Newton, Thomas

Scope and Content

Personal papers of Thomas Newton, 1710-1807, including correspondence and papers regarding Thomas Newton's business, his relationship with Mary Newton (nee Hurst), the wardship of Sarah Frances and Thomas Richard Fairchild, literary manuscripts, legal and financial documents, 1753-1806. Papers of the executors and trustee of the Thomas Newton bequest, 1807-1954, including a bound volume of papers entitled 'The Newton Estate' 1794-1822; correspondence, memorandum and accounts of the drawing up of the Newton bequest 1805-1811; memoranda and correspondence relating to the admission of new trustees 1820-1878; inventory and sale catalogue of Newton's effects 1807-1821, correspondence from legatees, 1807-1830 and papers relating the administration of the Newton estate 1832-1954.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Newton was born 21 December 1719. He was educated at the 'Choir of St. Paul's Cathedral' in London. Instead of going into business, Newton was educated by a tutor and subsequently devoted his life to his writings and to the affairs of his friends. His literary works included a novel, James and Julia , Grammar and Literary Criticism and Religious History . On the death of his father in 1757 Thomas Newton moved to Westminster. Having no children or close relatives late in his life, Thomas Newton had decided to bequeath his inheritance to a charitable institution. Originally he had intended to leave his estate to the Marine Society. However, on hearing of the foundation of the Literary Fund (created in 1790, later, the Royal Literary Fund) Newton decided to bequeath his inheritance to them instead. He died on 5 February 1807. The General Committee of the Royal Literary Fund were both the executors and trustees of the Thomas Newton bequest. By about 1830 the duties of the executors had ceased. However, as trustees of the Thomas Newton bequest, the Royal Literary Fund were still dealing with issues generated by Newton's property in the East End of London until 1954.


This collection is divided in to two parts. Part One comprises of the personal papers of Thomas Newton, 1710-1807. Part Two comprises of the papers of the executors and trustee of the Thomas Newton bequest, 1807-1954.

Access Information

Access to the items in the collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the controlled environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room Uncatalogued material may not be seen. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Acquisition Information

Deposited on permanent loan by the Royal Literary Fund in 1979 and 1982.

Other Finding Aids

Piers Cain, Thomas Newton Papers: A Handlist , London (1982)

Archivist's Note

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Corporate Names