Newcome, George

Captain Newcome

Captain George Newcome lived in what was called the Manor House, a mansion close by St Michael’s Church. He had attended his first meeting of the Vestry in March 1847. Some six years later, by 1853, he had been selected to chair meetings of the Vestry and to be one of the two Churchwardens.

George was the third of six children of parents George William and Elizabeth Newcome, the elder of their two sons. He had been born in Hackney in Middlesex/ London, baptised in January 1803. Hackney was at that time a wealthy suburb of London.

Family of George’s Father, George William Newcome

Family of George William Newcome

George’s parents had married in Hackney by special licence on 8th December 1800, the Oxford Journal reporting “George William Newcome, Esq. of of Devonshire Street, Portland Place, to Miss Tower, of Hackney.” George William had also been baptised in Hackney, the third son of Henry Newcome who in about 1759 had become headmaster of what was known as Newcome’s School in Hackney (about which, more below).

George’s father and mother established the family home in Marylebone which was where all their children, except George, were  baptised: the twins Georgiana & Elizabeth in 1802, Henry in 1804, Harriet in 1807 and Rose in 1809.

There are entries for the family at Wimpole Street, Marylebone in the London Census returns of 1821 and 1831 for ‘Newcome’, with entries in the Westminster Rate Books for George William ‘Newcombe’ at Wimpole Street in 1830/31.  The same address appears for Mrs Geo. Newcome after the death of her husband, aged 70, in February 1833. She died six years later in March 1839, George named as her executor.

George’ Siblings

The eldest sisters, Charlotte and Elizabeth,  had remained unmarried, staying with their mother Mary after their brothers had left to further their careers and their two younger sisters had left home to marry. Harriet Newcome had married Ross Donnelly Mangles MP in 1830 and Rose Newcome had married Captain Charles Mangles a year later,  in 1831.

His younger brother Henry had secured a  good marriage into the aristocracy in 1835. His bride, Cecelia Wake, was the daughter of Sir William Wake, the 9th Baronet of Cleveland.  The family seat was at Courteenhall, Northamptonshire. By 1841, Henry had position as a magistrate for Northamptonshire, sitting on the bench of the Northampton Assizes alongside his father-in-law. Henry died in the Tyrol in 1849, his widow then left with four children, the eldest being Cecilia Jenny Newcome, named after her mother and maternal grandmother, and the youngest Henry George (bap. 1846). His widow and family relocated to Brighton.

Henry Newcome Family Group

George’s Military Career

When his father George William Newcome had died in 1833, George would have assumed the part as the head of the family. He was, however, away abroad in the Army for several of the years that followed.

The rise of George Newcome from Ensign to Captain, by purchase and exchange, traversed several regiments, illustrative of a system that would later be abolished in favour of one based upon merit.

His service record states George served a total of 15 years and 8 months from 1825 until 1841: 7 years 7 months abroad and just over 8 years ‘At Home’.

George began his career in the Army in May 1825 at the age of 23 through the purchase as Ensign the 14th Regiment of Foot,  ‘exchanging’ that the next month to join the more illustrious 88th Foot.

      • Also known as the Connaught Rangers and “The Devil’s Own”, the 88th Regiment of Foot had been accorded several battle honours during the Peninsular Wars, as well as securing the “Jingling Johnny” trophy at the Battle of Salamanca in 1812

After a period at home the 88th Regiment of Foot was despatched to Corfu, off the Greek coast, in late 1825. The next year, in July 1826, George became a Lieutenant with the 88th by purchase of that commission. From late December 1827, George served in the Mediterranean during which time the 88th Regiment were were stationed in the Ionian Islands. In this initial part of his career, up until December 1829, George served four years abroad. 

Following the death of his father in February 1833, George applied for the commission of Captain ‘Unattached’ (to any regiment) through purchase from Captain MacDonald of the 8th West India Regiment who was retiring on half pay.

    • An officer who wished to save the value of his commission without leaving the service, could exchange with an officer on half pay who wished to sell out.

The attempt to be ‘Unattached’, and therefore at home in reserve, might have been connected to George now becoming the head of the family. It did not go as planned, although George did manage to secure promotion to be a Captain in the 47th Regiment ‘by Exchange’, paying half pay to Captain John Sandes, as announced in the London Gazette in June 1833.

      • The 47th  also had an illustrious history. It stretched back to the Jacobean Wars, the 47th winning their first battle honours in 1758, earning them the nickname of ‘Wolfe’s Own’ and subsequently being part of the victory at Quebec. They were also known for their contribution at San Sebastian in 1813 which claimed 17 of their 22 officers as casualties. Further battle honours were awarded in the First Burmese War. The Regiment had returned to Britain in 1829.

George made another attempt to apply for the commission of Captain ‘Unattached’  in 1835. However, In July of that year, the Morning Post quoted a Memorandum to the effect that the exchange with Capt. P. C. Campbell, upon the half-pay of the Unattached List, as stated in the Gazette, had not taken place.

The 47th, also known as the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, returned home in July 1836. It subsequently returned to the Mediterranean, stationed in Malta, in 1840. George’s service record notes service  in the Mediterranean from late December 1827 until 1840. Departing from Malta in February, the 47th arrived in the West Indies in April 1841.

Captain George Newcome served with the 47th Regiment of Foot in Barbados for less than a month, from 22nd April 1841 until 10th May 1841, before returning to Britain.

That George Newcome had managed his upward career by purchase of commissions was not exceptional, even if it was in contrast to the promotion on merit of his brother-in-law Charles Girardot, who would eventually reached the rank of Colonel. Indeed, the man who became the Duke of Wellington had risen rapidly from Ensign to Lt-Colonel within less than seven years by successive purchase of commissions. His rapid promotion, though, could be regarded as ‘vacancy-driven’. That extent of opportunity was not there for George. There was no age set for the retirement of officers, although some did had they required the financial benefit of selling their commissions, often at a value above the regulation price.


George married in May 1844, at age 31, having secured the rank of Captain before leaving the Army. His bride was Harriot Sophia Girardot, aged 28. The ceremony was conducted by her brother, the Reverend John Girardot at Little Bookham in Surrey.

Harriot had been born at Allestree Hall, Derbyshire, baptised in 1806, the youngest daughter of John Charles and Lydia Girardot. Her father was born in 1771 into a French Huguenot family and had inherited wealth from his grandmother and from an uncle. In 1805, this enabled him to buy and complete the build of Allestree Hall, a substantial structure with three storeys and five bays. It was the family home for about twenty years during which John Charles Girardot had held the office of High Sheriff of Derbyshire in 1818.

    • John Charles’ grandfather was the Paul Girardot de Charcourt, a notable bookdealer, had once owned a vellum copy of the Gutenberg Bible, now held in the British Library as ‘the Grenville copy’.

The family of George’s future wife Harriot had also settled in Surrey, her father John Charles Girardot recorded by the 1841 Census at (Little) Manor House, Little Bookham, Surrey, aged 70, together with an unmarried daughter Louisa. It is not clear where George’s wife Harriot was in 1841, although probable that she would visit her father and sister in Surrey.

In that year George was returning from the West Indies, perhaps then to divide his time between the house in Wimpole Street in London and also visiting his sisters in Surrey, at Poyle House and at Woodbridge House.

In 1841 Harriot’s elder brother Charles Andrew Girardot was recorded at the Priory Lodge on Kew Green, Richmond upon Thames. He was a Captain with the Coldstream Guards, having served with distinction in the Peninsular Wars and at Waterloo. Her brother John was the Vicar of Car Colston, Bingham, Nottinghamshire. Both had large households.

Harriot’s father, John Charles Girardot, died in 1845, a year after her marriage, and was buried in July. Both Harriot and her sister Louisa were mentioned in his will, proven in August 1845. 18 By 1851, Louisa had become a fundholder and had moved to Devon to live with their aunt.

Ownership of ‘Manor House’

And so it was that George was recorded at the Manor House in the 1851 Census as ‘late Captain’ of the 47th Infantry, his rank used as his formal title since his retiral. The Census return noted that he now owned 63 acres, employing two labourers and a boy. This was the fourth largest estate in the parish.

With him on Census Night were his wife Harriet, five servants and three visitors. All were born outside the parish. The visitors included Charles Short together with his wife and daughter. The Census recorded him as a ‘West India Merchant’ and that he was a former Captain of the Coldstream Guards.

Charles Short would have been well known to Harriot and later to George, as his advance from Ensign in the Coldstream Guards in 1814 had been enabled by the promotion of Harriot’s brother Charles Girardot to the rank of Captain. Both were promotions in the field, without purchase. Both were also probably present at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

Captain Newcome was listed in the Poor Law Rate Book as the owner of the Manor House estate. However, strictly this was not so, nor had it been bought directly by his wife using money left to her at her father’s death.

The Crondall Court Book records all transaction of copyhold property. (*) The index notes the transfer of the property in question from John Eggar to Messrs Bridges and Wayte on 7th November 1842 . Wayte was from a firm of solicitors and Matthew Bridges was the occupant from 1842 until the property was sold again, the entry for 24th April 1847 being “SS Wayte [the solicitor] to Chas A Giradot and others”.

The title for the property was transferred to Harriot’s brother Charles Andrew Girardot. The implication is that there was likely some deed of trust involved, protecting the interests of the Girardot family were Harriot to predecease George, as by 1847, they were childless, as there were in subsequent years.  

    • It would seem that there was agreement that the property would be inherited by the orphaned son of George’s brother Henry. namely Henry George Newcome, as indeed it did in 1888 on the death of George’s wife Harriot. 
    • An entry in the Crondall Court Book in 1861 indicates transfer of title from Girardot C. A. to TA Seawell and AS Seawell. This would seem to be part of a deed of trust, the latter two being relatives of George’s aunt Mary. Both were land proprietors. Thomas Seawell was born in Northamptonshire, as was Henry George Newcome, that being the family seat of his mother, the Wake family.
    • Following the death of Harriot, the property duly passed to Henry George Newcome on 21st December 1888. Henry G Newcome was buried in Aldershot in , as was his mother Cecelia in 1896.

Prior Connection to the Area

Curiously, George’s great great grandfather, Reverend Peter Newcome (1656–1738), was curate at Crookham in 1680, before he later became vicar of Hackney, Middlesex, in September 1703. Crookham is not much more than six miles to the west of Aldershot,

There were other, more recent, family connections to the area; two of his sisters were established at Poyle House, Tongham and at Woodbridge House, near Guildford, having married two brothers from the Mangles family, respectively, Charles and Ross.  His other two sisters, Charlotte and Elizabeth, together with his brother Henry and his wife, were recorded as visitors  at Poyle House, Tongham on the night of the 1841 Census. 

The Mangles Family

The connection between the Newcome and Mangles families might have been earlier established by their respective fathers, George William Newcome and James Mangles. They had both lived in Hackney and were connected in their careers in London.

In November 1788, at the age of about 26, James Mangles and his elder brother had inherited their father’s thriving ship’s chandlery on the Thames. Expanded the business significantly, wharfingers known by 1820 as Mangles and Co., their trading interests became worldwide. The company owned ships which traded with the East Indies and were used for convict transportation to Australia.

His marriage in July 1791 to Mary Hughes secured James Mangles with significant connections, to a family that had both “impeccable naval and military connections” with the East Indies and West Indies and  the means for him to establish himself as a county gentleman. From the start of the marriage James and Mary established a family home in fashionable Hackney, away from the river. This was where most of their children, including their sons Charles Edward and Ross Donnelly, were baptised from 1792 until 1801,

Later described as James Mangles of Woodbridge, the name of an estate near Guildford he bought in 1803, he served as High Sheriff for Surrey in 1808.

While developing various commercial interests in Surrey, including the West Surrey Bank, James deployed his ten surviving children in a variety of ways, balancing social as well as economic improvement for his family.

The eldest daughter married into the Onslow family; the youngest daughter Ellen married Captain James Mangles RN.

The eldest son took over the family business on the Thames; the second son was sent to Eton; the third son, Charles Edward, was sent to sea; the fourth son, Ross Donnelly, was sent to the college of the East Indies Company.

As noted  in 1830 Ross Donnelly Mangles married George Newcome’s sister Harriet; a year later, Charles Edward Mangles married George’s sister Rose, in 1831. George’s parents were then still alive, suggesting that James Mangles and George William Newcome had been well known to each other.

=> More about the Mangles family

Newcome’s School in Hackney

George’s great grandfather, Henry Newcome was a pupil of Hackney Academy, as school began by Benjamin Morland as its first headmaster. Henry subsequently married Morland’s daughter, Lydia, himself becoming headmaster of Hackney Academy in 1721.

Under Dr Henry Morland’s leadership it then became known as Newcome’s School.

The headship passed to the eldest of Henry’s sons Peter, a Fellow of Queens’ College, Cambridge and of the Royal Society, and an expert on earthquakes.

Pupils were taught Latin, French and natural sciences, as well as drawing and dancing;  they went on excursions to study natural history;  played football and cricket (there was a cricket pitch next to the school);  and every three years they performed a Shakespeare play.

The School was to close in 1815 but for it had been attended for many previous of the years of its existence by the sons of leading Whig families, its former pupils including a prime minister and two of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, as well as several serving MPs. Stratford Canning, Britain’s Ambassador at the Turkish Court was a pupil from 1792 to 1794.

George’s grandfather, another Henry Newcome, became headmaster of Newcome’s School, in about 1759. He was the youngest, descended from second wife Anne.

When George’s grandfather died,  his eldest son Richard, George’s uncle, became the headmaster in 1787. By the time George was born n 1803, the post was taken by Charles Heathcote, his aunt’s husband.  It seems probable that George’s father, George William, attended Newcome’s School but less so that George himself did.

* This entry noting “Chas A Giradot and others” and other observations from the index to the Crondall Court Books was found by Sally Jenkinson. Through examination of wills, she also made the link firmly establishing George Newcome’s father as the George William Newcome as part of with this famous Newcome family of Hackney.

    • There was more than one of the name of George William Newcome at this time in London.. The one  baptised in Rochester in 1772 as George William Frederick, the son of Benjamin Newcome, the Dean of Rochester Cathedral, was a distant cousin. Death duty was paid on his estate in 1799, recorded as having been resident in the village of Grendon in Northamptonshire, means that he could not have been the father of (Captain) George Newcome who was born in 1803. Another George Newcome was baptised in Shoreditch in 1774 and had parents George and Hannah.