History Homework Help David Nash Ford's Royal Berkshire History for Kids

  RBH Home
  Maps & Travels
  Towns & Villages
  Castles & Houses
  Family History
  Odds & Ends
  For Kids
  Teacher's Page
  Mail David


Jack of Newbury
He made lots of Cloth & lots of Money

Jack of Newbury -  Nash Ford Publishing


  • Jack was a poor homeless boy who had run away from Winchcombe Abbey in Gloucestershire. He called himself John Winchcombe.
  • He managed to get a job weaving cloth in Newbury. His boss was a merchant who would take the cloth to Flanders and sell it. It was then made into clothes.
  • Jack was handsome and popular with the ladies.
  • When his boss died, he left a rich widow called Alice. She had fallen in love with Jack.
  • One day, she took Jack out for a walk. They went to the Litten Chapel and the lady insisted Jack marry her there!
  • Their marriage had its ups and downs. Once Alice locked Jack out in the street in only his night-shirt! Sadly she died after a few years, but Jack married again.
  • Jack was a good businessman. He set up the first factory in England. He made more cloth than ever and became extremely rich.
  • He was famous. People called him 'Jack of Newbury'. King Henry VIII and Queen Catherine came to visit him. The King wanted to give Jack a knighthood, but Jack said no thank you. He wanted to stay humble like his workers.
  • Jack raised enough money to send a band of soldiers to join the English army fighting the Scots. Unfortunately, they turned up too late for the Battle of Flodden.
  • Jack rebuilt St. Nicholas' Church in Newbury. His monument can be seen inside. The end of his house survives off Northbrook Street.


    Nash Ford Publishing 2004. All Rights Reserved.