Thomas Newton was born on 1 January 1704 at Lichfield and died on 14 February 1782 in the deanery of St Paul's Cathedral, where he was buried. The son of a wine merchant, he was educated at the local grammar school and then at Westminster School. He matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1723, became a Scholar in the following year and graduated BA in 1727, MA in 1730 and DD in 1745. He was elected a Fellow of Trinity in 1729, in which year he was also ordained deacon, becoming curate to his step-grandfather and future father-in-law, Dr Trebeck, at St George's, Hanover Square. In 1742 he became chaplain to the Earl of Bath, and in 1744 George II presented him to the rectory of St Mary-le-Bow, which he held until 1768. Many further preferments followed. His chances of promotion were helped by his being made chaplain to the Princess of Wales in 1751 as a reward for a sermon preached on the Prince's death. In 1756 he became chaplain to George II and in 1761, a canon of St Paul's. He was President of Sion College in 1760. In 1761 he was consecrated Bishop of Bristol, an early instance of Bute's influence on ecclesiastical patronage, which was still, at least nominally, in the hands of the Duke of Newcastle. He resigned his other preferments – St Paul's and St Mary-le-Bow excepted – at that time. In the same year he married the Honourable Elizabeth Hand, his first wife, Jane Trebeck, having died in 1754. He was made Dean of St Paul's in 1768 to supplement the income of the bishopric, having failed to win London and having declined the archbishopric of Armagh.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.