NEWDIGATE, Roger
(b. 1719, Arbury, d. 1806, Arbury)

Biography

English politician, collector of antiquities and architect. He was educated at Westminster School and University College, Oxford, and contributed greatly to the university throughout the remainder of his life. He is most remembered as the founder of the Newdigate Prize on his death and as a collector of antiques, a number of which he donated to the University. From 1742 until 1747, he served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Middlesex, and in 1751, he began a 30-year tenure as an MP for Oxford University.

As an architect, he built a poorhouse and school for Chilvers Coton, Warwickshire, the parish in which his Arbury estates were situated. He rebuilt the his Elizabethan Arbury Hall in the Gothic Revival style, on the site of an ancient priory. He was also the owner of the manor of Harefield, Middlesex, and about 1743 resided at Harefield Place. In 1760, having fixed his principal residence at Arbury, he sold Harefield Place, retaining the manor and his other estates in Harefield. In 1786 Newdigate built a house called Harefield Lodge, about a mile from Uxbridge.

During a tour early in life in France and Italy Newdigate made sketches of ancient buildings, filling two folio volumes preserved in his library at Arbury. He collected ancient marbles, casts of statues, and also vases, some of which were engraved by Piranesi.