Humphrey Newton (1466-1536): An Early Tudor Gentleman

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Boydell & Brewer Ltd, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 257 pages
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The public and political lives of the fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century gentry have been extensively studied, but comparatively little is known of their private lives and beliefs. Humphrey Newton of Pownall, Cheshire, offers a rare and fascinating opportunity to redress the balance, thanks to the fortunate survival of a commonplace book he compiled c.1498-1524. Drawing upon this unique manuscript, this interdisciplinary and multi-dimensional study of Newton explores his family life, landed estate, legal work, piety, and his literary skills [he composed nearly twenty courtly love lyrics]. It charts his social advancement and the self-fashioning of his gentle image, while placing him in the context of current discussions of gentry culture.

What makes Newton even more noteworthy is that he was among the unsung and little known stratum of English society historians have labelled the 'lesser' gentry. As such, this book provides the first comprehensive biography of an early Tudor gentleman.

Dr DEBORAH YOUNGS is lecturer in medieval history at Swansea University.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
the Newton Family
10
Humphrey and the law
41
land and lordship
69
Beliefs
106
lifestyle
143
writer
177
the man and his world
201
Appendices
213
Bibliography
219
Index
249
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