sailing all over the world, including to St.Petersburg in Russia and Norway, (the Baltic trade); the Cape of Good Hope & North America.
During this period, the world was far from settled, Britain was intermittently at war with France, Spain and Holland and then the United States, as the latter demanded independence. There is substantial evidence that at least one of his ships, 'The Charlotte', was used as a
supply ship in the action at Quebec and that it was later in the Mediterranean defending Corsica from the French revolutionaries. During this time, (1790's) the battle of Calvi ensued.(This was the battle which cost Lord Nelson his eye).
Siege of Calvi-Wikipedia.
Shipping at this time must have been a very risky business. Indeed, a newspaper report of 1800, states that the Charlotte, en route from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Britain, was captured by a French privateer and taken to Spain. It must have been recovered however, as by 1807 it is sailing once again under Newark's ownership and in 1810 he insures the boat and the cargo for
the sum of £1,000 with the Sun Insurance company of London. (Of course it may have been insured earlier but there is no evidence to confirm that this was so.)
In 1797,when Newark was 50 years of age, he bought a farm at Simonside, Jarrow (regrettably now the centre of a modern housing estate) and gradually settled down to farm, although initially, it was rented out as an investment and indeed he did not sell his last ship until about 1822. There is a very detailed plan of what the tenants must grow in each field at the farm, dated 1799.
The reason for switching to farming, was probably partly, to do with his advancing years; he was simply getting too old to be at sea and Thomas, his youngest son,(and the only one to produce a family & live to old age) was prone to epilepsy and therefore unsuitable for a life at sea. In addition to Newark & Charlotte's six children who died in infancy, they also lost several close family members to the sea. Newark's brother Richard drowned in the West Indies in June 1794, his brother in law, William Trattles (husband of sister Alice) was lost at sea in 1788, his nephew Richard Trattles was killed during the battle of Calvi in Corsica in 1794, and sons John & Peter were lost in 1790 (age 17) & 1806 (age 34) respectively. In fact, although Newark & his wife Charlotte (Burnickle) had 12 children, only 4 made it to adulthood and only
Thomas had any grandchildren.
Thomas would appear to have been a very meticulous man. He was educated privately, it is said in London and his school book, written in his own hand, signed Thomas Andrews and dated September 16th 1801, shows that he studied, in addition to the usual principles of mathematics; bookeeping &
accounts, all the other aspects of trade & commerce, including the calculation of interest, commission, brokerage, insurance, rebate & discount, and foreign exchange & foreign trade.
Clearly he was being prepared by his father for a life in business & commerce. Of course most of the above nowadays would be undertaken by calculator or computer in seconds but in 1801 (when he was aged 11) one had to know the principles and method of calculations. He sets out in immaculate copperplate handwriting, firstly a definition of each subject, followed by the 'rules', followed by carefully worked examples often over several pages.