The scarce cased Baronet’s Badge of the United Kingdom, version with surround incorporating roses, thistles and shamrocks, silver-gilt and enamels, hallmarks for London with date letter ‘o’ for 1929, reverse engraved: ’Newnes of Wildcroft 1895’, as worn by Sir Frank Hillyard Newnes, C.B.E., O. St. John, 2nd Baronet, who succeeded to the Baronetcy on the death of his father in June 1910. Like his father he was a British publisher, businessman and Liberal politician.
The Baronet’s Badge of the United Kingdom, version with surround incorporating roses, thistles and shamrocks, silver-gilt and enamels, hallmarks for London with date letter ‘o’ for 1929, reverse engraved: ’Newnes of Wildcroft 1895’, fitted with neck ribbon, and housed in its fitted presentation case.
Condition: enamel work with slight loss to red area on left hand side of the crown, Good Very Fine.
Together with the recipient’s mounted group of miniature medals, a group of three comprising The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Commander, C.B.E., Civil Division, silver-gilt and enamels; The Order of Saint John, Commander, silver and enamels; Coronation Medal 1953. Mounted swing style as worn, and housed in a Spink & Son case.
Also the book ‘The Life of Sir George Newnes’, by Hulda Friederichs, this being a modern paperback reprint of a history of the original 1st Baronet (13th March 1851 – 9th June 1910), an English publisher and editor and a founding father of popular journalism. Newnes also served as a Liberal Party Member of Parliament for two decades, being the Liberal MP first for Newmarket and later for Swansea. In 1895 he was created a baronet "of Wildcroft, in the parish of Putney, in the London; and of Hollerday Hill, in the parish of Lynton, and Hesketh House, in the borough of Torquay, both in the county of Devon.
The Baronet’s Badge above was worn by the 2nd Baronet, Sir Frank Newnes (28th September 1876 – 10th July 1955), who succeeded to the Baronetcy on the death of his father in June 1910. Like his father he was a British publisher, businessman and Liberal politician.
Frank Hillyard Newnes was born in Manchester, his father being Sir George Newnes, and his mother was Priscilla Newnes (née Hillyard) the daughter of the Reverend James Hillyard. He had an older brother who died aged eight years and whose death was said to have devastated his father. Newnes was educated privately before attending Clare College, Cambridge, where he graduated with MA and LL.B. degrees in 1897.
In 1913 Newnes married Emmeline Augusta Louisa (Lena), the daughter of the late Sir Albert de Rutzen, who had held the office of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate at Bow Street. Lena Newnes became a well-known society hostess and philanthropist, raising thousands of pounds for various charitable and educational causes. She was a Dame of Grace of the Order of Saint John. She died in 1939. Newnes married again in 1946. His second wife was Dorothy (née Darlot), the widow of Stephen Delmar-Morgan, who was originally from Perth, Western Australia. There were no children from either marriage.
On leaving university in 1897, Newnes followed his father into his publishing business, eventually becoming President of George Newnes Ltd. He also became Chairman of Country Life, Ltd and a director of other companies in the publishing trade, including The Westminster Gazette, the Liberal-supporting newspaper founded by his father. The paper was dubbed the “pea-green incorruptible" – Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone having personally approved its green colour. The firm was based at 17-21 Tavistock Street in premises leased from the eleventh Duke of Bedford,
Newnes also had other commercial and investment interests, and served on the boards of the Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society and Norwich Union Life Insurance Society. He also served as a director of City & Commercial Investment Trusts Ltd and Redeemable Securities Trust Ltd and was Chairman of Associated Weavers, Ltd and Armoride Ltd. In addition to his business career, Newnes was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple in 1898, although it is not recorded that he ever practiced the law.
Newnes also followed his father in his political persuasions. A sometime member of the National Liberal Council, he was elected Liberal MP for Bassetlaw in north Nottinghamshire at the 1906 general election, gaining the seat from the Conservatives by a majority of 531 votes. However, the seat returned to the Tories at the January 1910 election by the even narrower margin of 341 votes. He did not stand for Parliament again. However his father died in 1910 and Newnes inherited the baronetcy.
In 1915, during the Great War, Newnes was commissioned a Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Two years later he transferred to the army and attained the rank of Captain in the 12th Battalion, the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment. He did not see service that qualified for any campaign medals however.
Newnes’ main non-political interests were in public health matters and he also understandably busied himself with press-related charities. He was a member of the Voluntary Hospitals Committee for London, a member of the management committees of the Royal Free Hospital and its Medical School and also served as Chairman of the Post-Graduate Institute of Dental Surgery and of the Eastman Dental Hospital. In his publishing charity work, Newnes became President of the Printers Pension Corporation and was a vice-president of the Periodical Proprietors Association. In 1949 he was appointed a Commander of the Order of St John, and was appointed a Commander of the Civil Division of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in the Birthday Honours List as published in the London Gazette for 10th June 1954, this being for his services as Chairman of the Eastern Dental Hospital in London.
Newnes died in Western Australia on 10th July 1955 at the age of 78 years. As he had no children the Newnes baronetcy became extinct on his death.