Page:Dictionary of National Biography, Second Supplement, volume 3.djvu/20

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Newnes
Newton
10

in 1898), and 'C. B. Fry's Magazine' (1904).

Newnes entered Parliament in 1885 as member for the Newmarket division of Cambridgeshire, which he represented in the liberal interest until 1895, when he lost his seat, and was rewarded for his services to his party by a baronetcy. The prime minister, Lord Rosebery, stated that the honour was conferred on him as a pioneer of clean popular literature. Newnes was returned for Swansea Town in 1900, and represented that constituency until the general election of 1910.

Newnes applied much of his wealth to public purposes. His London residence was on Putney Heath, and he took great interest in the welfare of Putney. In 1897, the year of the diamond jubilee, he presented a new and spacious library at a cost of 16,000l., the building being opened by Lord Russell of Killowen, the lord chief justice, in May 1899. In 1898 he fitted out at his own expense the South Polar Expedition, under the guidance of the Norwegian explorer C. E. Borchgrevinck. His sympathy with suffering was always strong. The painful sight of horses toiling up the steep ascent from Lynmouth to Lynton in Devon, where he acquired a country residence, led him to build a cliff railway there. Similarly he met the difficulty which was felt by invalids in mounting to the heights at his birthplace, Matlock, by building a cable railway for their use, which he presented to the town on 28 March 1893. He died at his residence in Lynton on 9 June 1910, and was buried at Lynton.

Newnes married in 1875 Priscilla Jenney, daughter of the Rev. James Hillyard of Leicester, by whom he had two sons, of whom the younger, Arthur, died in childhood. The elder son, Frank Hillyard Newnes, his successor in the baronetcy, has been since 1906 M.P. for Bassetlaw, Nottinghamshire.

A memorial tablet in the corridor near the entrance to the Putney library was unveiled on 23 May 1911; it consists of a bronze bust of Newnes in relief against a white marble background, designed by Mr. Oliver Wheatley. A cartoon portrait by 'Spy' appeared in 'Vanity Fair' in 1894.

[Life of Sir George Newnes, by Hulda Friederichs (with portrait), 1911; T. H. S. Escott, Masters of English Journalism, 1911; Mitchell's Newspaper Directory, 1911, p. 16; Putney News-letter, 12 June 1910; Tit-Bits, 25 June 1910; The Times, 10 June 1910; Whitaker's Red Book of Commerce; private information.]

C. W.


NEWTON, ALFRED (1829–1907), zoologist, born at Geneva on 11 June 1829, was fifth son of William Newton of Elveden, Suffolk, sometime M.P. for Ipswich, and Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Slater Milnes of Fryston, Yorkshire, and aunt of Richard Monckton Milnes first Baron Houghton [q. v.]. In 1848 Newton left home for Magdalene College, Cambridge. He obtained the English essay prize there in two successive years and graduated B.A. in 1853. From 1854 until 1863 he held the Drury travelling fellowship, making use of the endowment in the study of ornithology, a subject to which he had been attached from boyhood. He visited Lapland with John Wolley, the ornithologist, in the summer of 1855, and in 1858 they went together to Iceland and sought out the last nesting-place of the great auk. Newton stayed in the West Indies in 1857 and went thence to North America. In 1864 he paid a visit to Spitzbergen on the yacht of Sir Edmund Birkbeck, and he made several summer voyages round the British Isles with the ornithologist Henry Evans of Derby, so that he was acquainted with almost all the breeding-places of their sea-birds. All these travels he accomplished in spite of lameness due to hip-joint disease in childhood, which later in life was aggravated by an injury to the other leg. Newton made no complaint, though he had to use two sticks instead of one, and went about his work with undiminished assiduity. He wrote the 'Zoology of Ancient Europe' in 1862 and the 'Ornithology of Iceland' in 1863. A chair of zoology and comparative anatomy was founded at Cambridge, and Newton was appointed the first professor in March 1866; he held office till his death. His lectures were the least important part of his work as professor. The subject was almost unknown in the university, whether among the undergraduates or the ruling authorities, and the professor had to create a general interest in it and to improve the museum and other apparatus for its study. Newton did his best to make the acquaintance of every undergraduate who had any taste for natural history and to encourage him. Every Sunday evening at his rooms in the old lodge of Magdalene such undergraduates found a cheery welcome and pleasant talk, and many of them became lifelong friends of the professor and of one another. Charles Kingsley was sometimes there and talked on the land tortoise and the red deer or on the natural history of the New Forest. George Robert Crotch, the first coleopterist of his time, was generally present,