Hugh George de Willmott Newman

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Hugh George de Willmott Newman
Patriarch of Glastonbury, Catholicos of the West, and Sixth British Patriarch
Hugh George de Willmott Newman.jpg
Ordination23 October 1938
by  James Columba McFall
Personal details
Birth nameHugh George Newman
Born(1905-01-17)January 17, 1905
London, England
DiedFebruary 28, 1979(1979-02-28) (aged 74)
Denomination Independent Catholicism
Spouse Lola Ima del Carpio Barnardo (1937 - 1979)
OccupationIndependent Catholic bishop
Ordination history
Priestly Ordination
Ordained by James Columba McFall
Date23 October 1938
Consecration to the Episcopate
Consecrated by William Bernard Crow (Mar Basilius Abdullah III) (Gnostic Bishop)
Date10 April 1944
Second Consecration
Second Consecrator Henry George Brook
Date3 September 1944
Third Consecration
Third Consecrator Charles Leslie Saul
Date14 July 1947
Fourth Consecration
Fourth Consecrator Aloysius Stumpfl
Date14 July 1947
Fifth Consecration
Fifth Consecrator Harold Percival Nicholson
Date27 May 1950
Sixth Consecration
Sixth Consecrator Dennis Quartey Arthur
Date19 February 1951
Seventh Consecration
Seventh Consecrator Odo Acheson Barry
Date17 July 1955
Eighth Consecration
Eighth Consecrator Frederick Charles Aloysius Harrington
Mutual Consecration
Lineages Exchanged With Sidney Ernst Page Needham
Date4 January 1945
Second Mutual Consecration
Lineages Exchanged With Charles W. Keller
Date29 April 1945
Third Mutual Consecration
Lineages Exchanged With John Syer
Date20 May 1945
Fourth Mutual Consecration
Lineages Exchanged With George Henry Brook
Date20 May 1945
Fifth Mutual Consecration
Lineages Exchanged With Francis Ernst Langhelt
Date20 May 1945
Sixth Mutual Consecration
Lineages Exchanged With John Sebastian Marlow Ward
Date25 August 1945
Seventh Mutual Consecration
Lineages Exchanged With Wallace David de Ortega-Maxey
Date6 June 1946
Eighth Mutual Consecration
Lineages Exchanged With Clemente Alfio Sgroi Marchese
Date18 September 1954
Episcopal succession
People consecrated to the episcopate by Mar Georgius I as principal consecrator
Frederick Dorian Herbert 5 December 1944
William John Eaton Jeffrey 20 May 1945
Joseph K. Chengalvaroyan Chittoor Pillai 25 August 1945
Charles Leslie Saul 8 September 1945
George Henry Brook 25 September 1945
Francis David Bacon 12 January 1946
Richard Kenneth Hurgon 22 April 1946
Herman Philippus Abbinga 28 November 1946
Aloysius Stumpfl 22 June 1947
John Edward Bazille Corbin 11 April 1948
James John van Ryswyck 20 November 1949
Thomas Marie Lutgen 22 February 1953
Ronald Powell 20 November 1949
C.D. Boltwood, Charles David Luther, Lawrence François Pierre, and James Franklin Mondok 6 July 1956
Nestor Joseph Emile Antoine Frippiat 2 September 1956
Francis Everden Glenn 18 May 1959
Philip Singer 7 May 1960
John Marion Stanley ?? ???? 1963
Emmett Neil Enochs 27 June 1964
Servan Edgar Devulder, and Kenneth Joseph Smethurst 19 June 1966
Maurice Cantor 28 May 1967
Michel Raoult, and Yves Marie Joseph Laigle 17 June 1967
Franz Josef Maximillian Hohenstaufen 9 September 1967
Peter Dennis John Green 15 August 1971
Albert Ronald Coady 20 December 1976
William Henry Hugo Newman-Norton, and Kenneth Bernard John Bateson 9 July 1977
Guy Robert Marie Le Mentec 6 October 1979
Harold Percival Nicholson Unknown

Hugh de Willmott Newman (Hugh George Newman; 17 January 1905 – 28 February 1979) was a bishop in the Independent Catholic movement (which has no relation to the Catholic Church) and later an Archbishop for 'Western' British Orthodox churches (mostly Celtic Orthodox Church). He was known religiously as Mar Georgius I and by the titles Patriarch of Glastonbury, Catholicos of the West, and Sixth British Patriarch.


Newman was first consecrated into a neo-Gnostic line of succession by William Bernard Crow, the leader of the Ordo Templi Orientis in 1944. He is most notable for having subsequently undergone numerous ceremonies of conditional consecration, thereby laying claim to numerous different lines or streams of historic apostolic succession and neo-Gnostic succession, and also for having shared his own lines or streams of successions with numerous other bishops by conditionally consecrating them. Over a ten-year period between 1945 and 1955, there were a number of ceremonies in each of which Newman and another bishop would conditionally consecrate each other to give each the other's lines or streams of succession, a practice that is sometimes described as "cross-consecration". [1]

Newman consecrated (conditionally, or otherwise), or shared cross-consecration with, at least 32 bishops. Today, there are hundreds of bishops around the world, perhaps thousands, with a lines of succession deriving through Newman.

Early life

Hugh George Newman was born on 17 January 1905 in Forest Gate, Essex (now in London), England. His family background was in the Catholic Apostolic Church (Irvingite). His father was a deacon in that church, and his father a sub-deacon. Hugh George was baptised (christened) at the Catholic Apostolic Church at Mare Street, Hackney, London, England. He was educated at Crawford School, Camberwell, London, and later by private tuition. As a young man, he changed his name by deed poll to "De Willmott Newman", thus reflecting his mother's maiden name. Newman worked as a clerk in solicitors' offices until 1929.

He also continued to educate himself. He took a post with the Christian Herald (a Christian newspaper) and he became a commercial consultant and, in due course, a fellow of the Institute of Commerce. He engaged in charitable work with London's poor and needy, championing the cause of the underdog.

Political activity

Newman participated in attempts to restore Archduke Otto von Habsburg to the position of emperor of Austria and Bohemia. In recognition of his efforts he was granted the honour "prince of the Holy Roman Empire" by the Archduke's mother the Empress Zita, and also the title "Baron Willmott" of Hungary, and "Duke of Saxe-Noricum".

In 1929, Newman co-founded the Royalist International with Herbert Vivian. The aims of the Royalist International were notionally to campaign against bolshevism and restore monarchy in all nations; however, it was actually a fascist organisation. [2]

In 1936, Newman resigned his membership of the Conservative Party, owing to his views about the abdication of King Edward VIII. He regarded encouraging or supporting the abdication of the King as an act of high treason.

Calling to Christian ministry

At the age of seven years, Newman was an acolyte in the Catholic Apostolic Church; in his teens, he sensed a call to ordained Christian ministry and became an under-deacon in the Catholic Apostolic Church at age 19.

The route to full clergy status in the Catholic Apostolic Church was closed, in that this was "the time of silence". No new clergy had been ordained since 1901.

During the 1920s and 1930s Newman corresponded with bishops of autocephalous churches of Old Catholic, Eastern and Oriental traditions.

On 23 October 1938, at the age of 33 years, Newman was ordained priest by Bishop James Columba McFall (of Ireland). McFall was a bishop of a group called the "Old Roman Catholic Church of Great Britain". [3]

In 1939, Newman was adopted as priest by a congregation, calling itself The Old Catholic Orthodox Church, in Hounslow, England that in 1925 had split from the Old Roman Catholic Church of Great Britain. [3]

Newman approached Arthur Wolfort Brooks (Mar Joseph Emmanuel) of the Apostolic Episcopal Church in USA. When Brooks, a resident in America, accepted a position as a presiding bishop of a group of churches in England, he appointed Newman as his vicar-general.

Personal life

In 1937, Newman married Lola Ima del Carpio Barnardo (1902 - 1984), a great-granddaughter of Thomas Barnardo.

In the mid-1930s, he was general manager of the National Association of Cycle Traders and Repairers. From 1943 to 1945, he was secretary and registrar of the Incorporated Institute of Cycle Traders and Repairers.

Council of London, 1943

Newman represented Brooks at the Council of London, which was headed by Archbishop Herbert James Monzani-Heard (Mar Jacobus II) (1861 - 1947).

The background to the council was that, in December 1938, the office of Mar Ignatius Ephrem I (Syrian Patriarch of Antioch, located at Homs, after fleeing Antioch and the Turks in 1920) had issued a statement warning the public in the West against bodies claiming to derive their origin and apostolic succession from some ancient Church of the East. Groups claiming apostolic succession through Rene Vilatte were explicitly condemned in the statement.

The council comprised representatives from a number of bodies claiming to derive their succession from the Eastern churches. All were bodies with a very small following. They were: Ancient British Church, British Orthodox Catholic Church, Apostolic Episcopal Church, Old Catholic Orthodox Church, Order of Holy Wisdom, and Order of Antioch.

The council boldy declared the Syrian Orthodox (Jacobite) Patriarch to be in schism, and that it was they who represented the genuine church, which, for the avoidance of doubt, they renamed as the "Western Orthodox Catholic Church".

Appointment as a bishop

Arthur Wolfort Brooks ("Mar John Emmanuel"), founder and leader of the Apostolic Episcopal Church (based in USA) had suggested Newman as a candidate for appointment as a bishop.

Newman was chosen by a pro-synod of the Old Catholic Orthodox Church in Europe as archbishop and metropolitan of Glastonbury, just a few days before the Council of London. Brooks signed the consecration mandate and he authorized Bishop William Bernard Crow to perform the ceremony which took place on 10 April 1944.

Catholicate of the West

Newman sought the convergence of churches into a unity. He was a founder of the "Catholicate of the West".

On 23 March 1944, a Deed of Declaration united the Ancient British Church, the Old Catholic Orthodox Church, the British Orthodox Catholic Church and the Independent Catholic Church into a single organization, to be called the "Catholicate of the West".

On 28 March 1944, a synod of the new Catholicate elected Newman as "Catholicos of the West".

At Christmas 1944, it was resolved that the Catholicate would bring its ministry, organization, usages and worship into general conformity with the pattern and model of the Catholic Apostolic Church ("Irvingites"). The name "Catholic Apostolic Church (Catholicate of the West)" was adopted, with a sub-title "Western Orthodox Catholic Church", and the Catholic Apostolic Church's liturgy was adopted with a Supplement.

Under Newman's leadership, the Catholicate was dissolved on 29 November 1953.

However, some members considered that the 1953 decision to dissolve the Catholicate had not been validly made, and they sought to continue the Catholicate under the name Catholic Apostolic Church (United Orthodox Catholicate) with Mar Petros as Catholicos until his death in 1956. Mar Paulos then led this manifestation of the Catholicate from 1956 until his death on 29 April 1965. Mar Paulos was succeeded by Mar David I (Ortega-Maxey) (1965 to 1976), Mar David II (Robert Ronald Ramm)(1976 to 2000), Mar Timotheos III (Francis Spataro) (2000 to 2015) and Mar Johannes Edmundos (John Kersey) (2015 to date). From 6 August 1977 onwards the headship of the continuing Catholicate has been formally united with the headship of the Apostolic Episcopal Church.

On 10 May 1959, Newman revived the purportedly-dissolved Catholicate, but dissolved it once again on 1 January 1968. Thus, from 1959 to 1968, there were, in effect, two distinct Catholicates.

Patriarch of Celtic Orthodox Church

On 29 January 1945, Monzani-Heard handed-over to Newman the role of British patriarch. Newman is generally recognised as the sixth patriarch.[ citation needed ]

Ecumenical apostolic succession

Newman's desire for the convergence of different historic lines or streams of apostolic succession was an aspect or outworking or his quest a unity of churches. He did not believe that being consecrated by a bishop from a different line or stream of succession adds anything to the charism received. His reason for advocating commissioning by bishops from different lines or streams of succession was solely that the episcopal status of those so commissioned might be more widely accepted. His aspiration was that an ecumenical succession would be created which all churches/jurisdictions (or as many as possible) would accept.

The ecumenical mission or vision that gave rise to the birth of the Catholicate of the West and to the notion of restoring an ecumenical apostolic succession partially derives from the theology and aspirations of the Catholic Apostolic Church (Irvingites). In the 1930s, there was a somewhat parallel situation in the Church of England in that the Church of England had started to incorporate "Old Catholic" successions within its consecrations of bishops. In the case of the Church of England, the objective was that Anglican orders would meet the criteria declared by the Roman Catholic Church.

Progress of the cause

In 1946, Newsweek published a claim the movement led by Newman had 140,000 followers worldwide.

In later years, there were many changes and re-organisations, and a long period of general decline. Specifically, in 1952, Newman issued a statement of belief which he called the "Glastonbury Confession". However, most of his clergy declined to subscribe to it, and in 1953 he released them from his jurisdiction.

There were further changes in the late 1960s. In 1967, Newman repealed the 1960 Constitution and governed by decree. A revised liturgy was introduced in 1968. In 1968, the Catholicate of the West was dissolved.

As result of these changes and loss of adherents, when Newman died on 28 February 1979, the movement he had led was virtually unrecognisable, as compared with the movement as it had existed twelve years earlier.

Newman's cousin, William Henry Hugo Newman-Norton succeeded him as primate of the British Orthodox Church, which became canonically part of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria in 1994. Some congregants at that time separated from the British Orthodox Church and formed part of the Celtic Orthodox Church.



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    1. The Encyclopedia of American Religions. (Detroit: Gale, 1987) p. 5
    2. Webber, G. C. (16 October 2015). The Ideology of the British Right, 1918-1939. Routledge.
    3. 1 2 Kersey, John (27 August 2012). "Members of the San Luigi Orders: Mar Georgius of Glastonbury". London: Abbey-Principality of San Luigi. Archived from the original on 2 July 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2014. This tertiary source reuses information from other sources without citing them in detail.


    Sources used in the compilation of this article include: