Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Newstead, Christopher

NEWSTEAD, CHRISTOPHER (1597–1662), divine, son of Robert Newstead, baptised at South Somercotes, Lincolnshire, on 15 Nov. 1597, matriculated at Oxford, from Alban Hall, on 22 Nov. 1616. From 1621 to 1628 he was in attendance as chaplain on Sir Thomas Roe [q. v.] during his embassy to the Ottoman Porte. On his return he was presented (19 June 1629) to the vicarage of St. Helen at Abingdon, Berkshire, where he remained till 1635. In March 1642 Laud, being under a promise to Sir Thomas Roe to benefit his former chaplain, nominated him to the rectory of Stisted in Essex; but the lords refused to confirm the nomination, and Newstead did not get the presentation until 23 May 1643. Bad reports preceded him to Stisted, and he was not only unable to obtain possession of the rectory, but was maltreated by his parishioners; it is doubtful even whether he obtained admission into the church, as his name nowhere appears in the parish registers. Eventually, in July 1645, he was sequestrated from the living, though a fifth part of the profits of the rectory was granted to his wife by the committee for plundered ministers. By the same committee Newstead was in 1650 appointed preacher at Maidenhead in Berkshire, and he received an augmentation from the committee for the maintenance of ministers; but to this objection was taken on the ground of his sequestration from Stisted. He therefore petitioned the council of state (7 Feb. 1654–5), and his case was put into the hands of Nye, Lockyer and Steary to inquire and report. On 15 Feb. he was ordered by the council to retain possession of Maidenhead, and to preach during the inquiry. The case was still proceeding in August 1657. At the Restoration Newstead petitioned for the profits of the rectory of Stisted (23 June 1660), but apparently without success. He was made prebendary of Cadington Minor in St. Paul's Cathedral on 25 Aug. He died in 1662.

He married at St. George's, Botolph Lane, London, on 5 Sept. 1631, Mary, daughter of Anthony Fulhurst, of Great Oxendon, Northamptonshire, who was reduced to great want after his death, and was supported by the charity of the Corporation for Ministers' Widows. A son Christopher, born in 1637, was a scholar of Eton in 1654, and was chosen a fellow of King's College, Cambridge, in 1658 (Harwood, Alumni, p. 251).

Newstead was author of ‘Apology for Women, or Women's Defence,’ London, 1620, which he dedicated to the Countess of Buckingham. A copy of the work, which is very rare, is in the Bodleian Library.

[Wood's Athenæ (Bliss), vol. i. col. 294; Wood's Fasti (Bliss), vol. i. col. 461; Reg. of Univ. of Oxford (Oxford Hist. Soc.), vol. ii. pt. ii. p. 356; Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Lords' Journals, v. vi. passim; Commons' Journals, iii. 49 b, 50 a; Hist. MSS. Comm. App. to 5th Rep. passim; Laud's Troubles and Tryal, pp. 194–5; Davids's Annals of Evangelical Nonconformity in Essex, pp. 479–84; Addit. MSS. 5829 ff. 17–19, 15669 ff. 223, 290; Cal. of State Papers, Dom. Ser. 1628–9 p. 582, 1655 p. 34, 1655–6 p. 187, 1656–7 p. 20, 1657–8 p. 69; Cal. of Committee for Compounding, p. 1465; Le Neve's Fasti (Hardy), ii. 373; Harl. Soc. Publ. xxvi. 203; South Somercotes parish register per the Rev. Peverel Johnson; information from the Rev. Canon Cromwell, of Stisted.]

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