Charles Evans Newbon lived to be one of the oldest members of the Newbon family – he died in 1929, aged 90. His wife, Florence Madeline Brockelbank, was also his first cousin, the daughter of his mother Ann’s younger brother George.
The only known memories of Charles Evans Newbon are those passed on by Geoffrey Newbon-Bennett to his daughter Mrs Aubrey Clench - Geoffrey was the grandson of Charles Evans Newbon’s first cousin Louisa (Henry Newbon’s eldest daughter). Aubrey says that her father, who grew up in Australia, was in England during World War I and while in hospital for a time during this period he contacted his great-aunt Minna Louisa Newbon (Henry Newbon's youngest daughter) to see if she might visit him. She declined, saying that she was too old to travel (even though she was to live a further 25 years or so after this!), and instead contacted her cousin Charles Evans Newbon, who on that occasion sent his son Herbert Alexander. Herbert was apparently impressed with his 3rd cousin and thereafter Geoffrey Newbon-Bennett made his home with Charles Evans Newbon’s family when he was on leave. Charles Evans Newbon apparently knew everyone who was ‘anyone’, including King George V. At the opening of Australia House in 1918 Geoffrey Newbon-Bennett was pointed out to the King and an invitation to breakfast at Buckingham Palace ensued, an event which Queen Mary and the Princess Royal also attended. Geoffrey Newbon-Bennett was apparently later the official spokesman when the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) and Lord Louis Mountbatten visited Australia in the 1920s.
The 4th son of James Shelton Newbon and his wife Ann, Charles Evans Newbon’s middle name was the surname of his father’s then business partner John Llewellyn Evans. Although he was born in Blackfriars, Charles grew up first in Blackheath and thereafter in Hammersmith. As a boy he attended King’s College, London (which was then split into senior and junior departments, the former being a finishing school for young gentlemen and the latter the school that Charles attended and which in 1897 moved to Wimbledon). He then went on to study law at Trinity College, Cambridge University, matriculating in 1857, and graduating as a BA in 1861 and as a Master of Law in 1864.
By entering the legal profession, Charles Evans Newbon was following in the footsteps of his father and elder brother Thomas, but whereas they (along with Charles’s younger brother Joseph) were solicitors, Charles Evans Newbon became a barrister. He was admitted at the Inner Temple while still an undergraduate at Cambridge on April 27th 1859 and was called to the Bar on April 30th 1862. Thereafter he made a very successful career in London as a barrister on the South-Eastern Circuit, practising at 3 King’s Bench Walk. Among the holdings of the British Library is a French text which he translated into English, entitled The Law of France upon Partnership and Companies, as contained in the Code Napoléon, the Code de Commerce, and the law of the 24th July, 1867 (sur les Sociétés), together with the law of the 22nd January, 1868, upon the constitution of insurance companies.
Civic and other duties
Like his grandfather James Newbon, his younger brother Joseph and his cousin Charles Crickmer, Charles Evans Newbon represented the ward of Castle Baynard on the Common Council of the City of London. He was also Master of the Bakers’ Company in 1894.
For some time Charles Evans Newbon, perhaps slightly surprisingly, held the post of Chairman of the Milford Docks Company in South Wales. In fact the shipping industry had been the trade of his mother’s family (the Brockelbanks), and it is also worth remembering that Charles’s wife was also a Brockelbank and so he would have had a double connection with this distinguished family; his brother Henry George Newbon was a ship owner at Milford Haven. Three vessels were registered at Milford to Messrs Newbon and Brockelbank in the 1890s: the Commodore (1891–94), the Hypatia (1893–1894) and Westward Ho (1892–94) – this was most likely Henry George Newbon, although it may have been Charles Evans Newbon. There is a reference in The Times in 1892 to Mr C. E. Newbon being deputy chairman of the Milford Docks Company, and to Mr M. Brockelbank, secretary, may well have been a cousin and was presumably the same gentleman as the ship owner. More surprising, perhaps, is a reference to Charles Evans Newbon in The New York Times in 1902, which runs as follows:
Charles Evans Newbon’s longevity is particularly noteworthy since none of his brothers lived beyond the age of 60. In addition, his father and grandfather died in their 50s and his great-grandfather in his 40s! The following obituary of Charles Evans Newbon appeared in the London newspaper the City Press on August 2nd 1929:
Florence Madeline Newbon died 5 years before her husband in 1924. After Joseph Newbon’s death in 1901, Charles Evans Newbon was for 28 years the sole surviving son of James Shelton Newbon. His only close relatives apart from his wife and eldest son, would then have been Joseph’s two children, Douglas and Muriel. It is not known, however, whether or not they were close to their uncle.
Charles and Florence had two sons, but only the elder, Herbert Alexander, lived to adulthood. Their younger son, Arthur Charles, died aged 18 of scarlet fever. Herbert became a successful barrister like his father and also practised at 3 King’s-Bench-Walk. He died unmarried in 1935, aged 77, at the Nightingale Nursing Home in Twickenham.
Charles Evans Newbon on the census
1841 - St Mary in the Castle, Sussex, with his parents and elder brothers
1851 - at home with family at Elms House, Hammersmith
1861 - at home with mother and 3 brothers in Hammersmith (father in Brighton)
1871 - at home with his wife and two sons and two domestic servants at 5 Richmond Terrace, Shakespeare Road, Brixton
1881 - at home with his wife and one servant at 57 Jasmine Grove, Penge
1891 - at home with his wife and son Herbert and two domestic servants at 21 West Cromwell Road,Kensington
1901 - at home with his wife and son Herbert at 33 Kestrel avenue, Herne Hill
At the fine old age of 90, Mr C. E. Newbon, who, for a number of years, was one of the representatives of the Ward of Castle Baynard at Guildhall, died a few days ago. He was a cultured man, learned in the law, well read in commerce, and a far-seeing municipal worker. Entering the Court of Common Council at a somewhat advanced age, he did not go far. His advice, however, was always acceptable, and in more than one direction he initiated reforms and developments which had been to the great advantage of the citizens and the ratepayers. In the Ward with which he was associated, he was held in affectionate regard as a kindly friend, a man of generosity, and one who always had a pleasant outlook on life.
Charles Evans Newbon (1839-1929)
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MILFORD HAVEN MAY BE NEW ATLANTIC TERMINAL
Likely to be chosen for the fast British-Canadian Line.
Chairman of the Milford Docks Company says he has reason to hope this decision may be made
LONDON, August 26. - Speaking at a meeting of the Milford Docks Company in London yesterday, the Chairman, Mr. Newbon, said he had reason to hope that Milford would become the terminal port of the British-Canadian fast mail service.
History, said Mr. Newbon, was now made by millionaires. One of these had told him that if the Britishers did not appreciate the advantages of Milford Americans would form a pool and utilize it. America was showing Great Britain that she must wake up, and Canada in this matter was very much awake.
Marine authorities agree that stating that Milford Haven, Wales, possesses the finest harbor in the United Kingdom. It is landlocked, easy of access, and is capable of containing an enormous number of ships............................