NORRIS, John (b.1740), of Hemstead, Kent

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



20 Mar. 1762 - 1774

Family and Education

b. 1740, 1st s. of John Norris, M.P., by Judith Western.  educ. Queens’, Camb. 1757.  m. (1) 4 Dec. 1766, Catherine Maria Fischer (d. 10 Mar. 1767),1 s.p.; (2) 12 Mar. 1771, Catherine, da. of Rev. William Lynch, dean of Canterbury, sis. of William Lynch, and div. w. of Henry Knight of Tythegston, Glam., 1s. 1da.  suc. fa. 1767.

Offices Held

Capt. of Deal castle 1766-74.


Norris had a strong connexion with Rye: the family had an estate near the town, and Norris’s grandfather, father, and uncle had represented it in Parliament. Yet it was on Newcastle’s interest that he sat. On 13 Sept. 1761, when Phillips Gybbon was not expected to live long, John Norris sen. wrote about his son to Newcastle:2

Upon your Grace’s protection alone would I wish to see him elected, and to take his steps through life beneath the shadow of your countenance; if this young man conducts himself by a parent’s advice, he will be invariably attached to the interests of your Grace’s person and house.

Norris proved ‘a most steady friend’3 to Newcastle; he voted against the peace preliminaries, 9 Dec. 1762, and against the Grenville Administration over Wilkes and general warrants, 18 Feb. 1764, but ‘private family business’ prevented his attending the land tax division, 27 Feb. 1767.4 On 24 July 1767 Norris sen., in the hope that Rockingham’s negotiations with Bedford and Grenville would result in Newcastle being returned to office, wrote to the Duke:5

I reflect with concern both with regard to your Grace and the human heart, how few among the many you have rewarded have proved faithful in the day of trial, and beg leave to observe that among the few my son and myself have given the clearest proofs of our attachment to your person and interest. Be pleased, my Lord, now to reward this our attachment in the person of my son.

But the negotiations had already been broken off, and New