5 Annotations

First Reading

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Per L&M Companion:

(1615-91) A leading Presbyterian and parliamentarian in Hampshire and a friend of Oliver Cromwell. M.P. under the Commonwealth and 1661-91.

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Pepys probably knew Col. Richard Norton MP (1615-1691), the former governor of Portsmouth, who owned the former monastic estate of Southwick, seven miles away, as a result of his first marriage.

Norton was also Lt. for Alice Holt and Woolmer forests in 1657-1659, and July 1660-1662. After handing over the crown forests to someone named Legge in 1662, Norton supplied the navy with timber from his own woodlands, and joined with two other Hampshire Members, Lord St.John (Charles Powlett I) and Sir Robert Howard, in raising a loan of £20,000 for the second Dutch war, for which he returned briefly to sea.

By Col. Richard Norton MP’s second marriage to Elizabeth, the daughter of William, 1st Visct. Saye and Sele, he had 3 sons, and 2 daughters, but no surviving sons from his first marriage, so I think we can assume Daniel was a result of the second marriage.

Oliver Cromwell called Norton ‘Idle Dick,’ as he was not an active Member of any Parliament. That’s not a nice name for the man who arranged Richard Cromwell’s marriage. So we know Norton was well connected: for instance, he was the guardian of Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper from 1631 to his death (hard to believe the Earl of Shaftsbury needed a guardian in 1683 when he died, don’t you think?).

For more information, see http://www.historyofparliamentonl…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"for instance, he was the guardian of Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper from 1631 to his death (hard to believe the Earl of Shaftsbury needed a guardian in 1683 when he died, don’t you think?)."

I misread the biography.

It was Sir Richard Norton's father, Daniel Norton MP, who sat for Portsmouth or Hampshire in several Parliaments, and who acted as guardian of Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper, Lord Ashley from 1631 until Daniel Norton's death in 1636.

Now that makes sense.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Col. Richard Norton belonged to a family which had settled long before at Alresford, Nutley, East Tisted, Southwick Park near Portsmouth, and Rotherfield.

His ancestor and namesake had been knighted at Basing House by Queen Elizabeth.
It was while King Charles was the guest of Sir Daniel Norton at Southwick Park that he received the news of the assassination of George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham by Felton at Portsmouth.

Col. Richard Norton resided as a young man at the Manor House of Old
Alresford, and is said to have distinguished himself in the Battle of Cheriton by bringing up a body of horse through by-ways, from his hunting knowledge of the country, to charge the rear of the enemy.

With this gentleman Oliver Cromwell was on familiar and intimate terms, distinguishing him in letters to his private friends by the appellation of "Idle Dick Norton."

Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon says that the besiegers of Basing House were "united in this service under the command of Norton, a man of spirit and of the greatest fortune of all the rest," and speaks of "the known courage of Norton."

Mercurius Aulicus styles Col. Norton as "the great incendiary of Hampshire." He served under Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester, was a fellow Colonel with Cromwell in the Eastern Association, became Member of Parliament for Hampshire in 1645, and had a long Parliamentary experience.

Cromwell addresses letters to Col. Norton MP thus: "For my noble Friend, Colonel Richard Norton. These," and commences "Dear Dick."

Carlyle says of Norton: “Given to Presbyterian notions; was purged out by Pride; came back, dwindled ultimately into Royalism."

Norton was not employed under the Protectorate, was in favor after the Restoration, and died an old man in 1691. His portrait was destroyed when a Berkshire house was burnt in the 18th century.

Taken from pages 33 and 34 of THE CIVIL WAR IN HAMPSHIRE

by REV. G. N. GODWIN, B.D.




Third Reading

Nicholas McNair  •  Link

An ancestor of mine, Edward Williams (1583-1660s) was engaged by Richard Norton's father, Sir Daniel Norton, as a tutor to his eldest son Daniel, but was I believe also acting as a puritan minister in his private chapel, where Charles I was worshipping when he heard the news of Buckingham's assassination in 1627. Edward's children by Jane Langford (1604-1680) were baptized with members of Norton's circle as sponsors, including Lady Honor Norton, Anthony Ashley Cooper (only 13 at the time), Sir William Uvedale and others. It seems clear that the Nortons, though puritan, were by nature royalist, despite Richard's close friendship with Cromwell. Jane Langford's first cousin Christabel Pyne, wife of Col. Edmund Wyndham, features in Pepys's diary as a woman with great influence over Charles I, and, according to Antonia Fraser, was Charles II's first lover at Bridgewater in 1645, where her husband was governor.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


  • Jul