Stephen Newton

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Stephen Newton


Stephen Cox Newton was an Old Victorian who represented, and captained, Somerset County Cricket Club in the late 19th century. During a 14 year first-class career, he also represented Cambridge University, Middlesex and the MCC

Early life

Newton was born in Nailsea, Somerset, to Robert Newton and Elizabeth Catherine Cox. He attended Victoria College, where he played in the school cricket team for seven summers, from 1866 to 1872, and topped the batting averages in five of those years (1867, 1868, 1869, 1870, and 1872). He also captained the side during his last three years at the school.

He continued his education at Cambridge University, attending Corpus Christi College. He played five first-class matches for the university, all in 1876. He was awarded his cricketing Blue, scoring seven runs at number ten during a nine wicket Cambridge victory over Oxford University.

Somerset County Cricket Club

Newton assisted Somerset from 1876 until 1890. The county cricket club had only been formally set-up the previous year, and was seeking first-class status. The majority of matches played by Newton for the county between 1876 and 1878 are recorded as being for the 'Gentlemen of Somerset', and are not categorised as first-class cricket, and although those from 1879 onwards are recorded as being for 'Somerset', they are generally regarded as remaining a 'second-class' of cricket.

In his official history of the club, Peter Roebuck describes him as one of the talents of the side. He took on the captaincy of the club in 1880, a season in which he passed 30 runs in five of the recorded seven innings in which he played.

His highest score during these years for Somerset was the 91 which he scored in 1876 against the Gentlemen of Dorset. Team-mate Bill Roe described Newton as a useful batsman who favoured playing balls on his pads. In his obituary, Newton was described as being "a most excellent field", particularly strong at cover-point, while Haygarth's Scores and Biographies characterised him as "a fine and free hitter, and a most excellent field".

Somerset gained first-class status in 1882, and retained it for four seasons. Newton was the club captain for the first three of these seasons, becoming the county's first official captain. He did not, however, appear in Somerset's first three matches: as a schoolmaster in London, he only played for the county in late-July and August.

In his first match as a first-class cricket captain, he top-scored in both innings, with 57 and 67, as Somerset lost to MCC by one wicket. He then made 80 in the side's next match, a victory over Hampshire.

Playing at Lord's

From the 1885 season, all of Newton's first-class appearances were made for either Middlesex or the MCC at Lord's. Having been a member of the MCC since 1878, Newton made his debut for the club in first-class competition against Nottinghamshire in May 1885. He appeared for the club five times during 1885.

Teaching and later life

Outside of cricket, Newton worked as a schoolmaster and from 1888 was headmaster of Loudon House School in St John's Wood, London. He died on 16 August 1916 in a nursing home in Ipswich, Suffolk after an operation.

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