William Newton

William Edward Newton

Alfred Vincent Newton

William Newton was born 31 Mar 1786 in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England. He was the son of John Newton and Mary Newton. Married with Jemima Newton he was the father of William Edwards Newton, the oldest son born on March 31, 1818 and Alfred Vincent Newton the second son born on  April 24, 1820 in London. Other children are : John Arnold Newton born in London on May  4, 1822, Phoebe Jemima Newton in 1824, Sarah Emma Newton in 1826, Julia Mary Newton on November 26, 1828,  Amelia Hepzibah Newton on October 12, 1830, Emily Rebecca Newton on August 6, 1832 and Anna Maria Newton on October 17, 1834.

W. Newton was brother of John Newton; Elizabeth Newton; Mary Newton; James Newton; Henry Newton and 1 other

The first patent agents were Patent Office officials. From the scant evidence, it appears that James Poole was the first to advise inventors on patent applications. As Clerk for Invention between 1776 and 1817 he was also to combine private and public business. There are no record to indicate the extent of his business, but his son, Moses Poole, reported in 1849 that his father always acted as a patent agent. Moses Poole, who took his father’s position in 1817, was however, to become one of the most prominent patent agents in the unreformed period. In 1821 he formed a partnership with the engineer William Carpmael, who has set up on his own account two years earlier and by 1829 their business was flourishing,

William Newton started up as patent agent in 1819 when employed as draftsman in the Enrolment and Rolls Chapel Office (both in the Patent Office), claimed that Poole had almost a monopoly of the patent agent business.The formation Poole-Carpmael partnership was regarded by later patent agents as the start of the profession and there is little doubt that they and Newton, controlled most of the business in the 1820s and 1830s.  

William Newton Patent Office at 66 Chancery Lane, London. By 1840 Miles Berry joined William Newton. The partnership was under the name of Newton & Berry. The patent in England for the Daguerreotype process was taken out in the name of Miles Berry.

In 1850 William Newton observed that patent property has become of enormous value within the last few years (and) it has called forth a class of men that occupy an intermediate position. Although Newton does not bother to say who these men were or what they did, he was referring to patent agents.                 By 1851 they were an established part of the scene and roughly 90% of all patents granted passed through their hands.

William Newton was also Editor of The London Journal of Arts and Sciences.. The Institute of Patent Agents in London have a bust of him over their entrance as one of the “founding fathers”.

The Newton family had also long been established in London in the late 18th century and early 19th century as globe makers and map engravers. Studies of William Newton and his ancestors have been published in the Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society (London) by John R. Millburn in 1989[1] and by Brian Gee (1992,1993)[3].

William Edward Newton and his brother Alfred Vincent Newton and a Wilson Newton’s grandson were also Patent Agents.

William Newton died on Jul 10, 1861.

William Edward Newton died on April 1, 1879.

Alfred Vincent Newton died on June 19, 1900 in Herne Bay, Kent, England.

The Wilson Newton grandson emigrated to Australia, first living in Sydney in the late 1880s, then Hobart and finally Melbourne in 1908. Wilson

Newton family members continued as patent attorneys (Callinan & Newton) which became Callinan Lawrie (at Kew, Victoria) after the last of the Newtons, Edward Percival Newton, died in 1968 [3].

Eventually Newton's grandson sold his business to Carpmael, according to his great-granddaughter Ethel Winifred Newton.





1. John R. Millburn, ‘Patent Agents and the Newtons in 19th–century London’ Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society (London), 1989, No. 20, pp. 3–6

2. Brian Gee, ‘The Newtons of Chancery Lane and Fleet Street Revisited. Part I: A Question of Establishment’, Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society (London), 1992, No. 35, pp. 3–6; ‘...Part II: The Fleet Street Business and Other Genealogy’, 1993, No. 36, 12–14

3. Barton Hack, A History of the Patent Profession in Colonial Australia, Institute of Patent Attorneys of Australia: Melbourne 1984, pp. 4–5, 58, 72, 74, 75,

The Patent System and Inventive Activity During the Industrial Revolution, 1750-1852 by H. I. Dutton, Manchester University Press, 1984.

A brief note by R. D. Wood on William Newton (1786-1861) and his family of Patent Agents in London and Australia





Managed by: Ben M. Angel, still catching up  (2012)