This profile is part of the New Haven Colony One Place Study.
Birth and Siblings
The birth and parents of Francis Newman, who would become the Governor of New Haven Colony, are unknown.
1 July 1644, "Captaine Turner, Mr. Malbon, Robt Ceely and Francis Newman were desired to view the said lands in question." The following month the same committee is requested to follow up. The interesting point is that Francis is referred to as Antient Newman.
Francis had a brother Robert Newman, who also signed the New Haven Fundamental Agreement. In fact, it was Robert's barn that was used for the meeting and signing of this agreement. Deacon Robert, returned to England near Stratford, co. Warwick. He had children (1)Bethia bp 2 Oct 1642; (2)Grace bp 24 Oct 1646; d. 26 Aug 1650 The baptisms/births of Robert's children would indicate that Robert was younger or at least not ancient.
Jacobus suggests that possibly Sarah, wife of Henry Rutherford, was a sister of the two men. This conjecture is based on the appearance of Newman as a given name among the Rutherford descendants.
Richard Newman, also in New Haven early, was probably not related to Francis.
Francis was married to Mary ______. Mary married (2) Rev. Nicholas Street & (3) Gov. Wm. Leete. She died 13 Dec 1683.
Wikipedia says that Newman came from England and settled first in New Hampshire. They seem to have gotten this information from a Geni.com tree, which of course has provided no evidence or source for this information. Then this Geni.com profile cites Wikipedia as a source for this information.
Edward Atwater, in "History of the Colony of New Haven," believed that Francis and his brother Robert came with Eaton and Davenport at the time of the original planting, perhaps from London.
Francis' life in New Haven, began in the ordinary fashion for New Haven Planters. He signed the New Haven Fundamental Agreement when it was initiated 4 June 1639. The agreement created a government in New Haven based on the principles of the Bible. 11 Jun 1640, Francis was made freeman and admitted to court. He took the Oath of Fidelity to the Colony of New Haven 1 July 1644, when it was first administered.
Despite the ordinariness of his first entries in the town record, Francis was a man with some status. He was a man of education. Except the one time when he was called "Antient" he was always referred to as Mr. Francis Newman, until he became Governor, at which point he was referred to as just Governor. He was frequently part of committees that viewed pieces of land, to determine how best to use them for the good of the community.
He was chosen, in Aug 1642, as an ensign in the New Haven train band, which held military training exercises for the future defense of the town. In 1645, he was given the rank of Lieut. (Ensign) in the Artilllery Co.; He was chosen as Lieutenant, 10 May 1652, for the train band. A month later the town recorded: "Francis Newman desired the Towne that they would chuse anothr Leivtennant, and release him from that service, for hee finds it will not stand wth his health to goe on in it; wherevpon he was freed from it,"
New Haven 1641
As a planter he received land granted by the town. The 1643 rate list lists Francis Newman: 2 persons, an estate of £160, about 77 acres, and charged a rate of 14s.2d His home lot in 1643 was in the upper right corner square. After Samuel Eaton returned to England, on 6 Feb 1648 [48/9], "Mr. Theophilus Eaton one behalfe of his brother Mr. Samuell Eaton, passeth ouer to Francis Newman the houses, home lote wth all accomodations & fences belonging to it wch was M. Samuell Eatons lott, given him by the towne at first." This lot was in the lower right hand square. In Dec 1658, "The Gouernour Mr Francis Newman passeth ouer to Wm Paine all ye out lands which belonged to ye lott, wch he bought, yt was Mr Samuell Eatons, viz. 45 acrs of vpland within ye 2 mile, 41 acrs of meadow, & 164 acrs of vpland in ye 2 division, & 9 acrs in ye necke, and his barne yt is vpon ye said lott, reserving the leantoo, & liberty for it to stand, to ye sd Francis Newman, ..." He also him sold Paine part of his house lot. William was to maintain a good fence. It would seem that the town had a great appreciation for Governor Newman, for on April 1660 Mr. Winthrop's house was in the town's hands, and it was decided to allow Governor Newman the use of it and all accomodations while he stays with them, then to his wife if she survive. If the town finds another public use they will pay Mrs Newman the value of it. In response the Governor acknowledged the "great love of the Towne" in giving him Winthrop's house, then asked questions to clarify and wanted to know who was responsible for repairs needed. Rev. Street, second husband of Mrs. Francis Newman, returned the house to the town in 1771.
Very early in New Haven's history, some of it's citizens purchased land in Delaware Bay, with the thought that they would set up trade there with the Indians and then set up a plantation and settle some of their people there for the advancement of religion. The Dutch and the Swedes, who also had claims in Delaware, opposed this move. Various attempts and near attempts to settle occurred over the years until the idea was abandoned sometime in the mid 1650s. Francis was involved in some of the committees and was asked to join the group at one point along with Samuel Eaton as magistrates.
Francis Newman, held the highest offices in the town and Colony. He was townsman in 1651 and treasurer the next year. He was the secretary for the town and in 1653 became the Colony secretary while also maintaining a position as magistrate. 22 May 1654: "Francis Newman was chosen Secretary for Newhauen for ye yeare ensuing, but before choise he acquainted the Towne that by reason of much wrighting wch he hath had in ye place, for allmost seuen yeares past, he finds his eyesight much decayed, and therefore desired some other may be chosen : wch they were not willing to doe, but desired him to make tryall for this yeare also, and if he found that weakness to continew, so as he could not comfortably proceed in the worke, he should haue libertie to lay it downe at any time before ye yeare be out, vpon wch condition he accepted it" August 1657: "Francis Newman propounded that some other may be chosen to supply the Secretaries place, because he is as he supposeth called to goe for England, but the Towne was vnwilling to it, and declared that if he would staye they would out of the Treasury make vp what the Jurisdiction alowes him 50l a yeare." He held the office of New Haven town Judge many times between March 1645 and May 1652. He served as the towns Deputy to New Haven Colony Legislature Oct 1647, May 1649, Sept 1649, May 1650, May 1651, May 1652. He was Commissioner to United Colonies, July 1654, May 1658, May 1659, May 1660. He was Assistant/Magistrate of the New Haven Colony, May 1653 - May 1657. 
He became the second Governor of the Colony in May 1657 and served in that capacity until his death.
A disturbing occurence due to his position as Governor occured in 1659. Henry Tomlinson was ruled against in the New Haven courts. His wife persuaded him to take the matter to Connecticut, which really had no say in what happened in New Haven Colony. Tomlinson had an order drawn to have the Governor, Francis Newman, arrested. This did not sit well with the magistrates in New Haven, who saw it as treasonous and sowing discord between colonies. He repented but was fined 100li.
Francis Newman died 18 Nov 1660, New Haven
mr "ffrancis Newman ye late Honr Gouvenor of this colony died Nouembr 18 1660," "in his chair as he was dressing" 
An inventory of Mr. Francis Newman, deceased, the late Honorable Governor of the Colony, was taken Jan. 8, 1660/1, by Richard Miles, John Wakeman. and John Cooper, and valued at £439: 02:07 The widow and appraisers made oath to it's correctness
29 May 1661 "Mr. John Wakeman propounded to the court concerning the late gouernrs sallary, (he being deceased,) how much they would allow of it to be payd, and it was vnanimously concluded to allow halfe the yeares sallary, and alsoe that ye charges of his funerall bee borne by ye jurisdiction, as Gouernr Eatons was."
He was not the father of Elizabeth who m. (1)Thomas Knowles and (2) Nicholas Knell
Following are brief synopsis of items in the town and colony records with page numbers.
Source: Hoadley1 -- Colony Records 1638 to 1649 --Freemans list 9; Fund Agreement 17; 11 Jun 1640 made freeman and admitted to court 35; 2 7m 1640 committee to view meadow before lots are cast 41; has meadow in the east meadow 50; 25 12m 1641 Committee to view common way 61; a question of exchanging land in neck for land in ox pasture 62; 1643 rate list 93; someone else lost Newmans sack of meal 123; 1644 committee for premises 126; oath of fidelity 138; committee to view Solitary Cove before division 142; called Antient Newman 146; committee to view land 150; minor testimony 176; 1645 town sold him lumber 187; r egarding land divisions 196; to view land 231; minor mentioned in court 236; 1646 testimony 239; spoke in court 263; reported on land in quarter 267; chosen "to look to the waights & licquid measures and yards and ells." 275; land viewer 292; 10 March 1646. Meetinghouse seats, third row Middle seats. 302; his wife 5th row middle seats for women 303; 1647 fence viewer 314; 6 July 1647 "A difference betweene Mr. Francis Newman, Thom Mitchell and Goodman Dayton was presented to the court. Vpon the courts advize that 2 men might be chosen to end it, by consent Mr. Crayne & Goodman Myles wer chosen." 321; an arbitrator 336 ; committee concerning land 375; Committee 376; committees to view parcels of land 383, 390, 408; a matter between Mr. Davenport and Henry Bishop 392, 401; a witness 421; 1648 appraises some cattle, and a house needing repairs 436, receives Samuel Eaton's lot 438; regarding land use 459; minor mention 466, rates committee 495; ensign, 76 ; surveyor of roads and bridges, 148; deputy, 156, 171, 274, 354, 381, 456; lieutenant of artillery, 158; desired to take notes of the court proceedings, 325; to act as secretary in absence of Rich. Perry, 304; deputy for jurisdiction, 354, 456, 481; secretary, 354, 381, 457; action of Lancelot Fuller against wife of, for slander, 473.
Source: Hoadley2 -- Colony Records: 1653-1665. -- Newman, Francis (index p 624); 25 May 1653 Magistrate p2; "The Court considering and seing by experience that in these troublesome times sundrie occasions come suddenly in wch requires the attendance of some wch may act in them as they shall conceive best for the publique good & safety, and the court being vnwilling to continew all here together for that purpose, did appointe Mr. Goodyere, Mr. Leete, Francis Newman, Mr. Gibbard, Benjamin Fenn & M. Crane, as a comittee, to whom they giue as full power to act in any sudden buisnes that may fall out, (so as they shall judg may bee for the good of ye jurisdiction,) as if they themselues were prsent & acted in it." p 3; 29 June 1653 Magistrate 4; 3 Aug 1653, Magistrate 18, 1 July 1653 p26; 4 Aug 1653 Magistrate p.29; 22 Nov 1653 Magistrate p47; 22 Nov 1653 Mr. Goodyear and Mr. Newman went to Stamford about some discontent there p48; 8 march 1653, magistrate p. 50; 22 March 1653 magistrate, p. 58; Re: previous trip to Stamford 61; secretary signed 22 March 1653 p66; 29 May 1654 magistrate p 77; 9 June 1654 magistrate p100; 23 June 1654 p.107; signed as secretary 117; 23 Aug 1654 magistrate 119; 18 Oct 1654 magistrate p 121; 26 Jan 1654 magistrate 124; 30 Jan 1654 magistrate 127; Regarding Delaware expedition 129, 2 Feb 1654 magistrate p 132; 17 Oct 1655 magistrate p 150; 19 Oct 1655 magistrate 153; 19 Oct 1655. Mr Hopkins and Mr Newman to write to their brothers regarding having the colony laws printed in England p 154, 26 May 1656 magistrate p 158; 25 June 1658 magistrate 182; 5 6m 1656 magistrate 187; 15 8m 1656 magistrate 189; 24th 12m 1656 magistrate p. 195; 25th 12m 1656 magistrate 198; 25th 3m 1657 magistrate p. 201; 21 8m 1657 magistrate 226; 31 May 1658 Governor p. 242; 20 Oct 1658 governor, but doesn't name him p 258; 1659 signed as governor 345; // 25 May 1653 chosen magistrate for New Haven & colony secretary for the year ensuing p 1; 31 May 1654, chosen magistrate & secretary for the year ensuing p 91; 30 May 1655 chosen magistrate & secretary for the year ensuing p 140; 28 May 1656 chosen magistrate & secretary for the year ensuing p168; 27 3m 1657 chosen magistrate & secretary for the year ensuing p 213; Chosen commissioner for united colonies, 1 year term, 5 July 1654 p111; 28 May 1658 chosen 3rd man (substitute) 168, 27 3m 1657 3rd man p 213; 26 May 1658 231; Chosen Governor 26 May 1658 p. 231, 25 May 1659 p 297, 30 May 1660 p. 359; arrested at Connecticut 309, 367; illness or governor (in general) referred to 373; 11 Dec 1660 meeting presided by Deputy governor, footnote says Newman died 18 Nov 1660, p.384; will of presented, 400 ; charges of funeral borne by public, 405.
Source: Dexter1: -- New Haven Town Records 1649-1662: Newman, Francis, index p. 543; Re: Delaware Bay 66; mention 130; Re: Delaware Bay 227; re: clearing land in the neck 234; 1646 seats 270; dogs were needed Francis had a dog 291; re: the sabbath, some of the farmers were at a great distance from church, what to be done 394; church still, the gov. also spoke that Mr. Auger the physick wasn't getting paid, and was going to give it up. 396; 2 Oct 1660 the gov was sick no court 461; 28 Nov 1660 Gov. died another deputy chosen 463; deputy to the General Court of New Haven Colony for year ensusing and deputy for New Haven Court, 6 May 1650 21, 19 May 1651 72, 10 May 1652 127, June 1652 another chosen in his place 131; Governor, Gov Eaton d. Jan 1658 successor Francis Newman 357; house and lands, border 236; Dec 1658 "The Gouernour Mr Francis Newman passeth ouer to Wm Paine all ye out lands which belonged to ye lott, wch he bought, yt was Mr Samuell Eatons, viz. 45 acrs of vpland within ye 2 mile, 41 acrs of meadow, & 164 acrs of vpland in ye 2 division, & 9 acrs in ye necke, and his barne yt is vpon ye said lott, reserving the leantoo, & liberty for it to stand, to ye sd Francis Newman, wch is at the southwest end next his house ; also yd said William is to have a peice of the home lott, wch is to run from ye corner post of ye barne yt is next the street, & next the dwelling house of ye said Francis, in a strait line to ye fence next ye street, with ye barne as it stands, & then from ye corner post of ye barne yt is next ye street at ye other end, in a straigt line to ye further end of ye lott next Mr Tuttles lott, so as it may hold ye same breadth at further end as it doth at this end, & that ye said Willm doth make & from time to time maintaine a good fence betwixt ye said yards & lotts." 371; April 1660 Mr Winthrop's house was in towns hands, it was decided to allow Governor Newman the use of it and all accomodations while he stays with them, then to his wife if she survive. If the town finds another public use they will pay Mrs Newman the value of it. 449; 21 May 1660 Gov. acknowledge the "great love of the Towne" in giving him Winthrop's house, then asked questions to clarify and who was responsible for repairs 453; inventory 471; 7 Oct 1771 The house was given back to the town by Rev. Street 489; Lieutenant, 10 May 1652 127, "Francis Newman desired the Towne that they would chuse anothr Leivtennant, and release him from that service, for hee finds it will not stand wth his health to goe on in it; wherevpon he was freed from it," June 1652 131; Secretary for Newhaven chosen for year ensuing, 6 May 1650 21; 19 May 1651 72; 10 May 1652 127; 23 May 1653 180; 22 May 1654 "Francis Newman was chosen Secretary for Newhauen for y° yeare ensuing, but before choise he acquainted the Towne that by reason of much wrighting wch he hath had in ye place, for allmost seuen yeares past, he finds his eyesight much decayed, and there fore desired some other may be chosen : wch they were not willing to doe, but desired him to make tryall for this yeare also, and if he found that weakness to continew, so as he could not comfortably proceed in the worke, he should haue libertie to lay it downe at any time before ye yeare be out, vpon wch condition he accepted it" 212; May 1655 241; May 1656 277; 18 3m 1657 313; August 1657 "Francis Newman propounded that some other may be chosen to supply the Secretaries place, because he is as he supposeth called to goe for England, but the Towne was vnwilling to it, and declared that if he would staye they would out of the Treasury make vp what the Jurisdiction alowes him 50l a yeare." 321; townsman one man from each qtr chosen to be townsmen, Nov 1651. 101; treasurer town of New Haven for year, 10 May 1652 127; Mrs. Mary, 1646 seats 272, house 449, house 454; see, also, M. Street.
↑ 3.03.13.23.188.8.131.52 Jacobus, Donald Lines (compiler). Families of Ancient New Haven, Vol I-VIII. and Index Vol IX New Haven: 1931. Reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1974, 1981, 1997. Originally published as New Haven Genealogical Magazine, Volumes I-VIII. Rome, NY and New Haven, CT 1922-1932. p. 1313
↑ 9.09.1 See the Colony and Town Records cited as Source: Hoadley1, Hoadley2 and Dexter1
↑ 10.010.110.210.3 Jacobus, Donald Lines (compiler). "List of Officials Military and Civil." Families of Ancient New Haven, Vol I-VIII. and Index Vol IX New Haven: 1931. Reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1974, 1981, 1997. Originally published as New Haven Genealogical Magazine, Volumes I-VIII. Rome, NY and New Haven, CT 1922-1932. "List of Officials" p. 1024
Farmer, John. A genealogical register of the first settlers of New England. Lancaster, Mass., Carter, Andrews & co., 1829. p. 205
Dwight, Theodore. The history of Connecticut, from the first settlement to the present time. New York: Harper, 1841. pp 147, 152]
Dictionary of American Biography, Including Men of the Time: Containing Nearly Ten Thousand Notices of Persons of Both Sexes, of Native and Foreign Birth, who Have Been Remarkable, Or Prominently Connected with the Arts, Sciences, Literature, Politics, Or History of the American Continent. Giving Also the Pronunciation of Many of the Foreign and Peculiar American Names, a Key to the Assumed Names of Writers, and a Supplement. Boston: Houghton, Osgood 1879. p. 656