NEWLAND, William (1685-1738), of Gatton, Surr. and St. James’s Park, Westminster
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Family and Education
bap. 9 Mar. 1685, 3rd but 1st surv. s. of George Newland*, bro. of George Newland†. educ. St. John’s, Oxf. 1703; I. Temple 1703, called 1711. m. 25 July 1710, Martha (d. 1724), da. of Edmund Shephard, Painter-Stainer, of Fleet Street, London, 3 da. suc. fa. 26 Mar. 1714.1
Rather than follow the commercial career of his father, Newland opted for the legal profession and rapidly made his name in the capital as a young Tory zealot. His political future was assured from the age of 19, for, on the death of his distant relative Thomas Turgis*, he inherited the manor of Gatton, an estate which guaranteed its owner a seat at Westminster. His father, undoubtedly the inspiration for Newland’s Tory outlook, sat for the borough in the Parliaments of 1705 and 1708. However, even before he entered the Commons, the trial of Dr Sacheverell presented the young Newland with an opportunity to publicize his political loyalties. On 27 Feb. 1710, the opening day of the parliamentary hearing, Newland provided Sacheverell with a glass carriage specially designed to enable the crowds to see the Tory champion. Ridiculed for supplying this ‘tawdry glass chariot’, Newland was reported to have incited the populace to cheer by throwing money to the crowd. Later that year he succeeded his father as MP at Gatton, and was identified as a Tory in the ‘Hanover list’.2
At Westminster Newland continued to prove his Tory credentials, earning a citation as a ‘worthy patriot’ for helping to discover the mismanagements of the previous ministry. He was also celebrated as a ‘Tory patriot’ for opposing the continuation of the war, and his activity in the first two sessions was similarly party-motivated. On 7 Feb. 1712 he acted as a teller in a successful attempt to block any review of the resolution of the elections committee which had dismissed the return of the Whig Edmund Halsey* for Southwark. Rather surprisingly, Newland’s name did not appear in Boyer’s list of October Club members in February 1712, but his activities in the third session maintained his reputation as a strident Tory. When a motion was made on 2 May 1713 to invite Dr Sacheverell to preach to the House on the anniversary of the Restoration, Newland rose to second it, and was one of the four MPs dispatched to seek Sacheverell’s acceptance. Accordingly, when the House voted on 30 May to send its thanks to Sacheverell for the sermon, Newland was again one of the Members detailed to execute the order. However, in common with his father, he chose not to back the French commerce bill in the division of 18 June, his only significant deviation from the party line. His final noteworthy act in that Parliament came on 1 July when he reported from a committee on a bill to settle several Surrey properties.
Newland’s victory in the Gatton election for the succeeding Parliament was achieved with little effort, leaving him free to promote his father’s campaign for re-election in London. In November 1713, he was identified as ‘one of Sacheverell’s mob’ for having led ‘a rascally mob, wearing their hats and crying High Church’ to an election rally at the Guildhall. Such activity proved ultimately successful for the Tories, but Newland soon had the task of settling his family’s affairs after his father’s suicide in March 1714. Even so, this personal tragedy had no adverse effect on his prominence in the first session of 1714. His main concern centred on a bill to explain the Act for laying duties on soap and paper, which he steered through the House. In addition, on 25 May, he acted as a teller to deny the right of Quakers to qualify themselves for a vote at the recent Southwark election by making a solemn affirmation instead of taking the abjuration oath, but in another division relating to that election, on 29 June, Newland was less successful when telling to uphold the voting rights of certain local residents who did not pay scot and lot. Three days later he acted as a teller once more, to alter the wording of a supply bill.3
The accession of George I did not bode well for such a confirmed Tory, whose party loyalties were attested by three parliamentary lists at that time. Newland’s parliamentary seat remained secure, but in 1716 he was one of several notable Surrey Tories who were dismissed from the county’s commission of the peace. Despite this set-back, he refused to alter his political stance and remained an opponent of the administration for the rest of his parliamentary career. He died on 4 May 1738 and, in the absence of a male heir, his ‘handsome seat’ and fortune initially passed to his brother George†, by which time the family estate may have already been in some disarray. He had long been suspected of Jacobite sympathies, but his will protested his attachment to the Church by specifically denying the claims of any non-Protestant heir. Although confessing his love for a cohabiting mistress, his final request was to be buried next to his late wife at Gatton.4
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Perry Gauci
- 1. IGI, London; Manning and Bray, Surr. ii. 232; Le Neve’s Knights (Harl. Soc. viii), 493.
- 2. London Politics 1713–17 (London Rec. Soc. xvii), 116; G. Holmes, Trial of Sacheverell, 128; Oldmixon, Hist. Eng. 434; HMC Lords n.s. viii. 367.
- 3. Boyer, Pol. State, 299, 338; Holmes, 263; Huntington Lib. HM 44710, f. 298, George Ridpath to Hon. James Brydges*, 8 Nov. 1713.
- 4. L. K. J. Glassey, Appt. JPs, 253; J. Aubrey, Surr. iv. 222; Manning and Bray, 232; PCC 158 Brodrepp.