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Newbon Family History
Redbourn, Hertfordshire

The town of Redbourn lies on the Roman road Watling Street and because of its position it became in the 18th century a major centre of the coaching industry. Its main street was then lined with coaching inns, which upon the arrival of the railway were transformed into the numerous pubs that can still be found on the High Street today.

The origins of Redbourn’s links with the Newbon family of King’s Cliffe are not known but the lives of a number of inhabitants of these two localities intersect in interesting ways during the period from around 1740 to 1820, as follows:

The two sisters of Richard Newbon of Blackfriars moved to the Redbourn area:

Ann Newbon married John Dixon at some point in the late 1730s and the couple lived their married lives at Redbourn. As so many members of the Newbon family, John Dixon was initially a baker, although he branched out to become a ‘victualler’ upon taking over The George Inn in Redbourn, which he ran from 1748 until his death in 1791. In mentioning property transactions involving both John Dixon and Barbara Stonnell, the manorial court records of Redbourn provide conclusive evidence that John Dixon the victualler and John Dixon the brother-in-law of Richard Newbon were one and the same person. This means that William Newbon (son of Richard) and his wife Ann Dixon (daughter of John) were first cousins.

Barbara Newbon married Richard Stonehill (or Stonell), whose will, written in 1766 an proved in 1772, shows that he was a yeoman of Great Gaddesden, the next parish to Redbourn. After his death Richard’s widow Barbara married John Betts, a widower, at Great Gaddesden in 1779. She died in 1783 and was buried at Great Gaddesden, 3 years before her second husband. It seems that Barbara had no children.

The manorial court records of King’s Cliffe reveal that in the 1740s William Swepston of King’s Cliffe was living in Redbourn and owned property in both locations. He is most likely the maternal uncle of Walter Newbon.

Among the manorial records of King’s Cliffe can be found a reference to an Anthony Sharpe owning property in Redbourn. His connection with the Newbons is unknown, but he surely must have known of the family’s links with both locations. Perhaps it was even the case that Anthony had a connection with the Swepston family and it was because of this that William Swepston moved to Redbourn (possibly to become his apprentice?), although to date no evidence has been unearthed to back up this theory.

An indenture has been discovered recording that John Dixon, a baker of King’s Cliffe (born in 1715, the son of Richard Dixon) was apprenticed to Giles Law, suggesting the possibility that Ann Dixon’s father was born in King’s Cliffe and only later moved to Hertfordshire. It is not know where or when John Dixon married Ann Newbon.

The parish registers of Redbourn contain numerous references to the Dixon family.
The George Inn at Redbourn, run by John Dixon between 1748 and 1791

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All contents of this website © 2008 Stephen Willis