Members of the Newbon family have made London their home for over 300 years. For
a large part of that period they lived in the City of London, where many records
of their lives (concerning family events, business and recreation) survive in the
records of the Guildhall Library and the London Metropolitan Archives in particular,
as well as in national and other local repositories.
Several branches of the family can be found in the capital during the 18th century,
but it was in 1766 with the arrival of Walter Newbon as an apprentice baker that
the family put down deeper roots in London which have survived to this day. Walter’s
apprenticeship indenture shows us that his father was William Newbon, a miller of
King’s Cliffe in the county of Northamptonshire, and it is this one document that
allows us to trace the family back through a further century and a half with confidence.
Walter Newbon married in Blackfriars in 1775 and thereafter settled in that area,
where the family of his distant cousin Richard Newbon had grown up 40 years previously.
Members of the Newbon family continued to be connected with this area (known in the
19th century as Doctors’ Commons because of the presence there of the famous legal
courts of that name) until the early years of the 20th century. After the area had
ceased to be their home, it remained for a time the business address of members of
the Newbon family; still later (in 1919-1920), Charles Evans Newbon (Walter’s great-grandson)
represented the ward of Castle Baynard (one of the two City wards, or administrative
districts, covering Blackfriars) on the Common Council of the City of London. This
is the last known tie between the family and the City. By this time many descendants
of Walter’s had moved out of the City itself, some toward the western suburbs, some
south of the River Thames and others to North London. Southwest London has continued
to be the part of London most connected with the family.
The Newbon story after Walter Newbon (1750-1798) is essentially that of the families
of two of his sons, James and Charles. Although they were both successful men who
ran their own businesses, the stories of their descendants differ considerably and
mirror the different faces of Victorian London.