NORWICH, Sir John, 1st Bt. (1613-61), of Brampton Ash, Northants.
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Family and Education
bap. 19 Sept. 1613, 1st s. of Sir Simon Norwich of Brampton Ash by 1st w. Anne, da. of Sir William Willoughby† of Marlow, Bucks. educ. Oundle g.s.; Christ’s, Camb. 1629; M. Temple 1632. m. (1) 2 July 1633, Anne (d.1650), da. of Sir Roger Smith of Edmondthorpe, Leics., 6s. (1 d.v.p.) 4da.; (2) 21 Sept. 1652, Mary, da. of Sir Henry Atkins of Clapham, Surr., wid. of William Halford of Welham, Leics., 1s. 2da. suc. fa. 1625; kntd. 19 July 1641; cr. Bt. 24 July 1641.1
Col. of horse (parliamentary) 1642-5; governor, Rockingham Castle 1645-6.2
Commr. for midland assoc. Northants. 1642, assessment 1643-52, Jan. 1660-d., sequestration 1643, levying of money 1643, new model ordinance 1645, sheriff 1645-6; lt. of Rockingham forest by 1648-?June 1660; commr. for militia Northants. 1648, 1659, Mar. 1660, j.p. 1650-3, 1657-d., lt.-col. of militia ft. Jan. 1660; commr. for oyer and terminer, Midland circuit July 1660; dep. lt. Northants. c. Aug. 1660-d.; freeman, Northampton Dec. 1660.3
Norwich’s family had been seated at Brampton since the middle of the 15th century. During the Civil War he fought as a cavalry commander under the Earl of Manchester. He held local office under the Commonwealth, and in 1654 became the first of his family to enter Parliament. But by October 1659 Lord Mordaunt was confident that a letter from the King would secure him for the royalist cause. ‘Sir John Norwich is a soldier’, he wrote, ‘and I think is most popular.’ On the downfall of the military regime, Norwich, aided by the regicide Hacker, secured Warwick and Belvoir Castles, and was thanked for his fidelity by the Rump. But they were soon disillusioned when he began to organize a petition for the recall of the secluded Members, and ordered him to be sent for in custody. At the general election he was defeated by Francis Harvey, but seated on petition on 21 June. He was probably a member of the Presbyterian opposition, but took little part in the proceedings of the Convention. His only committees were to consider the proviso to the indemnity bill concerning John Hutchinson and the bill for draining the Bedford level. In December he petitioned the King for the grant of some lands in Northamptonshire in recognition of his services to the Restoration, but they had already been given to the Duchess of Richmond. Norwich was unsuccessful at the general election, but when it was declared void, he ‘counted himself sure of it’. In the pious words of one of his opponents, however, ‘it pleased God to cut him off by death’ on 9 Oct. 1661 before the by-election could be held.4
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Authors: M. W. Helms / John. P. Ferris
- 1. Vis. Northants. (Harl. Soc. lxxxvii), 155-6; Shaw, Staffs. ii. 11; Nichols, Leics. ii. 864.
- 2. HMC 6th Rep. 90; CSP Dom. 1650, p. 205.
- 3. Cal. Comm. Comp. 81; CSP Dom. 1659-60, p. 320; Merc. Pub. 12 Apr. 1660; J. C. Cox, Northampton Bor. Recs. ii. 498.
- 4. Bridges, Northants. ii. 281; CSP Dom. 1659-60, p. 320; HMC 6th Rep. 181; HMC 7th Rep. 50, 482; Mordaunt Letter Bk. (Cam. Soc. ser. 3, lxix), 66; HMC Portland, i. 689; Cal. Cl. SP, iv. 532; Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 108; Northants. RO, Baker mss 712.