Friends of Hastings Cemetery
Francis Edward Newton
Rev Rector of St. Matthews Church, St. Leonards on Sea.
Wife of Francis Edward Newton
Francis Giesler Newton
Son of Rev. Francis Edward and Ellen Newton.
Architect and Archaeologist.
"Laid to rest at Assiut, Upper Egypt on Christmas Day."
Hastings and St Leonards Observer -
DEATH OF THE Rev. F. E. NEWTON. A BIT OF HIS LIFE.
Those who were privileged to listen to the sermon preached by the Rev. F. E. Newton at St. Leonards Church on the sad occasion when the Rev G. G Gardiner passed away heard these words: "If he (the Rev. Mr. Gardiner) could come back and speak to us once more he would say: “Think of yourselves, brethren. Give all diligence, beloved, to make your calling and election sure. The time is short; you too must soon loose your cable, and cross the narrow sea of death."
Little did those of us who knew him think that the preacher's own body would so soon be laid to rest under the sod near his late beloved Rector. The late gentleman was a man who lived for the good of others, and strived as far as he possibly could to impart to those around him the truths he so lovingly championed.
One great thing against his work was that his constitution was by no means strong, and time after time he was implored not to expose himself to any risks while visiting in some of the unhealthy of his parish. But up to the last he stuck to his work as a man, ani in whatever part one might turn their steps nought but good concerning him was to be heard. "He is just the sort of man," said one prominent townsman, "one would like to have near us at any critical time in our life to speak words of comfort and solace, so that we might Endure with patience, and strive against our woe.
The deceased caught a cold, but not much notice was taken it until, while conducting his confirmation class, he was taken suddenly ill, and had to take to his bed. Several days were spent in anxiety, and he got worse, but the crisis was passed safely, and it was thought that he might recover. Then followed series of relapses, one of which, as all by this time know, ended fatally, and in his 45th year, leaving a widow and three children (two boys and a girl), the beloved Rector passed away. We believe he hails from the North, being born at Leeds, in Yorkshire. He was educated at the London University, at which place he took his B.A. In 1871 he took priestly orders, and after serving as a curate for a short time in some parish the name of which we have been unable to ascertain, leaving this, he came to Hastings, and in 1872 was appointed first curate to the Rev. G. G. Gardiner. His work in this capacity was greatly valued by all who knew him, and every branch of the parochial work found a friend in the new curate.
About this time Miss Giessler, a sister of the Rev. Haddon Parks, the present rector of Wittersham, and late rector of St. Leonard's, started a Home for Poor Children in Westernroad, where the little ones recovering from illness were enabled to spend week or two at the seaside. Mr. Newton's work took him to the Home, and he became introduced to the lady who bad been so kind to the children, and who afterwards became Mrs. Newton, in the year 1874 (January 8th). People who were not favourably disposed to this work hinted that Mrs. Newton made very good thing out of the proceeds, but when Mr. Newton left, and obtained a curacy in Ipswich, the accounts showed that Mrs. Newton had been paying something like £200 a year out of her own pocket. The late Mr. Beech carried the work on, and when Mrs. Newton came back to Hastings, on her husband being appointed to the living of St. Matthew's, the Convalescent Home for Poor Children at Bopeep was built, to be afterwards opened by the Prince of Wales.