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William Newmarch

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William Newmarch (1820-1882) FRS


1882 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM NEWMARCH was born at Thirsk, Yorkshire, on the 28th January 1820, and died at Torquay, on Thursday, the 23d March 1882.

Commencing his career as a clerk in the house of Messrs. Leatham, Tew, & Co. of Wakefield, he subsequently joined the staff of the Agra Bank. Concurrently with his employment in these spheres of work, he was a regular contributor to the Morning Chronicle and other journals of that day.

His knowledge of the principles of banking and of business generally soon gained for Mr. Newmarch the steady and influential support of the most distinguished City men, and especially of Mr. William Tooke, Alderman Thompson, M.P., and the late Lord Wolverton. Under the advice of these friends, Mr. Newmarch, in 1851, quitted his position at the Agra Bank for the secretaryship of the Globe Insurance Company.

Mr. Tooke was then desirous of continuing his book on the "History of Prices, and of the State of the Circulation from 1792;" and Mr. Newmarch co-operated with him in writing two volumes as a continuation of that work. Mr. Newmarch rendered good service to the community by the sound evidence he gave as a witness before various parliamentary committees on currency matters, income tax, &c. Long associated with the Statistical Society of London as one of its honorary secretaries, he took the utmost possible interest in its meetings, and long discharged the duties of editor of its journal.

In 1869-71 he was elected to the presidentship of the Society, in succession to Mr. Gladstone. He was also for many years secretary, and one of the most active members of the Political Economy Club and of the Adam Smith Club, now dissolved.

In 1862, Mr. Newmarch quitted the service of the Globe Insurance Company, and accepted a managerial position in the banking-house of Messrs. Glyn, Mills, & Co., where he remained until 1881, when his constitution, never very robust, gave way under a stroke of paralysis. Since then he had rallied to some extent, so that his family had hopes of his recovery, and he was still able to retain a directorship of the Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada, and a trusteeship of the Globe Million Fund. It was his intention to devote some of the leisure of his retirement to bringing his "History of Prices" down to the present date, had he been spared to do so.

Mr. Newmarch for more than thirty years contributed some of his best work to the public press; in the earlier part of his career to the Morning Chronicle, and afterwards chiefly to the Economist. In 1853, the Horning Chronicle published a series of his papers on the new supplies of gold, which attracted much notice. Reprinted in London in 1853, in a volume of 122 pages, these papers attained a further publicity, and were enriched by some additional chapters, containing an analysis of the Bank of England circulation, to which the then Governor, Mr. J. S. Hubbard, contributed some materials, including valuable notes upon the gold coinage, and on the quantity of English gold coin derived from the melting of American coin.

In 1855, Mr. Newmarch published an interesting essay "On the Loans raised by Mr. Pitt during the First French War, 1793-1801, with some Statements in Defence of the Methods of Funding Employed." The arguments in this essay were supported by very elaborate calculations respecting each of the loans, in which Mr. Newmarch had the co-operation of Mr. Frederick Hendriks, at that time actuary of the Globe Insurance Company.

In 1857-59, Mr. Newmarch read two elaborate papers to the Statistical Society on the "Electoral Statistics of the Counties and Boroughs in England and Wales during the Twenty-five Years that have passed since the Reform Act of 1832." In 1859 he published anonymously a pamphlet entitled "Political Perils in 1859," which contains a defence of Lord Derby's Government on the question of political reform. In 1861, he presided over the Section of Economic Science and Statistics at the meeting of the British Association at Manchester.

Since the death of Mr. Newmarch, the Council of the Statistical Society have arranged for a "Newmarch Memorial Essay," to bear the title, "On the Extent to which Recent Legislation is in accordance with, or deviates from, the True Principles of Economic Science, and showing the Permanent Effects which may be expected to arise from such Legislation."

To his many other business occupations, Mr. Newmarch added that of Director of Palmers Iron and Shipbuilding Co|Palmer's Iron and Shipbuilding Company, a position that afforded him an intimate acquaintance with the affairs of the iron trade, in which he always took a deep interest. On the formation of the British Iron Trade Association in 1875, it was joined by Mr. Newmarch, who was unanimously elected its first Treasurer, a position which he continued to hold until he was succeeded in 1880 by Mr. David Dale.

Mr. Newmarch became a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1871, but he never took any active part in its proceedings.


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