Henry William Newman was born in Nantes, France on 27 November 1839. Henry Newman’s grandfather was the British Consul in France and his father Robert William Newman was Vice Consult at the Port of Nantes. His father married Miss Adelaide Heseltine, daughter of an officer of the Prince of Wales’ Regiment. Miss Heseltine’s mother was a Graham of the house of Montrose, Gartmore in Scotland.
At the age of 18 Henry caught gold fever and went to the Forbes Goldfield, where he remained for two years. He was unsuccessful in his venture and resolved to return to Sydney. He had only 12 shillings and 6 pence to his name when he stopped at the Wentworth Goldfields near Orange in 1862 to try his luck.
Finding success from this venture he invested his profits in a general store at Lucknow and later opened stores at Cadia Copper Mine and Icely Copper Mine. H also held the position of postmaster for several years at Lucknow.
After four years without success they then moved onto the Forest Reefs Goldfields for 12 months and then returned to Lucknow.
In 1867 Newman interviewed Mr Robert Frost who was the owner of the old field at Lucknow. Newman was given permission by Frost to select any site he likes upon the estate to mine without a licence. In less than a year Lucknow was again the scene of active operations with many companies having a stake.