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William Leighton Newham
Number of games in database: 1
Years covered: 1883

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(born Mar-14-1822, died Oct-16-1903, 81 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]
William Newham was born in Scotland and studied at King William's College, Isle of Man, in 1843. But the school was destroyed by fire in January 1844, and he continued (MA) at St. John's College, Cambridge. He worked as assistant master at Marlborough College in Wiltshire, before taking the position in 1851 as rector of the Royal Grammar School in Worcester. There he was also a clergyman without cure of souls. However, in 1854 he became vicar in Barrow upon Soar, Leicestershire, and married the same year to Adelaide Frances Durvall (1832-1925), daughter of a solicitor. They seized the glebe* in Barrow-on-Soar, and it became their home for 32 years (1857-1889) until they moved to Aldworth, near Reading, her hometown. They had nine children. The son Frank# spent a career in Cyprus, and William died there in 1903.

In between the duties he also found time for chess. He played for the Leicestershire Chess Club from 1862 till 1889 (+16 =17 -23) and is known from 24 tournaments in England and Scotland between 1868 and 1891, including London (Vizayanagaram) (1883).

Main sources: and various records and school registers. *Wikipedia article: Glebe. #Wikipedia article: Frank Darvall Newham

 page 1 of 1; one game  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. W L Newham vs Gunsberg 1-0461883London (Vizayanagaram)C48 Four Knights

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: William's backgrounds is complicated. I'll make a few notes here:

Thomas Inman was married to William's sister Jennet: (

<Daniel Newham (whose brother, William Leighton Newham, A.M., formerly fellow of S. John's college, Cambridge, is now vicar of Barrow-on-Soar, near Loighborough) was the eldest son of Mr. Daniel Newham, who had for some years a mill at Preston for spinning linen yarn. The son married, in 1843, Mary, daughter of J. Bluett, esq., advocate, Douglas, Isle of Man. He afterwards entered Emmanuel college, Cambridge, but did not graduate, going out with bishop Perry to Melbourne in 1847, where he became the first incumbent> (http://booksnow2.scholarsportal.inf...)

indicates that William''s father was spinner Daniel Newham at Preston. We find him in the 1841 census:

Daniel Newham 60 Flax Spinner born in Scotland
Jennet Newham 45 born in Lancashire England
Daniel Newham 20 born in Lancashire England
Jennet Newham 20 born in Scotland
Margaret Newham 20 born in Scotland
William Newham 15 born in Scotland

Note that William 15 should be born ca. 1826 (not 1823).

<Newham, William Leighton, born March 14th, 1823. Left Christmas, 1843. Son of D. Newham, Douglas, I.O.M. Cummingís. Scholar, St. Johnís College, Camb., 1844. Fellow 1847. 25th Wrangler.16th 1st Class Classics 1847. D. 1848. P 1849. V. of Barrow-upon-Soar, Leicestershire, 1854-1889. V. of Aldworth, Berks, 1889-1900. Retired. Nicosia, Cyprus.> (

This shows that William was in King William's College, Isle of Man, for 1 year (1843). That college burn down on 14 Jan. 1844, which will explain why he continued at Cambridge. <D. Newham, Douglas, I.O.M> means Douglas in Isle of Man, where his father lived after Scotland but before Preston. <Nicosia, Cyprus> ?? This may explain why William can't be found in the 1901 census.

<Baptism: 11 Jun 1824 St John, Preston, Lancashire, England Leighton Newham - [Child] of Daniel Newham & Jennet>

Not William Leighton Newham but just "Leighton Newham", baptised in Preston 1824 even if born in Scotland 1823.

<1815--Daniel Newham, Esq. of Glasgow married J. Hyndman, niece of William Leighton, Esq. of Preston.> The Glasgow connection... apart from many other sources mentioning a Daniel Newham merchant company in Glasgow.

Go figure!

Apr-14-13  Nosnibor: <Tabanus> Whilst Rev.Newham lived in Barrow-on-Soar he played for the Leicestershire Club ,usually in one of the top four boards,winning 16 games,drawing 17 games and losing 23 games.This was between 1862 when he first joined the club and 1889 when he left for Aldworth.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: <Nosnibor> Thanks for that! I presume you are right and added this info to the bio.

I wonder if a picture of him exists somewhere.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, William Newham.
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