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

The editor of The London Journal of Arts and Sciences was a very well known Patent Agent in London named William Newton (1786-1861), He was one of the first and most prominent in the field. The Institute of Patent Agents in London have a bust of him over their entrance as one of the 'founding fathers'. His Patent Office at 66 Chancery Lane, London, was under the name of Newton & Berry. The patent in England for the Daguerreotype process was taken out in the name of his partner, Miles Berry.

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]. As to later generations, two of William Newton's sons and a grandson were also Patent Agents. The grandson emigrated to Australia, first living in Sydney in the late 1880s, then Hobart and finally Melbourne in 1908. Family members continued as patent attorneys (Callinan & Newton) which became Callinan Lawrie (at Kew, Victoria) after the last of the Newtons, Edward Percival Newton (still a Patent Attorney), died in 1968 [3].

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, 90.


Back to [previous page]     [Diorama in Great Britain]     [Home Page]