Henry Norris, 1st Baron Norreys

Henry Norris, 1st Baron Norreys

Henry Norris, 1st Baron Norreys

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Henry Norris (or Norreys), Baron Norris (1525 – 7 May 1601) belonged to an old Berkshire family, many members of which had held positions at the English court. He was the son of Sir Henry Norreys, who was beheaded for his supposed adultery with Queen Anne Boleyn, and Mary Fiennes (c. 1495-1531), daughter of Thomas Fiennes, Lord Dacre.

Early life

The early years of Henry's life are obscure. His mother had died in 1531, and his father was beheaded in 1536, leaving him and his younger sister Mary orphans. The children were brought up by their childless uncle, Sir John Norreys. Henry's patrimony was restored to him by an Act of 1539 by King Henry VIII, and in December 1542 his uncle Sir John Norreys of Yattendon, was licensed to settle his estates in reversion on Henry, who was his ward, and on Margery, the younger daughter of John Williams, Baron Williams of Thame, and their heirs. The couple must therefore have been betrothed by this date.

Henry's prospects were bright. He was made a Knight of the Shire for Berkshire in 1547. His wife, Margery, was the coheir of her wealthy father, who had become treasurer of the court of augmentations and who was continuing to acquire land in Berkshire. The deaths of Henry's uncle (1563) and father-in-law (1559) greatly increased Henry's already considerable wealth, bringing him properties in Oxfordshire, where he and his wife settled, and in Berkshire. These included Rycote, Sydenham and Yattendon Castle.

Royal friendship

In 1553, Henry...
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