has been ailing in health ever since. About five weeks ago he was taken worse, but rallied again. On Sunday, however, the symptoms became serious, and he expired on Tuesday afternoon at the advanced age of 75 years.

The funeral took place at Burton Latimer on Friday afternoon in the presence of a large number of the parishioners. The body, enclosed in a shell and a plain oak coffin, with brass furniture, was brought by rail from St. Albans to Kettering Station that morning, and conveyed to Burton Latimer by road. As the funeral cortege entered the Church the organist (Mr. A. Clarke) played “O Rest in the Lord” (Mendelssohn), “Woe Unto Them” (“Elijah”), and “Total Eclipse” (“Samson”). The first portion of the service was read by the Rev. H. Priestland (curate), and the lesson by the Rev. A. S. Lindsay (rector of Cranford). Psalm 90 was chanted by the full surpliced choir to Barnby in D, and the hymn, “Jesus Lives,” was rendered, the organist playing the “Dead March” in “Saul” as the cortege left the sacred edifice.

Reverend Newman (standing, third from left) pictured with his family in his later years.
Reverend Newman (standing, third from left)
pictured with his family in his later years.

There was a very large number of persons at the side of the brick vault adjoining that in which Mrs. Newman was interred in November last near the east window in the Churchyard. This part of the service was again taken by the Rev. H. Priestland. The chief mourners were the Rev. C. E. Newman, of Far Cotton (son), Miss Newman, Miss Annie Newman, Miss Dora Newman, Miss Eva Newman (daughters), the Rev. Payne (nephew), Miss Hannah Cooper (nurse), Mrs. T. Downing, Mr. Walden (coachman). Amongst those present at the graveside were Mr. B. Villiers,
Mr. F. W. and Mrs. Preston, Mr. W. W. and Mrs. Attfield, Mr. T. Downing, the Rev. H. M. Hilton (Orlingbury), the Rev. E. J. Atkins (Isham), Mrs. and Miss F. J. Walker, Messrs. A. J. Ball and H. W. Chapman (churchwardens), Messrs. R. Partridge, J. Capps, T. Baxendale, F. Downing, M. Norton, G. Hickman, H. Haddon, R. Hobson, and G. Dicks (sidemen), Mrs. Stalker, Mr. F. J. Ball, Mr. D. and Mrs. James, Mr. E. E. James, Mr. C. and Mrs. Barlow, Mr. J. Dunkley, Mr. J. and Mrs. Talbutt, Mr. W. J. and Mrs. Gross, senr., Miss Gross, Mr. J. C. Eady (Irchester), and others. The processional cross was carried by Mr. R. Nelson. The coffin bore the following inscription;- “Francis Browne Newman, priest,died June 11th, 1901, aged 75 years.” There were several beautiful wreaths, and beside those from the family these were “With deepest sympathy.” From J. E Johnson?, E. M. Banford, and A. Brown; “With deepest sympathy,” from Mrs. Robert Grimston (Dartfield?); “With deepest sympathy,” from A. and ? Walden and Miss Cooper.

Editor's note: To read about the pulpit references to Reverend Newman, click here.