Population: 1911, 450; 1921, 441; 1931, 446.
This is the northernmost parish in Warwickshire,
being bounded on the north-west by Staffordshire and
on the north-east by Derbyshire and, for about 500
yards, Leicestershire. Where these two latter counties
meet was the extra-parochial liberty of Noman's Heath,
containing about 15 acres of common. A hamlet of
squatters' cottages grew up here and in 1863 the church
of St. Mary the Virgin was built; it is of brick in the
Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, and
a turret containing one bell. In 1873 Noman's Heath
was constituted an ecclesiastical parish, with the addition
of part of Newton, but for civil purposes it was amalgamated with Newton Regis in 1887. (fn. 1)
The village of Newton Regis lies centrally, grouped
round roads from Austrey on the south-east and Seckington on the west, and another running south from the
Tamworth-Ashby de la Zouch road. Most of the
houses are modern, but at the west end of the street are
three or four thatched cottages showing 17th-century
In 1795 an Inclosure Act (fn. 2) was passed affecting 600
acres in Newton Regis and Clifton Campville (Staffs.).
No mention of Newton Regis occurs
in the Conqueror's Survey. Dugdale considers that at this time it was part of
Seckington, on the ground that in the time of Henry II
the church at Newton was a chapel of the latter place. (fn. 3)
It may perhaps correspond to the 2½ hides in Seckington held in 1086 by Juhell of William son of Corbucion. (fn. 4)
It evidently came into the king's hands, for in 1159 (fn. 5)
land in Newton is recorded as granted to Geoffrey
Savage; the value, which is there given as 100s., is put
at £10 in the rolls for the following years, (fn. 6) so that the
grant must have been made about the middle of 1159.
In 1195 Geoffrey Savage the younger paid 100 marks
to have his father's lands in Warwickshire, but his
right to a knight's fee in Newton was disputed by
Thomas de Arden, (fn. 7) probably a maternal uncle. (fn. 8)
The manor seems to have remained with the Savage
family until the death, in 1259, of William Savage, (fn. 9)
who then held NEWTON of the king in chief for the
service of half a knight's fee. His next heirs were
Thomas de Ensor, the son of his sister Lucy, and
Philippa, wife of Hugh de Meinyl, his other sister.
The manor was divided between them and in 1285
they claimed jointly the right of view of frank-pledge,
the assize of bread and ale, gallows, infangentheof and
utfangentheof, soc and sac, and waif; of these, view of
frank-pledge and waif only were allowed. (fn. 10)
In June 1285 Thomas de Ensor died, (fn. 11) holding of
the king in chief for the service of ¼ knight's fee at
KING'S NEWTON one messuage, 2 virgates, and the
moiety of a windmill and of a foreign wood. The
moiety of the manor was then worth £9 19s. 1d. a
year, excluding the moiety of the advowson which he
also held. As he left no issue, this moiety was again
divided between his great-nephew Richard de Herthill
and his sister Amice wife of Sir Walter de Miridene.
The latter married Andrew de Derley as her second
husband and died without issue in 1302, (fn. 12) when her
share reverted to Richard de Herthill, who thenceforward held the complete moiety. At his death in
1325 (fn. 13) it was valued at £9 0s. 9d. and held by the
service of ¼ knight's fee and the finding of an armed
horseman for 20 days, if there should be a war in Wales.
When Richard de Herthill died in 1389 it was
stated that he held the moiety jointly with his wife, (fn. 14)
but the sheriff was ordered to inquire into the matter, (fn. 15)
and eventually returned that he was seised alone, and
that his heir was William his grandson, aged 11, a
minor in the custody of the king. (fn. 16) Until he came of
age the moiety was committed to Sir Kynard de la
Bere, (fn. 17) and later to John Sapurton and Robert Rudyngton (fn. 18) for an annual rent of £6 3s. 8d.
William Herthill died in 1402 without issue, aged
21, (fn. 19) leaving as his heir his aunt Elizabeth wife of
John Francis, who thus became seised of 2/3 of the moiety,
with the reversion of the third part, at that time held
as dower by Mary widow of Richard Herthill.
Elizabeth had previously married Edmund Cokayn,
and in 1417 she gave to her son Sir John Cokayn a quitclaim of various manors, among them Newton Regis. (fn. 20)
After this it remained, with the manor of Pooley
in Polesworth (q.v.), in the Cokayn family until 1598
when Edward Cokayn sold it to a number of persons, (fn. 21)
some of whose names appear between 1600 and 1646
among the sixteen inquisitions post mortem on various
people who died seised of tenements in Newton Regis,
held of the king in chief.
Herthill. Argent two bars vert.
Meinyl. Vairy argent and sable.
The second moiety, which came into the possession
of Phillippa de Meinyl on the death of William
Savage in 1259, at her death in 1285 (fn. 22) was valued at
£8 14s. and consisted of one mansion and 2 virgates
of demesne land. In addition there were 5½ virgates of
land with 11 tofts in villeinage, and moieties of the
windmill and the foreign wood. All this, with the
moiety of the advowson, was held of the king in chief
by the service of ¼ knight's fee and the provision of a
horseman for 40 (sic) days for the army of the king in
Wales. This moiety remained in the hands of her
descendants. On the death of Hugh de Meinyl, senior,
in 1333 the lands passed by a settlement to Hugh his
(illegitimate) son, aged 31. (fn. 23) In 1350 this Hugh received a grant of free warren in his demesne lands of
Newton. (fn. 24) At his death in 1363 (fn. 25) his son Richard
succeeded him. He alienated a messuage called 'Le
Wardeberne', parcel of the manor, to Henry Stanydelf
and Maud his wife. (fn. 26)
Sir Richard Meinyl died in 1376, leaving Ralph his
heir, a minor. One-third of the moiety was given to his
widow as dower, (fn. 27) the remainder was committed to
Richard of Seckington, clerk of the Exchequer, to farm
until the lawful age of Ralph. (fn. 28) The latter died in
1389, (fn. 29) leaving four daughters, the eldest seven years
of age; so the lands were once more in the king's hands. (fn. 30)
The farm of this moiety was demised for £60 to William
Bagot in 1389. (fn. 31) The four daughters of Ralph Meinyl
each received one-quarter of the moiety in 1399. (fn. 32)
Joan the eldest daughter married as her second
husband Sir Thomas Clinton of Amington, (fn. 33) and as
his widow in 1453 had licence to convey 'the manor'
of King's Newton to six persons, evidently trustees. (fn. 34)
The second daughter Elizabeth married William
Craweshawe. (fn. 35) Their daughter Margaret married Sir
Ralph Shirley of Stanton Harold, and the property
remained in this family until 1641, when Sir Thomas
Shirley sold 'the manor', with view of frank-pledge and
advowson, to Thomas Levinge, Thomas Willington,
and other tenants. (fn. 36)
The descent of the manor, which from the beginning
of the 17th century is often called Newton-in-theThistles, is obscure. Robert Bates of Little Chester
(Derbyshire) died in 1626 seised of a manor and tenements here, which he had bought of Edward Blunt
and had settled in 1603 on the marriage of his son
Nathaniel. (fn. 37) In 1641 Richard Bates, presumably
Nathaniel's son of that name, was dealing with the
manor of Newton-in-le-Thistles. (fn. 38) In 1669 and in
1697 Erasmus Alport was lord of the manor. (fn. 39) It
seems, however, probable that there were several
reputed manors in the parish, and the chief manor, to
which the presentation of the church was attached,
appears to have been divided into thirds. Sir Francis
Burdett presented in 1660 and 1687; but in 1686
presentation was made by Robert Phillips and John
Gorton jointly, and in 1730 by Sir Robert Burdett,
Sir Theodore William Inge (son of Elizabeth daughter
of Robert Phillips), (fn. 40) and John Gorton, (fn. 41) by which
three persons manorial courts were held in 1743. (fn. 42)
Gorton seems to have sold his third of the manor about
1765, (fn. 43) and Sir Francis Burdett apparently parted with
his rights in 1794. (fn. 44) In the Inclosure Act for Newton
Regis in 1795 William Phillips Inge (fn. 45) claimed to be
seised of 2/3 of the manor and Jane Princep, widow,
claimed the rest. Captain William Inge and Mr.
William Princep shared the manorial rights in 1850, (fn. 46)
but about 1900 William Princep (son of John Princep
who died in 1893) sold his share to William Frederick
Inge, and Miss Inge is the present lady of the
Shirley. Paly or and azure a quarter ermine.
Inge. Or a cheveron vert with three leopards' heads argent thereon.
The parish church of ST. MARY
stands at the higher east end of the village
street and consists of a chancel, nave,
south porch, and west tower with a spire. The lower part
of the tower dates from the early 13th century; it was
probably an addition to a 12th-century or earlier main
body. The chancel was rebuilt (c. 1320), and had a
south vestry: the nave was rebuilt soon afterwards
(c. 1330–40), and the west tower was remodelled and
heightened and the spire erected. Clearstories were
raised above the chancel late in the 14th century and
above the nave about a century afterwards. The
vaulted south porch—an unusual feature—was added
probably in the 15th century. The tower was reinforced in the 18th century by adding an extra thickness of 12 in. or more to the west face. The whole
edifice was restored internally in 1905 and externally
The chancel (33½ ft. by 17 ft.) has an early-14th-century east window of five lights and foiled intersecting tracery in a two-centred head; the jambs are of
three chamfered orders.
In the north wall are two lower windows, each of
two plain pointed lights below a semicircular head
with a chamfered segmental rear-arch; the jambs are
of a single splay, the head of two chamfers. In the west
half of the south wall is a window of two trefoiled lights
and a foiled spandrel in a similar head: the jambs are
like those of the east window. At the west end of the
wall is a blocked rectangular low-side window, and
between the two a priests' doorway with two-centred
head of two stones. In the east half is a doorway with
wave-moulded jambs and pointed head, which opened
into a former small vestry. There are also two clearstory
windows on each side, each of two trefoiled lights under
a square head, all probably of the late 14th century.
A tomb recess occupies the position for an Easter
Sepulchre in the north wall. It dates from c. 1320 and
has moulded jambs and a segmental-pointed head with
a hood-mould which is continued down to the floor.
It contains the carved slab described below.
In the south wall is a piscina of the same date; it has
a moulded cinquefoiled pointed head, the middle foil
being V-shaped; in the sill are two octofoiled basins.
A sedile west of it is probably later and is much plainer;
it has projecting chamfered pilasters and square head.
The walls are of squared rough ashlar (mostly grey)
up to the base of the clearstory and have plinths of two
chamfered courses, gapped for the former vestry: one
corbel for the former roof is left in place. At the angles
are deep diagonal buttresses of two stages with saddlebacked stepped offsets. The north wall has an intermediate buttress. The clearstory is of ashlar of large
courses, mostly red sandstone; the plain string-courses
at its base have projecting rings for the passage of rainpipes. The east wall has a low pitched gable; the plain
parapets have weathered copings.
The pointed chancel arch of the 14th century is of
two chamfered orders dying on the side-walls.
The low-pitched roof, covered with slates, is prob
ably modern, but below it are the remains of a late15th-century flat wooden ceiling of four bays divided
by moulded cambered cross-beams. That near the
chancel arch is original, carried on wall-posts, and
formerly had curved braces under its ends. The other
three beams, stop-moulded, are of later date, some with
wall-posts on moulded wood corbels. The moulded
purlins are original; the original middle longitudinal
beam is missing. On the tie-beams are short king-posts.
Above the chancel arch are the scored lines of a former
lower gabled roof.
Plan of Newton Regis Church.
The nave (about 41 ft. by 24 ft.) has two north and
two south windows of c. 1330–40, each like its opposite.
The eastern is of three ogee-headed lights, the middle
and largest with a cinquefoiled head, the others trefoiled, and net tracery in a two-centred head. The
western is of two trefoiled lights and a large octofoil.
The north windows have splayed jambs; the southern
jambs are wave-moulded. The north and south doorways have chamfered jambs and ogee-pointed twocentred heads; the northern is walled up.
The late-15th-century clearstory has two windows
each side, the eastern of three and western of two lights,
all with trefoiled heads below four-centred main heads;
the jambs and heads are hollow-moulded outside.
The walls are of small coursed ashlar up to the clearstory, which has larger courses. The plinths are hollowmoulded, and the parapets embattled. The north wall
has a large modern eastern buttress and 18th-century
large intermediate buttress, both perhaps concealing
original buttresses. At the west angle is an ancient diagonal buttress, and there is a little of the original west
wall north of the tower. In this is cut a plain rectangular
squint (from the outside towards the high altar); it
pierces as well the north-east diagonal buttress of the
tower, which encroaches on the nave inside. The
south wall has three original square buttresses. Over
the west buttress is a wider buttress corbelled on the
west face and tabled back to the upper diagonal buttress.
On the eastern is scratched a mass dial.
The low-pitched roof is of five bays and may be of
late-16th- or 17th-century reconstruction. The wallplates, the six main cross-beams, and the purlins and
ridge-pole are all moulded alike and have masons' joints
where they cross each other. Above the roof, on the
east face of the tower, is the weather-course of an
earlier higher pitched roof.
The west tower (about 11½ ft. square) is of three
stages divided by moulded string-courses, and has a
moulded plinth and embattled parapet. At the angles
are diagonal buttresses, finished with crocketed gabled
heads and tabling. Parts of the lowest stage are of 13th-century grey rough ashlar in small courses; the remainder of larger and finer ashlar of the 14th century. Both
eastern buttresses appear inside the nave.
The archway to the nave has early-13th-century
responds, in grey stone, of two orders, the outer square,
the inner chamfered and having simple capitals; the
two-centred head in pink sandstone may be later than
the responds. In the north and south walls are 13th-century lancets; the northern has roughly tooled internal splays to jambs and head: the exterior has an
ogee head—a 14th-century alteration. The southern
lancet was similar, but the splays were subsequently cut
back to widen the light and in modern times it has been
walled up flush with the outer face. The west window
is of the 18th century, with a four-centred head: the
inner splays and three-centred rear-arch are of brick.
Its ledge is that of the original lancet, and the two
bottom courses of the original splays survive. The external wall-face flanking the window is 18th-century
thickening which, below the window, is extended outwards in six courses of chamfered plinth reaching to
the outer angles of the diagonal buttresses.
The second stage has 14th-century ogee-headed
lights to north, south, and west; the bell-chamber
windows are of two trefoiled ogee-headed lights and a
quatrefoil in a two-centred head.
Above is an ashlar octagonal spire. It has two ranges
of spire lights, the lower of two pointed lights under
round arches; they were originally gabled, but have been
damaged or altered; the foliage finials remain. The
upper range, also of two lights, retain their gabled
The south porch is probably of the 15th century.
It is built of pink ashlar and has a pointed entrance and
side windows (restored) of two square-headed lights
with ancient segmental-pointed rear-arches. An unusual treatment (for this county) is the stone roof,
which has three moulded ribs forming two-centred
arches; the soffit between the ribs is cemented. The
side walls have buttresses at the north and south ends.
The north-western partly conceals the nave-window;
the north-eastern, close against the 14th-century buttress, abuts the nave wall instead of the porch wall.
The walls have parapets with moulded string-courses
A few fragments of ancient coloured glass survive.
In the east window is a small 14th-century shield with
the three leopards of England. The easternmost north
window of the nave clearstory has some ancient gobony
border of plain blue, and yellow conventional foliage,
and the west light has also a red roundel inclosing a
yellow and white rectangular drawing of a nimbed
saint, probably 16th century. In the opposite window
are some reset fragments (15th century) of tabernacle
work, also pieces of yellow and green vine border, ruby,
&c., mostly 14th century, all in a rectangular panel.
There is some 14th-century mural painted decoration in the splays of the two north windows of the nave;
the eastern has a series of red cheverons and the western
has scrolled tendril foliage. East of the former window
is also a 16th- or 17th-century painted panel containing the Lord's Prayer in English.
Against the north wall are several pieces of 17th-century oak panelling with friezes of foliage carving.
Similar carved panels remain in a front bench in the
The font is modern. Another, disused, of the 18th
century has a cup-shaped bowl with a band of basket
fluting around the top edge.
At the west end of the nave is preserved one moulded
post of a 15th-century screen; and a plain board, 17th
century, inscribed 'RW AW TW IW post mortem
speramvs vitam', is on the north wall at the east end.
In the 6 ft. 2 in. north recess of the chancel is laid a
tapering slab or coffin-lid, 2 ft. 9 in. wide of c. 1320,
carved in low relief with the half-figure of a priest in
mass-vestments between a chalice and book, all in the
quatrefoil head of a long cross; the foiled ogee-arched
base of the cross contains a Paschal Lamb. On each
side of the stem is a kneeling figure of an acolyte holding a candle. Above the quatrefoil is a crocketed gable;
the tympanum of its upper part is carved with the risen
Christ, with two small angels holding the grave-clothes
whence He has risen, and with a Holy Dove over Him:
the lower part, over the sides of the quatrefoil, have
censing angels. It is flanked by crocketed pinnacles.
The edge of the slab is moulded and carved with ballflowers joined by wavy stems.
Erect against the north wall is another slab, 6 ft. 5 in.
by 3 ft., with the effigy in incised outline, of a 15th-century priest in mass-vestments, under a canopy head.
At his feet on the dexter side is a small standing figure
of a girl with hands in prayer. A border has the faint
remains of a black letter inscription beginning 'Hic
jacet', but the name is illegible and apparently the date
of the death was not filled in.
In the nave under the south block of seats is a worn
slab incised with a long cross having a floriated head.
Whether medieval or not is uncertain.
There are three bells, one of 1602 by Newcombe
and the second of 1642 by Hugh Watts of Leicester.
The third bell was cast in 1930 by Taylor of Loughborough and included parts of an old bell found in
the Rectory grounds. On this could be deciphered
'JOSEPH ELSONCH WARDEN . . .OF LONDON
FECIT 1769'. The bells were dedicated by the Bishop
of Birmingham on 16 May 1931. (fn. 47)
The communion plate includes a silver chalice and
paten of 1731, and a large paten of 1760.
The registers begin in 1591.
When the manor was divided the
right of presentation was exercised
alternately by the Herthill and
Meinyl families. In 1382 (during the minority of
Ralph Meinyl) the king sent a letter of the signet cancelling the presentation of John Scarle, and censuring the
Keepers of the Great Seal for making the presentation
as if they had the power of the Chancellor, which power
was vested in the King if the office of Chancellor was
void, and he had already presented John Menhir, his
chaplain, to that living. (fn. 48)
The advowson continued to follow the descent of
the manor, but their rights were retained by the Burdetts and in 1795 the Inclosure Act states that Francis
Burdett claims two turns in three of the advowson, and
William Phillips Inge the third turn, and the representation of these two families shared the advowson until
1909, when Mrs. W. F. Inge bought the Burdett
share; she afterwards made over her interest to her
eldest daughter, Miss Hilda M. Inge. (fn. 49)
In 1929 Seckington was included under Newton
Regis, the patrons of the united benefice being Miss
Inge and the Birmingham Diocesan Trustees. (fn. 50)
Robert Spencer (son of Christopher
and Elizabeth Spencer), who died in
1728, charged his estate at Newton
Regis with a yearly payment of 10s., 5s. thereof to be
paid to the Rector of Newton Regis for preaching a
sermon and the other 5s. to be distributed to the poor
of the parish. The charge was redeemed in 1924 in
consideration of £20 Consols producing a yearly income of 10s.
Robert Spencer (son of John and Sarah Spencer),
who died in 1721, gave 10s. yearly to the Rector of
Newton Regis for preaching a sermon and 20s. yearly
to be given to the poor of the parish who should attend
the preaching of the sermon. The yearly payments
were charged on land situate in the parish, but it seems
doubtful whether any payment has been made since