Walter Ernest Newman
1864 - 1947

 Relationship to me: Grandfather Gen -2 

Walter Ernest Newman
 Born: 1864 at Woodwick, Kent*  
 Died: 1947  
 Age 83  
 Father:      Walter Newman 1836 - 1894 
 Mother: Emma Montague Browne 1844 -1930
 Brothers: (elder) Edwin M. B. Newman 1861 -1885 
 Sisters:   (younger) Evelyn Newman 1870 - 1950 
 Married: Lilian Jekyll (née) Paynter m.1898
 Children: Harold Ernest Montague Newman 1900 - 1991
  Aline Lilian Newman 1907 - 1978
* Walter's birthplace was given to me by Ray Farnsworth (Freelands) who quotes from the 1881 Alnwick census which "shows Walter Ernest Newman living at Freelands and that he was an Articled Clerk. His age is recorded as 17 and his birthplace as Woodwick, Kent".

Above: Wellington College, Anglesey Dormitory, photo from 1878 including both "Newman ma" (E.M.B. Newman) and "Newman mi" (Walter Ernest Newman).

The names written below the photo do not clearly identify which face is that of Walter Newman. The text suggests that Walter is the boy on the right (see photo below), but the boy on the left has a closer Newman family resemblance (and a closer resemblance to Walter's adult photo above).

Outline his Life: Walter Ernest was the second and last son of Walter "the Gunner", whose financial problems strongly affected his son's life and subsequent career. Walter followed his elder brother Edwin Montague Browne to Wellington but because of financial constraints Walter's Wellington education was cut short, and he was prevented from pursuing the military career that he had wanted. The story handed down through my father was as follows:

"Walter (the gunner) could not afford to educate his two sons, Edwin and Walter, at Wellington College. Edwin qualified for Woolwich and became a Sapper, but my father aiming at a similar career, was prevented from doing so because great-grandfather Edwin who had stumped up their school fees suffered a severe financial blow in 1880 due to his head-clerk making off with the firm's funds, so that my father's school career was summarily curtailed. To qualify him for a career, he was articled to Henry Paynter's office in Alnwick where he fell for Lily. I know nothing about dates but guess there must have been a gap between Wellington and his move north in order to account for his unsuccessful wooing of the Miss Youle (spelling?) I mentioned in my Reminiscences. Anyhow, his articles completed, he was posted to Gould's office in the Strand, and was taken into partnership at the turn of the century, when the firm became Newman Paynter Gould and Newman."

The story of the family law firm for which Walter worked throughout his life is recorded on a separate page.

Another telling of the story by my father (from his Reminiscences) goes as follows: "Walter Ernest Newman married his first cousin, LiIian Jekyll Paynter, in Alnwick, Northumberland. She was the daughter, the fifth of twelve children, of Henry Augustus Paynter of Cornish extraction, and a partner in Newman Paynter & Co., Solicitors. The firm was founded by my great-grandfather, Edwin, the recipient of the black marble mantelpiece clock in Yeovil to which a London branch at 1 Clements Inn was added where my father later worked. It is said that my father had fallen for a Miss Yule (?) who rejected him, and that, articled to Henry Paynter to learn his trade, he had rebounded on Lily, Henry's favourite and somewhat spoiled daughter. Anyway they were engaged for nearly ten years till his salary sufficed for marriage, and after a postponement due to my "Gunner" grandfather's death in 1896 leaving debts which my father had to settle. These included debts incurred at whist in the Rag (Army and Navy Club), his nightly occupation, one consequence being that thereafter the handling of playing cards was heavily discouraged other than for patience."

I recall that my father was very fond his father who was apparently a warm-hearted good-humoured soul. How he coped with the strictly religeous (and humourless) wife that Lilian became I don't know, but the story has come to me (from Ian Caldwell, I think) that Walter maintained a long-standing friendship with an unknown lady in London who (one hopes) gave him some solace. [The photo at right shows Walter at his son Harold's wedding in 1929.]

Questions nevertheless arise as to the veracity of some of the above stories. For instance:

  1. It must be doubted that old Edwin Newman was so financially embarrassed by the theft of his firm's money that he could no longer afford to subsidise Walter's education at Wellington. When he died (some 4 years after the theft), he left an estate worth £31,189 or between £3 million and £40 million at 2013 valuations depending on how it is measured (refer Was there therefore some other circumstance that forced Walter to leave Wellington early?
  2. It might also be wondered how (and whether) Walter father could have built up such gambling debts before his death that Walter had to work for years to pay them off before he could afford to marry. The gross value of his father's personal estate was £720 2s 8d, equivalent to between £71,550.00 to £768,600.00 in 2013 currency values according to His whist-playing debts must have been very large indeed if they couldn't be covered by his assets!

Last updated: 25th Jun 2015 - Wellington College photo added.
Updated: 22nd Dec 2014
Updated: 20th Jan 2003