NORBORNE, Walter (1655-84), of Castle House, Calne, Wilts.
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Family and Education
b. 18 Nov. 1655, 1st s. of Walter Norborne of Hilmarton and the Inner Temple by Mary, da. of Henry Chivers of Quemerford. educ. I. Temple 1670. m. by 1678, Frances, da. of Sir Edmund Bacon, 4th Bt., of Redgrave, Suff., 2da. suc. fa. 1659.1
‘Burgess’, Calne 1672, guild steward 1674-5; commr. for assessment, Wilts. 1679-80, j.p. 1680-d.2
Norborne’s ancestors had held property in Calne since the middle of the 16th century, and his father, a bencher of the Inner Temple, represented the borough in the Short Parliament. Although he maintained that he ‘was never engaged in either war’, his estates were sequestrated and in 1649 he paid a fine of £380 on his own discovery. He took out a grant of arms in 1651, and on his death four years later left William Duckett as one of the guardians of his sons. Norborne was returned for Calne at the first general election of 1679 after a contest and marked ‘honest’ by Shaftesbury. Totally inactive in committee and silent in debate, he had defaulted in attendance on 2 May and was given leave to go into the country on 19 May. He was consequently absent at the division on the first exclusion bill. It is not known whether he stood for re-election in the autumn, but he must have come to oppose exclusion, for he was made a j.p. in 1680. He regained his seat in 1681, probably unopposed, but left no trace on the records of the Oxford Parliament. It was later deposed that he said at the end of the year
that he hoped in a little time to see the crown on the Duke of Monmouth’s head, and frequently used to drink the healths of the Duke of Monmouth and the Earl of Shaftesbury on his knees, and said what a happy nation we should be if we had a King that would not be so profuse and extravagant.
Apparently this evidence was not believed, for Norborne was continued on the commission of the peace. In September 1684 he was killed in a duel in the Middle Temple, and buried in St. Paul, Covent Garden, the last of his family. His opponent was condemned to death but subsequently pardoned. Norborne must have been a rich man. When in 1693 his daughter Susanna was suggested as a bride for Lord Hastings, the Earl of Huntingdon’s heir, her fortune was estimated as ‘at least £35,000’, with estates in Dorset, Wiltshire, Kent and Suffolk. His other daughter, Elizabeth, married the 8th Viscount Hereford.3