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The Widdringtons of Newton and Newton Hall
'Fortiter Defendit Triumphans'
The Widdringtons of Newton were powerful land owning gentry associated with Northumberland and recorded as far back as the 12th century with a history coloured by Royalist favour, Jacobite sympathies and the demise of a Baronetcy.
The Widdrington Baronetcy was created for William Widdrington, son of Sir Henry Widdrington (d.1623) in 1641. At the time, William was M.P. for Northumberland in both the Long and the Short Parliaments, but was expelled from office on the 26 August 1642 as a Royalist 'betrayer'. William 2nd Baron Widdrington (d. 1675) demonstrated continued allegiance, accompanying the Marquis of Newcastle to the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 and was painted by the Flemish Master working in the English Court, Jacob Huysmans (1633-1696).
William, 4th Baron Widdrington (1677/8-1743) took a leading role in the northern English contribution to the Jacobite uprising of 1715. Condemned to death by the House of Lords in 1716, he obtained reprieve at the eleventh hour under what was known as the 'Act of Grace' in 1717. The forfeiture of his estates and title remained however, and upon the death of Nathaniel, the last in the male line of the Widdringtons of Hausley in 1780, the Northumberland estates passed out of the family until revived by descendants of Samuel Cook (b. 1722) for whom Newton Hall was built in 1772. Captain Samuel Edward Cook, R.N. (1787-1856), whose mother Sarah Brown was the great-niece of Nathaniel Widdrington, assumed the name Widdrington upon the death of his mother in 1840, along with his co-heir General Sir David Tinling Widdrington, K.C.H.
Captain Widdrington, R.N, by purchase, succeeded to the estate at Newton Hall where he lived with his wife, Dorothy, daughter of Alexander Davison (1750-1829) of Swarland Hall, Northumberland. Alexander Davison distinguished himself as confident and agent to Admiral Lord Nelson during his lifetime and continued as a friend and advisor to Emma Hamilton following the death of Lord Nelson in 1805.
Upon the death of Captain Widdrington, R.N., Newton Hall passed to his nephew, Shalcross Fitzherbert Jacson (1826-1917) who undertook a number of additions and embellishments to the 18th century core of the house. In the same vein as his uncle, Jacson assumed the name of Widdrington upon inheriting Newton Hall in 1856 and later served as High Sheriff of Northumberland from 1874. The office of High Sheriff had been held by members of the original Newton branch of the Widdringtons, including William, 1st Baron Widdrington of Blankney (1610-1651) who began his tenure in 1637. Assuming the Widdrington name aligned Cook, Jacson and their successors with the lineage of the powerful land owning Barons and defenders of the Crown whose name had been synonymous with Newton for over seven centuries.
The sale of the contents of Newton Hall follows the death of Captain Francis Newton Heron Widdrington (1920-2008).