Thomas Earp (1830 – 1910)

Thomas Earp MP

Thomas Earp (1830 – 1910), painted by Newark artist, W.H. Cubley

Born 1830 at North Muskham near Newark

Died 17th February 1910, aged 79 years at Newark.


Thomas Earp was (Liberal) MP for Newark from 1874 – 1885, also serving 46 years on the Borough Council (from 1864). He was alderman 1889-1910, and mayor three times – in1869, 1891 and 1892.  He spent 50 years on the Newark Board of Guardians and was a JP for the Borough and county, one of the founders (and past president) of the Newark Agricultural Show, and president of the local Liberal Association.

His working life began as junior clerk in the employ of the Newark wine & spirit merchant, George Harvey. Within two years he had become the businesses Manchester agent, and was soon managing Harvey’s expanding malting business.

In 1862 he became a partner in the Newark brewing firm of Richardson, Earp & Slater, leasing the Trent Brewery on Millgate. Ten years later he became partner in Harvey’s business (becoming Harvey & Earp), and when George Harvey died in 1880 the firm amalgamated with the malting business of Wiliam Gilstrap. Earp relinquished his brewing interests, but remained a partner in Gilstrap Earp & Co. until his retirement in 1905.

His residence was The White House, Millgate, Newark



Thomas Earp was born in 1830, the son of William Earp who was gardener at Muskham Grange, in the village of North Muskham, a little way to the north west of Newark.


Thomas Earp, photographed in 1892

Shortly after Thomas’ birth, the family moved to Osmaston Hall near Derby, where Thomas was first educated at the village school.  By the age of ten he was leading the choir at Osmaston church and was said to be a proficient violinist.   Through support from the local vicar he progressed to Derby Grammar School (then known as the Diocesan School) and had wished to enter holy orders.  When this was not possible he entered the wine and spirit trade with considerable success, as described above.


Bronze plaque of Thomas Earp by Newark artist, Robert Kiddey. The plaque was unveiled at Newark Technical College (in the Hall) in 1960.

Earp married twice.  His first wife, Martha (nee Weightman of Langford) he married in 1855.  She died in 1888.  There were no children.  His second wife, Mary (nee Rowland of Skegby) bore him a son – also Thomas – and survived him.

Thomas Earp died at his home, The White House on Millgate, Newark, on 17th February 1910, following an attack of bronchitis.  He is buried at Newark Cemetery.

Today his name lives on in the naming of Earp Avenue in Newark, commemorating a gift of £10,000 he made to the Magnus Grammar School to enable its modernisation and construction of new buildings on its present site in the town.


Grave of Thomas Earp in Newark Cemetery (Picture: Laurence Goff, 2014)



Newark Herald  26th April 1873 (p4 c1-2) – Mr Earp’s nomination as Parliamentary candidate

Newark Advertiser  25th February 1874 (p5 c2) – Thomas Earp new MP

Newark Advertiser  28th November 1888 (p5 c5) – Death of Mrs Earp

Newark Herald  19th February 1910 – Death of thomas Earp

Newark Advertiser 23rd February 1910 (p8 c1) – Death of Thomas Earp

Newark Herald 26th February 1910 (p2 c1) – Funeral of Thomas Earp

Newark Advertiser  2nd March 1910 (p5 c6) – Funeral of Thomas Earp

Newark Herald  21st May 1910 (p2 c4) – Will of Thomas Earp

Newark Herald  12th March 1960 (p1 c2) – Plaque by Robert Kiddey

Newark Advertiser  16th March 1960 (p7 c1) – Plaque by Robert Kiddey

STEPHENS, Peter ‘Newark: The Magic of Malt’ (Nottinghamshire County Council, 1993).