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Francis William Newman

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– Born in London to John Newman, a banker, and Jemima Fourdrinier.
– Educated at Ealing School and matriculated at Worcester College, Oxford in 1822.
– Obtained a double first class and became a fellow of Balliol College in 1826.
– Resigned fellowship in 1830 due to religious scruples about infant baptism.
– Tutored in Delgany, County Wicklow, influenced by the Plymouth Brethren.
– Married Maria Kennaway in 1835 and Eleanor Williams in 1878.
– Became guardian of Edward Conyngham Sterling after John Sterling’s death.

– Worked for Henry Parnell and joined a failed mission to Baghdad with Anthony Norris Groves in 1830.
– Became classics professor at Manchester New College in 1840 and later a Latin professor at University College, London in 1846.
– Engaged in a bitter quarrel with Matthew Arnold in 1860.
– Advocated for women’s rights, rational living, and unique clothing choices.

**Beliefs and Movements**:
– Started as a fervent evangelical and later turned into a deist.
– Associated with Unitarians, Baptists, and freethinkers in London.
– Believed in versatile theism and had a believers baptism in 1836.
– Supported the social purity movement and opposed centralized state control.
– Critiqued Thomas Malthus’ population doctrine and supported land reform.

**Professional Contributions**:
– Produced a criticized translation of the Iliad in 1856.
– Published essays on a future church, the organization of philanthropy, and radical individualism.
– Chaired a meeting against the Contagious Diseases Acts in 1869.
– Supported Matthew Vincent’s scheme for smallholdings for agricultural laborers.
– Became President of the Vegetarian Society in 1873 and opposed dogmatic raw foodism.

**Controversies and Opposition**:
– Faced suspicions about his views on eternal punishment.
– Criticized for his anti-vaccination stance and opposition to medical advice.
– Engaged in debates with figures like Matthew Arnold and Henry Alleyne Nicholson.
– Declined to respond to Henry Alleyne Nicholson’s pamphlet.
– Involved in opposition to the Contagious Diseases Acts in 1869 and chaired a meeting against the Acts in 1873.

Francis William Newman (27 June 1805 – 4 October 1897) was an English classical scholar and moral philosopher, prolific miscellaneous writer and activist for vegetarianism and other causes.

Francis William Newman
Francis William Newman by J. Banks
Born(1805-06-27)27 June 1805
London, England
Died4 October 1897(1897-10-04) (aged 92)
Occupation(s)Scholar, philosopher, writer, activist
Maria Kennaway
(m. 1835; died 1876)
Eleanor Williams
(m. 1878)
FamilyJohn Henry Newman (brother)

He was the younger brother of John Henry Newman. Thomas Carlyle in his life of John Sterling called him a "man of fine attainments, of the sharpest-cutting and most restlessly advancing intellect and of the mildest pious enthusiasm." George Eliot called him "our blessed St. Francis" and his soul "a blessed yea".

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