NEWPORT, Richard (by 1511-70), of High Ercall, Salop.
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Family and Education
b. by 1511, 1st s. of Thomas Newport of High Ercall by Anne, da. of Sir Robert Corbet of Moreton Corbet. educ. I. Temple, adm. 7 May 1525. m. 1545, Margaret, da. and h. of (Sir) Thomas Bromley I of Eyton-upon-Severn, Wroxeter and Shrewsbury, 4s. inc. Andrew† and Francis† 4da. suc. fa. 1551. Kntd. 21 July 1560.1
Commr. relief, Salop 1550, goods of churches and fraternities 1553; sheriff 1551-2, 1557-8, 1568-9; j.p. 1554-?d.; member, council in marches of Wales by d.2
The family of Newport was one of the foremost in Shropshire. Richard Newport’s father, whom Cromwell had included among nominees for a vacant knighthood of the shire in the Parliament of 1529, married into the powerful Corbet family, which furnished three knights for Shropshire in a 20-year period; he also inherited property in Kent from Henry, 7th and last Lord Grey of Codnor. That it was not he but his son who was to sit in Edward VI’s first Parliament, despite the continuing activity which included his shrievalty in 1549-50, may have owed something to Richard Newport’s recent marriage to the heir of Sir Thomas Bromley, a member of the council of regency: Bromley had acquired much of the land of Shrewsbury abbey, including the abbot’s country house at Eyton-upon-Severn, and the marriage was to bring Newport lands in five western counties.3
Nothing is known of Newport’s role in the House but in 1549 the Shrewsbury bailiffs’ account records the payment to him of 13d. ‘on his return from Norfolk’, presumably after taking part, with his fellow-knight Sir George Blount, in the suppression of Ket’s rebellion. Although his father held land in Warwickshire, it is more likely to have been his namesake of Hunningham, Warwickshire, a son-in-law of Sir Edward Ferrers and grandfather of Sir William Hatton (formerly Newport), who had earlier served in the French war and who held office in that shire. Newport himself was pricked sheriff of Shropshire by each of Henry VIII’s children and like his father-in-law Bromley, who was made lord chief justice by Mary, seems to have acquiesced in their various changes of policy. As sheriff he took the lead in proclaiming Elizabeth in Shropshire. Two years later he was among the English captains ‘who best served in Scotland under [the 13th] Lord Grey of Wilton’ and was knighted by the 4th Duke of Norfolk at Berwick. In 1564 Bishop Bentham took his advice in drawing up the report to the Privy Council on the religious sympathies of the Shropshire gentry, and before his death he had become a member of the council in the marches of Wales.4
Newport died on 12 Sept. 1570, having made his will on the previous day. He named as executors his wife and his 13 year-old heir Francis and as supervisors his ‘cousins’ George and Thomas Bromley II; in the following year the wardship of the heir was granted to the widow and George Bromley. Of Newport’s daughters, Elizabeth had already made the first of her two marriages into the Lawley family and Isabel was married to a son of Charles Foxe, secretary of the council in the marches. Magdalen Newport, then ‘of tender years’, was later to marry Richard Herbert† of Montgomery Castle and become the mother of Edward Herbert†, Lord Herbert of Chirbury. Edward Herbert may have inherited some of his historical interests from his grandfather Newport who owned a copy of the chronicle written by Edward Hall I, a Member for two Shropshire boroughs and perhaps a native of Kinnersley, near High Ercall. Newport was buried, as he had asked to be, in Wroxeter church near his father-in-law. The Shrewsbury chronicle described him as ‘a valiant knight of Shropshire and of a princely personage ... for whose death there was much moan made in Shrewsbury’.5