NORREYS, Francis (c.1665-1706), of Weston-on-the-Green, Oxon.
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Family and Education
bap. 23 May 1666, 2nd s. of Sir Edward Norreys*. educ. Queen’s, Oxf. matric. 1683; L. Inn 1684. unm.1
Cornet, indep. tp. horse 1685.
Freeman and bailiff, Oxford 1687–Jan. 1688.2
Very little is known of Norreys before his entry into Parliament. It is quite likely, however, that in his public activities he was overshadowed by his father. None the less, the fact that he, rather than his father, was appointed a deputy-lieutenant for Berkshire in 1703 indicates that he enjoyed an establishment of his own on the family estates in that county. In May 1699 it was understood that he would be standing at the Oxfordshire by-election due later that year, but he was presumably deterred when others declared their intentions. At the first election of 1701, however, he was able to take over the Oxford seat his father had vacated on transferring to the county, and it is probable that his family’s kinship with the high steward of the city, the 2nd Earl of Abingdon (Montagu Venables-Bertie*, Lord Norreys), was instrumental in ensuring his unopposed election. In proceedings of the House Norreys blended into the background, very much after the manner of his father. Early in the 1701 session he was listed among the likely supporters of the Court in a supply resolution to continue the ‘Great Mortgage’, but in the same session opposed the preparations for war with France for which he was blacklisted prior to the second election of 1701. Though he and his Tory partner Thomas Rowney* faced opposition in Oxford at this election, its extent, as the poll showed, was nugatory. In the ensuing session his anti-Court stance was further evinced in his vote on 26 Feb. 1702 in support of the motion vindicating the Commons’ proceedings in the impeachments of the King’s ministers. Returned unopposed in 1702, he voted on 13 Feb. 1703 in true Tory fashion against agreeing with the Lords’ amendments to the bill for lengthening the period in which the abjuration oath could be taken. In mid-March 1704 Lord Nottingham (Daniel Finch†) noted him as a probable supporter in the event of an attack on him in connexion with the Scotch Plot. Later that year, on 28 Nov., Norreys voted in favour of the Tack, having the previous month been forecast as likely to support the measure. In the 1705 election he defended his seat with ease against Whig opposition, and in an analysis of the new Parliament was identified as ‘True Church’. He duly followed his party line on 25 Oct. in the Speakership division, voting against the Court candidate.3
Norreys died on 6 June 1706, predeceasing his father, and was buried at Weston-on-the-Green.4