John Newton

Place of Birth
High Legh Cheshire

  • Born      14 June 1829
  • Died       12 December 1896

John Newton was born on the 14 June, 1829 and received his early education at the Lymm Grammar School, where he displayed a marked talent for mathematics. He was articled to  C. E. Cawley, (for nine years M.P. for Salford), with whom he remained for a time after his pupilage had expired. While with C E Cawley he was occupied on the surveys and construction of the Manchester, Bury and Rossendale Railway (later part of the Lancashire and Yorkshire system) and of waterworks for Burnley, Heywood and other places. In 1853 he was engaged by (later Sir) Robert Rawlinson to take charge of the drainage and water-supply works at Morpeth, Northumberland, and in the following year he was appointed Water Engineer of Swansea. In 1856 he became Borough Surveyor of Preston, where he remained until 1866, when he returned to Manchester to join C E Cawley, in partnership under the style of Cawley and Newton, with offices at Carlton Buildings, Manchester, and Whitehall, London. For a short period  J. M. Smith, a nephew of Mr Cawley, was also a member of the firm. C E Cawley died in 1877, and J M Smith retired shortly after from ill health. In 1881 John Newton was joined by Robert Vawser who, however, retired in 1883 and was succeeded by Mr Charles Edward Newton. the name of the practice being changed to John Newton and Son. As a hydraulic engineer John Newton had an extensive practice and was responsible for the design and construction of water, sewerage and drainage works for many towns, not only in England but in Ireland, including Altrincham, Bowdon, Chorley, Dartmouth, Dundalk, Paignton and Preston.

During the busiest part of his life he was actively engaged in farming at High Legh and at Altrincham. The latter farm he had in 1869 laid out to receive the sewage of Altrincham, and the result of his experience made him a strong advocate for the land treatment of sewage where practicable. The Altrincham farm, though not widely known, has been for twenty-eight years one of the most successful and economical examples of sewage treatment in the north of England.

John Newton died at his residence, Barrington House, Altrincham, on the 12th December, 1896, after a short illness from pneumonia.  He had served as Chairman of the Altrincham District Council in 1896. And had been connected with the Institution of Civil Engineers for nearly forty years, having been elected an Associate on the 3rd February, 1857, and transferred to the class of Member on the 31st March, 1868.

Obituary              ICE Minutes of the Proceedings, Volume 127,  1 January 1897 , pages 381 –382



Name Designation Formed Dissolved Location
Cawley and Newton civil engineers architects 1866 1877 Manchester
Newton and Vawser civil engineers architects 1881 1883 Manchester and London
Newton John and Son Architectural practice 1883 1895 Manchester
Newton John Son and Bayley civil engineers architects 1895 1915 Manchester