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Newbould, Rev. William Williamson (1819 - 1886)


Journal of Botany 24, 1886


1819 Eccleshall Bierlow
1838 Trinity College, Cambridge
1846 September Comberton, Cambridge
1851 Census - Comberton, Camb.
1861 Census - 2 Heathfield-terrace, Chiswick
1871 Census - 118 Albany-street, Marylebone
1879 Kew Green (DNB)
1881 Census - Montague House
1886 Montague House, Kew Green



Additional links

Annotated family
Link to specimens catalogued by Herbaria at
Biographical notes from the Leeds Mercury, 1903 (based largely on Babington's obituary.)link
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Biographical notes

The Rev. William Williamson Newbould was considered by his peers to have been among the most significant British botanists of the 19th century; a reputation he acquired despite the fact that he published very little in his own name. He was morbidly self-effacing and is mainly known as a collaborator with other botanists, numbering amongst his friends Prof. C. C. Babington, H. C. Watson and J. G. Baker. Although an ordained priest he had resigned his curacy by 1860 and devoted the rest of his life to botanical pursuits, with the exception of a short appointment at Honington in the 1870s. Honington was the seat of his close friend Rev. Frederick Townsend.

He married in 1855 and raised a family of six children, the youngest, Sir Babington Bennett Newbould, achieving fame as judge in the High Court of Calcutta. Despite this, by 1871 he no longer appear to have been living with his wife and family, perhaps explaining in part Babington's cryptic obituary comment "... for his life was not altogether a happy one, owing to circumstances which it is not necessary to state here, and which do not in any way concern the readers of this Journal." His latter years were spent in lodgings on Kew Green.
1819 : Birth 1819 April 13: Baptism of William Williamson, son of Henry and Mary Newbould, at Eccleshall-Bierlow, Yorkshire.
Most authors give his date of birth as January 20.
1838 : Trinity College Admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge. He was awarded BA in 1842 and MA in 1845. (Venn)
1842 March 1 : Botanical Society of Edinburgh Contributed botanical specimens from Britain and the continent to the herbarium of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh. He contributed specimens from France the following year.
1846 : Curate, Bluntisham
1846 September : Curate Comberton To William Borrer, Esq.
St. John's College, Cambridge, June 12, 1846.
My dear Sir, - The Rev. W. W. Newbould now lives at Bluntisham, St. Ives, Hunts. He will leave that place at Midsummer, and after September will be curate at Comberton, near Cambridge. …
Yours very truly, Charles C. Babington.
1848 July 15 : Comberton "Newbould brought me Orobanche picridis from Comberton. I went there with him and gathered plenty of it in a field just within the parish of Toft, at the end of a field lane to the left of the road."
Journal of Charles Cardale Babington
1855 October 18 : Marriage 1855 October 24 - ¹Morning Chronicle
MARRIED. On the 18th inst., at Child Okeford, Dorset, the Rev. William Williamson Newbould, son of Henry Newbould, Esq., of Sharrow-bank, near Sheffield, to Mary Louisa, younger daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Fendall, late of the 4th Light Dragoons.
1863 : Linnean Society He was elected a fellow of the Linnean Society
1874 : Honington In 1874 William's friend, Rev. Frederick Townsend, succeeded to the family estate of Honington, Warwickshire. Around this time William took a temporaty appointment at Honington (All Saints' church is adjacent to the Hall.)
1886 April 16 : Death 1886 April 24 - ¹Manchester Times
DEATHS. NEWBOULD. - On the 16th inst., at Montague House, Kew, The Rev. William Williamson Newbould, M.A., aged 67.
[His death from pneumonia followed by heart failure followed an accident in which he as knocked down by a cab. (Allen, DNB) Obituaries were published in several journals, the item by his friend Charles C Babington, from the Journal of Botany, is linked here]

1 Transcription reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive

Managed by Richard Middleton; last updated 16 January 2018