NORTON, Sir Thomas (-d.1631), of Northwood Chasteners, Milton-next-Sittingbourne, Kent

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

2nd but 1st surv. s. of Thomas Norton of Northwood Chasteners and Elizabeth, da. of William Aubrey†, DCL, of Cantreff, Brec. and Sydenham, Kent.1 m. 3 June 1599,2 Elizabeth (bur. 5 Oct. 1608),3 da. of John Byne of Rowdells, Washington, Suss., 2s. 1da.4 suc. fa. 1598;5 kntd. 20 July 1607.6 d. 1631.7

Offices Held

Commr. sewers, Teynham marshes, Kent 1617, river Medway 1622;8 sheriff, Kent 1618-19,9 capt. militia ft. 1621.10


Little is known of the early life of this Member, whose family claimed to have been seated in Kent since the reign of Stephen.11 He was knighted at Oatlands Park in Surrey during James’s summer progress in 1607.12 Returned for Christchurch in 1614 on the recommendation of the Catholic Lord Arundell of Wardour, he undertook to serve without wages and left no trace on the records of the Addled Parliament.13 He sold Northwood in 1623, and in the following year applied for a licence to travel abroad.14 If he went he had returned by 1625, by which time he was living with his son-in-law Sir James Hales at Reculver, in north-east Kent.15 The churchwardens there reported in 1626 that, since arriving in the parish, he had never attended church or received communion, which suggests that he may have been Catholic.16 Norton died in 1631 and was buried in St. Mary Bredin, Canterbury.17 His sons did not long survive him, and the family had died out by 1663.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Virginia C.D. Moseley / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. xlii), 80; Coll. Top. et Gen. iv. 376.
  • 2. Mar. Lic. (Suss. Rec. Soc. ix), 26.
  • 3. Cent. Kent Stud. P253/1/1, unfol.
  • 4. Add. 5524, f. 169; The Gen. n.s. xxiii. 5.
  • 5. Cent. Kent Stud. P253/1/1, unfol.
  • 6. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 143.
  • 7. Add. 5507, f. 149v.
  • 8. C181/2, f. 271; 181/3, f. 42.
  • 9. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 69.
  • 10. HMC Finch, i. 42.
  • 11. Add. 5524, f. 168v.
  • 12. J. Nichols, Progs. of Jas. I, ii. 143.
  • 13. Dorset RO, DC/CC, acc. 7998, unfol. (Arundell to Mayor of Christchurch, 14 Feb. 1614); J.K. Gruenfelder, Influence in Early Stuart Elections, 5, 23 n. 7.
  • 14. Hasted, Kent, vi. 180; Arch. Cant. xii. 384; APC, 1623-5, p. 392.
  • 15. Cent. Kent. Stud. U791/T290/1; Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. liv), 69.
  • 16. Arch. Cant. xxv. 50.
  • 17. Add. 5507, f. 149v.