NORWOOD, Henry (c.1614-89), of Leckhampton, Glos.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



20 Apr. 1675

Family and Education

b. c.1614, 2nd s. of Henry Norwood (d.1616), barrister, of the Middle Temple and West Camel, Som. by Elizabeth, da. of Sir John Rodney of Rodney Stoke, Som. educ. I. Temple 1637, called 1660. unm.

Offices Held

Capt. of ft. (royalist) 1643, maj. by 1654; capt. of Sandown Castle 1661-3; lt.-col. Lord Rutherford’s. Ft. 1661-4; dep. gov. Dunkirk Mar.-Nov. 1662; col. of ft. 2 Tangier Regt. 1664-9; lt.-gov. Tangier 1666-9.1

Esquire of the body Mar. 1660-?85; treasurer, Virginia 1661-73; warden of the Fleet prison c.1670-6, 1679; commr. for Tangier 1673-80; member, R. Fishery Co. 1677.2

Commr. for loyal and indigent officers, Kent 1662; j.p. Glos. 1670-Feb. 1688, Oct. 1688-d.; freeman and common councilman, Gloucester 1671, alderman 1672-d., mayor 1672-3; commr. for assessment, Glos. and Gloucester 1673-80, 1689 inquiry, Forest of Dean 1679; dep. lt. Glos. 1683-Feb. 1688, Oct. 1688-d.3


The Norwoods, originally a Kentish family, acquired the manor of Leckhampton, eight miles from Gloucester, by marriage in 1486. Norwood inherited a small property in Worcestershire from his father, a barrister, who died when his son was an infant. Norwood himself was also destined for a legal career, but with the outbreak of the Civil War he joined the King’s forces and distinguished himself at the storming of Bristol in 1643. He was in the Worcester garrison when it surrendered at the end of the Civil War, and went into exile in Holland. He returned to England in June 1649 and paid £15 as composition for his delinquency. Charles II recommended him to the royalist governor of Virginia, Sir William Berkeley, who sent him to Scotland with a sum of money which obtained for him a patent as ‘escheator, treasurer and receiver of quit rents’ in the colony during pleasure. He took no part in the second Civil War, but was arrested in 1652 on a charge of complicity in the murder of Dorislaus. An active royalist conspirator, he was imprisoned from 1655 to 1659, and was taken prisoner in Booth’s rising.4

On the eve of the Restoration Norwood was rewarded for his services with a post at Court. He was belatedly called to the bar, and acquired shipping interests in the American and Mediterranean trades; but his ambitions were primarily military. For most of the next ten years he was on garrison duty overseas, though enjoying frequent spells of home leave. He was at odds with the civil authorities in Tangier, especially after the new charter of 1668, and finally returned to England in the following year. He disposed of his Virginia post, though he continued to receive one-third of the profits from the purchasers. He acquired the wardenship of the Fleet prison, exercising the functions by deputy. He settled at Leckhampton, which he purchased from a cousin, and soon became embroiled in the disputes of the neighbouring corporation. Gloucester was sharply divided at this time between the ‘loyal’ and ‘adverse’ parties. There being a vacancy on the aldermanic board, Norwood was proposed by the ‘loyal’ faction as a compromise candidate. He was duly elected to the common council, as a step towards the aldermanship and eventually the mayoralty, but in the municipal elections in October the opposition proved obdurate and the charter was surrendered. Norwood was present at the surrender and was named an alderman for life in the new charter issued in April 1672. In the next year he was elected mayor. On 20 Apr. 1675 he was returned in the by-election occasioned by the death o