Thomas Earp who departed this life into the next, former Town Mayor and Newark MP, Died 100 years


Amongst the many well-known local people that are buried in Newark Cemetery include  among the many graves are Memorials to some of Newark’s greatest benefactors and people who have helped shape our town for the better

Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire NG24 1SQ

Thomas Earp large picture still hangs for over a 100 years in Newark Town Hall Council Chamber, with many other Alderman and former Mayors of Newark. Memorial In Memory To Our Heroes And The Fallen, among the many graves are memorials to many of Newark’s greatest benefactors who have helped shape Newark-On-Trent,  and are buried in Newark Cemetery, Nottinghamshire. Not Enough Credit Is Given to the people that’s  have been buried since 1856.  So I have started this website as a personal tribute.  Let Remember Thomas Earp Who Died over a 105 Years Ago on this date 17th  February 1910 . Thomas Earp 1830-1910 This grand gentleman of his time deserves a special mention.

He was  the friend and adviser to everyone who one sought his help. Thomas Earp was more then happy to support any deserving cause or Institution in vain and was sadly missed when he died.  His good friends and the people came out in large numbers, shops closed for his funeral. Buried amongst many of his Friends in Newark-On-Trent Cemetery plot number WP43


Thomas Earp, he has departed this life, let’s remember him in years to come.

Thomas Earp 1830-1910

This grand gentleman of his time deserves a special mention. I believe he should be remember as he was highly respected gentleman at that time.

Thomas Earp  came to Newark-On-Trent on 1st February 1845 at a young age of  29  arrived here from Derby after his adoption as a Parliamentary candidate.

A  Liberal Member of Parliament Constituency


January 31st, 1874

1874 Elected Member Parliament for Newark when his was in his 30’s Elected borough councillor East Ward.

until November 24th, 1885.

Thomas Earp was made an Alderman high-ranking member borough council, chosen by an elected members themselves. ( these has be discontinued) Justice of the Peace for town and county.

Newark town Mayor three times from 1869, 1891 and 1892.


A group outside Thomas Earp house, a new look after restoration work


Laurence Goff



Laurence Goff

His former house still standing a grade ll listed building

called White House

84 Mill Gate, Newark.


Laurence Goff

The white house is looking lovely once again

Thomas Earp 1830-1910 This grand gentleman of his time deserves a special mention, His former house has been restoration work and re-decorative white paint 



Laurence Goff

This is an Important part of Newark-On-Trent history, I could not forget to comment on the great person who lived until  age 79 which were ambitious years.

He has departed this life, let’s remember him

Laurence Goff

He lived  and died in his grand old house which  he loved. A new family has taken over his old home in 2010, work has started to bring it back as a family home. White house,  84 Mill Gate, Newark is situated on the South western fringe of Newark-On-Trent near the River Trent and the Farndon Road Marina, Newark. This listed building is situated within the Mill Gate Conservation Area dominated by Georgian and Victorian housing and wharf side developments. Thomas Earp came to Newark from Derby on 1st February 1845 at the age of 29,  when he was chosen as a Liberal candidate for Newark Constituency. On 31st January 1874. He was elected member of Parliament for Newark until 24th November 1885.


Before restoration work

 Thomas Earp choose a large home called White House at 48 Mill Gate, Newark which is grade ll listed building. He live next door to another Friend William Harold Cubley at 80-82 Mill Gate and Joseph Gilstap who lived at 109 Mill Gate, Newark in a large house called Trent view. All three were Alderman and former Mayor he serve three times 1869, 1891 and 1892. Mr Thomas Earp was involved and a partner in Trent Brewery of Richard, Earp and Slater 1864 he relinquish his managerial role. 1880 joined Sir William Gilstrap malting of co-founder of Gilstrap & Earp Co., these was one of the largest in the UK he retired in 1905. His Generous gift to Newark Benefactor and charitable patrons providing assistance in many forms to many good cause like education Magnus and Grammar School of Art, Science and Art, London Road. It was part of 60th Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria which was open on Thursday afternoon, 25th October 1900.

Newark was happy to have Alderman Thomas Earp generously contribution of £250 with many other good people also given a donation.

1902 After many years devoted service to Newark town money was raised by over 100 subscribers.  They handed  over a large portrait of Alderman Thomas Earp JP recognition for 40 years service. It was painted by Mr Harold Knight, a presentation took place a seat down lunch took place in the ballroom which was the chamber at the time. It hangs in Newark Town Chamber With many other Alderman and former Mayors of Newark.

He died at noon in his lovely home at White House 84 Mill Gate, all his true friends came out in large numbers. Buried in Newark Cemetery White House is situated on the south western fringe of Newark-On-Trent river and the Farndon Road Marina. The property is situated within the Mill Gate Conservation Area dominated by Georgian and Victorian housing and wharf side developments.

His former house still standing

Mr and Mrs Thomas Earp 1830-1910 This grand gentleman of his time deserves a special mention

Martha and Thomas Earp together in life and death.

Buried in Newark Cemetery

Plot Number WP43.

His picture hangs in Newark town hall chamber. A former member of Parliament Constituency{Newark}

January 31st, 1874 – November 24th, 1885.

Newark town Mayor three times from 1869, 1891 & 1892. Newark-On-Trent was once  England’s most beautiful old market towns, and also a centre of industry, agriculture and commerce. Thomas Earp in October 1880 became a

co-partner with his Malting  business with Joseph Gilstrap son William. Thomas Earp remained active and his retirement in 1905.

He  lived in his former  White House at  84 Mill Gate, Newark until his death five years later.

Martha Earp wife of Thomas Earp who departed this life into the next 22nd Nov 1888. Though they are hidden in the shadow of Death. They lives in the love that never dies.

Martha Earp wife of Thomas Earp who departed this life into the next 22nd Nov 1888. Though they are hidden in the shadow of Death. They lives in the love that never ends or dies.

He has departed this life, let’s remember him

It was nice to have a Street named after him next to Magnus School, Newark-On-Trent.

Thomas Magnus, with typical Tudor confidence, founded the free school he gave to Newark on the ideas relevant to his time. He did not have the doubts that became common later when education was given importance, not so much as a blessing for the individual, but a way of moulding society into a work force, or a means of class distinction.

By the time Thomas Earp was born in 1830 the Industrial Revolution required labourers who had received some education and funds were

made available nationally for school building, although most children left school before they were eleven years old. Ability to read was the main object of elementary education, but some taxpayers feared this

might give them access to seditious pamphlets or publications against Christianity. Many argued that further or secondary education could be dangerous for the poor, teaching them to despise laborious occupations. Even such subjects

as writing and arithmetic were questioned.

Fortunate towns like Newark that already had a free Grammar School faced difficulties because the church based education provided was

too narrow for new requirements. Enlightened headmasters and governors realised the need for change, but funding obtained from endowments was falling because of the decline in agriculture. As

the population and industry grew, so did the need for such subjects as geography, history, science, mathematics, modern languages, drawing, and book-keeping, while

newark civic trust I 13still retaining Latin. How to accommodate them in the dated buildings they had, find qualified teachers or the money to pay them and boys willing and able to absorb such a curriculum was a problem facing the school and its Governors.

The suggestion that fees could be charged, if only for certain subjects, was not favoured by many. Education faced a local and a national upheaval, but a solution had to be found.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man. When Thomas Earp came to Newark to start work at Harvey’s Wine and Spirit Merchants and maltsters

in 1845, the railway system was opening up trade right across the country. In the very next year, the first Newark line from Nottingham to Lincoln brought great opportunities for the brewing trade and also to the sixteen year old Thomas Earp. He became a partner in Harvey’s, then of Richardson Earp and Slater and finally established Gilstrap and Earp.

At his adoption as Liberal candidate in 1873 the Newark Herald commented on his outstanding speaking ability, noting “the relationship between Mr Earp and the working classes from whom he is removed by only one generation.” The time when Employers and Labourers were fixed not only for a lifetime but for generations into the sphere in which they had been born was coming to an end.

In 1870 a national system of schools was established so that every child had the opportunity of education and in 1891 education became compulsory. Great reforms were taking place when Thomas Earp entered Parliament in 1874 and

he was well aware that coming generations needed to be educated to meet the changes. Town dwelling working class people were given the vote in 1887 and farm labourers

were enfranchised in 1884. If employers and workers remained ignorant of each other’s contribution to society, dissension would threaten the prosperity promised by better transport and increased trade.

Despite the efforts made by Thomas Magnus to safeguard his bequest to the school, at various times in its history money had been taken for the use of the Parish Church and the town. In addition, efforts by

the Government to give a modern education to the whole population did not conform to the old ideas of a traditional schooling providing a ruling class through the universities, and schools like Magnus had been founded for just that purpose. At

a time when more money was needed to extend the curriculum and the buildings, less was available and a growing town needed sanitation and lighting, therefore the endowment funds were occasionally misappropriated. Thomas Earp was aware of this and also that despite the efforts of various headmasters to maintain standards at the school some boys were not receiving the best preparation for their future. Valuable potential for them and for the town was lost because the emphasis was still on the learned professions and those with more practical abilities were regarded as a lesser breed.

Some additions to the building were made in 1818, partly funded by the headmaster Mr Wittenoom who intended to use some of the accommodation for boarders. The fees they paid would go not to the school but to Mr Wittenoom. In 1820, there were ninety two boarders, those under twelve paying £34 a year and those over that age £40. They paid an extra 5guineas a year to be taught subjects in which they were really interested. The Foundation or free scholars received only a classical education. This was of little use to boys who would earn their living mainly by manual labour, yet they

were the very ones who could not afford the fees for extra subjects.

A science laboratory was helped into existence by the County Council in 1818 and in 1834 the Magnus Trustees built the English School, partly to conform to the new Government demands for the modernisation of education. For some reason, although free, the English School was not popular with the Newark tradesmen who preferred to send their sons to another school in the town called “The Classical

and Commercial Academy” situated in Castlegate and charging fees of twenty four to twenty eight guineas a year for boarders, with day boys paying four guineas a year. It appears to have been very successful, at times having over a hundred pupils.

Meanwhile the Magnus, under the headmastership of Mr Wittenoom was suffering from falling numbers. After he left in 1829, Joseph Cooke was there until 1854 and was followed by Henry Plater who stated his belief as a schoolmaster that “scholastic work (as I interpret it) is in its measure spiritual work combined with sound mental training, and I believe, and have always taught, that all education, worthy of the name, must be based on, and in accord with, the doctrines and teaching of the Holy Catholic Church.” There was some anxiety in the town that Mr Plater had Roman Catholic leanings and would influence the school in this way. He certainly was a High Churchman when such an attitude was unpopular, but because of his great sense of duty Magnus began again to prosper as a school. In 1877 he offered a re-organisation scheme which gained some approval from Thomas Earp who was chairman of the committee formed to modernise the school, working with the Endowed Schools Commission and the people of Newark, together with the Trustees of the Endowment. However Mr Plater

was firmly in favour of a First Grade School, something akin to Rugby, catering for boarders from outside the area, while Mr Earp wanted the school to modernise the curriculum and provide businessmen who would add to the prosperity of the town. In order to achieve his aims, Councillor Earp brought in fellow Liberals who gradually displaced Councillors and Trustees who supported Mr Plater’s ideals.

The number of boys in the school had risen to 126, seventy five of whom were boarders. Mr Plater had bought property in Appletongate for a chemistry laboratory and workshops equipped with lathes, proof that he was prepared to modify his attitude to classical education, but the charity Commissioners in 1887 found that good though his Scheme was, the available finance was insufficient. Parents lost confidence in a school

in spite of all Mr Plater’s efforts, and when he retired in 1893 the Governing body took a look at the school premises, compared them with the new board School that had been built in Lovers Lane, and advertised for a new headmaster.

The whole premises were then spring-cleaned, seating forms replaced with individual desks and separate lockers, lobbies with pegs for the boys to hang their coats and hats. Dormitories for at least thirty boarders had been refurbished.

The new Headmaster, Mr Noakes, by the end of his first year had done much to bring the school into the life of the town. He wished that the school should be mainly for the benefit of Newark and the district. Consequently a first public prize- giving was held in the Town Hall and the roll had risen to seventy eight boys.

In June 1895 the headmaster was requesting a gymnasium, a library and a more adequate playground

as well as a playing field reasonably close to the school.

The first Founder’s day was held with Holy Communion at 8.00am and another service at 10.00amwith a sermon preached by an Old Magnusian the Rev. F W Greenwood from Liverpool. This was followed by a cricket match at 11.30, lunch at half past one with many long speeches and then tea at five-o-‘clock.

Improvements to the Old Magnus premises continued to be made and academic progress was very satisfactory between 1895 and 1902, but the Inspectors of the Board of Education condemned the old school in 1897 and directed that proper buildings should be provided as soon as may be.

Since 1887 the income from the endowment had been insufficient and it had been impossible to save towards a new building, and if they broke into the capital it may prove impossible to maintain it, even with increased fees. Mr Earp, vice- chairman of the Governors, found and bought a site of six acres just off London Road which he presented to the school. His generosity prompted the Governors to launch an appeal in the neighbourhood and among old boys for between £3,000 and £3,500. Gifts came from other sources and Councillor Earp gave a further four acres of land.

Dr Noakes, who had made such an impressive start as Headmaster announced his resignation. This was unfortunate because his popularity had greatly helped the school and now it was felt the impetus of the Appeal would be lost, especially as Dr Noakes publicly regretted that so much money had already been spent on the old building and that a new one might prove an expensive mistake.

Councillor Earp however was determined to see a new school provided. As financial problems increased and progress almost ceased, he gave £2,000 and offered a loan of £3000. This failed to arouse interest and so he gave £5,000 outright.

The response of the public was still insufficient to convince the Board of Education and the County Council that there would be capital to cover all the outlay including equipment and increased expenditure on

staff, especially as the Governors were contemplating selling £1,800 of Government Stock from the Endowment, so reducing income. There was serious concern that the new school might become insolvent and have to be closed down. Governors began to lose interest and failed to come to meetings. Councillor Earp felt that some bore lingering grudges because of his attitude to Mr Plater, who though as a headmaster had aroused much criticism, had represented the old order of things in Newark.

Consequently, Councillor Earp on learning that the Board of Education was contemplating providing a new school for only a hundred boys, threatened to withdraw everything he had given and promised. He went to see the President of the Board and obtained the sanction of a school

for 150 boys, whereupon Mr Earp paid £290 for the revised architect’s fees. In all he is believed to have contributed more than £10,000 to the new building, but much more is owed to him for his commitment to a project he believed to be vital for Newark, and which was accomplished on May 22nd 1909

Margaret Granger

newark civic trust

Martha Earp together in life, and death her husband Thomas died 17 Feb 1910

Centenary of famous figure’s death 17th February  2010 EXACTLY 100 years ago Thomas Earp, one of the most important figures in Newark’s history, died aged 79. He lived in a grand place called White House… Our beautiful and historic Newark Cemetery, London Road, Newark, Nottinghamshire for over 150 years

This memorial website is Laurence Goff personal views, I have put it together in the public interest, and do not represent Newark Town Council . It dedicated to the thousands of  people since 1856.  Many are happy to have a resting place at Newark Cemetery for all to see and view. Having a means of further promoting Newark cemetery, and encouraging interested people to join the tribute.

Laurence Goff


3 thoughts on “Thomas Earp who departed this life into the next, former Town Mayor and Newark MP, Died 100 years

  1. Pingback: Remember those who have given up their lives for Freedom « Newark-On-Trent Cemetery UK

  2. I do not know whether it’s just me or if perhaps everybody else encountering problems with your blog. It appears as though some of the written text within your posts are running off the screen. Can somebody else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too? This may be a issue with my web browser because I’ve
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