Most of the records relating to the village of King’s Cliffe can be found at the Northamptonshire Record Office, although some are at The National Archives. A rich variety of records fortunately survives from the period when the Newbon family lived in the village (the 17th and 18th centuries). For anyone wishing to look at these records, an obvious starting point is the book Tracing Ancestors in Northamptonshire by Colin R. Chapman, in which the holdings of the Northamptonshire Record Office are listed in detail along with those of other local collections.
The survival of manorial records is a somewhat hit-and-miss affair and tracking the records down can be a challenge. It is thus extremely fortunate that a complete set of court books for the manor of King’s Cliffe from 1715 to 1923 exists at the Northamptonshire Record Office. Those before 1734 are in Latin, while those after this date are in English. These documents contain many references to members of the Newbon family and are invaluable in corroborating information found in the parish registers, wills and so on. They also give very detailed information about property owned by the family.
The Northamptonshire Record Office holds many other documents that help piece together the story of the Newbon family - their extensive set of Northamptonshire and Peterborough marriage licences, for example, has
The document above, for example, is the will of William Goodyer of King’s Cliffe, proved at Peterborough Consistory Court on 24 October 1751 (Northamptonshire Record Office). William was the uncle of Walter Newbon’s mother and was evidently very fond of his niece’s family since they are major beneficiaries, much to the annoyance of some of William’s other relatives - this is a very important document because a court case ensued from it, the documents to pertaining which can be found in the Chancery section of The National Archives. Below is a codicil to the will, which gives an exceptional level of detail about the environment in which William Goodyer spent his final days.
proved very useful in establishing family relationships. As well as these standard sets of records, many miscellaneous documents flesh out the lives of members of the family. The document pictured here on the right, for example, is a ‘glebe terrier’ (i.e. a detailed account of the land owned by the church) of 1729, listing the names by which each tract of church land was known, and who rented it and at what price. Several members of the Newbon family appear, always with the surname NEABON, but the exact identity of ‘Mr Neabon’, who occupied the eastern part of the section of Park Field known as Norfolkheim and the eastern part of Short South Leys and the western part of Goose Holmes in Morehay Field, is not clear. This may well have been William Newbon the Younger, the senior member of the family, who died the year the ‘terrier’ was drawn up. It is worth noting that Mr James Neabon seems to have been distinguished from him. James occupied land in the western part of Short South Leys in Calvehay Field and the eastern part of both Morehay Leys and of Bloes in Morehay Field - this would either have been William’s younger brother or his son. It is also, perhaps, worth noting that not everyone listed was afforded the title ‘Mr’.
Glebe terrier of King's Cliffe for 1729
(Northamptonshire Record Office)
Map of King’s Cliffe, showing the fields mentioned in the glebe terrier, above
(Northamptonshire Record Office, document ref: 2B 149/254)
The keeping of parish records (i.e. baptisms, marriages and burials) began in 1590 in King’s Cliffe. Microfiche copies of the registers can be viewed at the Northamptonshire Record Office.