NEWPORT, John (by 1508-64), of Bridgwater, Som.
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Family and Education
b. by 1508, s. of Francis Newport of Worcs. m. by 1545, Emma, da. of John Selwood of Chard, Som., 4s. 4da.2
Mayor, Bridgwater in 1532, 1537-8, 1542-3, 1548-9, ?in 1556.3
John Newport was a merchant who became one of the most important men in Bridgwater. He is first glimpsed in 1529 when he bought a wardship for £10. By 1532 he had a flourishing business, mainly with Spain, exporting cloth and farm produce and importing a variety of goods. He also seems to have owned a ship. He laid out much of his acquired wealth on purchasing land including the manor of Pawlett, Somerset, and a number of houses and other property in Bridgwater.4
Newport’s stature was recognized by his frequent terms of office as mayor and his three elections to Parliament under Mary. Early in 1555 he received £3 6s.8d. ‘for business money of the Parliament’ and during the prorogation in 1558 40s. ‘for his fees at the Parliament’. He made his will on 28 Nov. 1564 and died two days later. He left £20 or so to each of his younger children and the residue to his wife and eldest son John, who were his executors. John was still under age and on 13 May 1566 his wardship and marriage were granted to John Colles, the value of the inheritance being £26 6s.4d. a year. On John Newport’s premature death on 15 July 1566 his brother Emmanuel, himself still a minor, became his heir.5
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: Roger Virgoe
- 1. Hungtington Lib. Hastings mss Parl. pprs.
- 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Vis. Som. ed. Weaver, 123; C142/141/17.
- 3. LP Hen. VIII, iv, xiii; S. Jarman, Bridgwater, 268-9; Bridgwater corp. mss 1446, 2067.
- 4. Jarman, 268-9; Bridgwater corp. ms 1437; LP Hen. VIII, xx; C142/141/17.
- 5. Bridgwater corp. mss 1457, 1459, 1535; C142/141/17; CPR, 1563-6, p. 396; 1566-9, p. 333.