NORTON, Sir Daniel (1568-1636), of Southwick Priory, Hants.

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

bap. 15 Oct. 1568,1 3rd s. of Sir Richard Norton† (d.1592) of East Tisted, Hants, being 1st s. of his 2nd w. Katherine, da. of Sir John Kingsmill of Sydmonton, Hants; half-bro. of Sir Richard*.2 m. 30 Oct. 1606,3 Honor (d.1651), da. and coh. of John White of Southwick, 4s. (1 d.v.p.) 4da.4 kntd. 23 July 1603.5 d. 4 July 1636.6

Offices Held

Capt. militia ft., Hants aft. 1604-25, col. 1625-?d.;7 sheriff, Hants 1607-8, 1625-6;8 freeman, Portsmouth, Hants 1612;9 j.p. Hants 1614-33;10 commr. subsidy, Hants 1621-2, 1624,11 disarming recusants 1625,12 pressing seamen 1625, 1626,13 billeting 1626,14 martial law 1626-8,15 oyer and terminer 1628,16 knighthood fines 1630,17 sewers, Hants and Wilts. 1630,18 piracy, Hants and I.o.W. 1635.19


As a younger son of the Norton family of East Tisted, Norton made his fortune by marriage, acquiring the substantial estate of Southwick, four miles from Portsmouth.20 In the county election of 1614 he canvassed for his wife’s kinsman, Sir Henry Wallop* against his half-brother Sir Richard, the partisan sheriff of Hampshire.21 This suggests that Norton inclined towards the puritan section of the Hampshire gentry, headed by Wallop, as does his later denunciation as a recusant of one of the victors of the 1614 election, Sir Richard Tichborne*.

In 1619 Norton and his wife were given a pass for Spa.22 If they went, they had evidently returned by December 1620, when Norton was elected for Portsmouth, where he held the leases of two rectories.23 He played little recorded part in the proceedings of the Parliament, except to be appointed to consider a bill against unlawful imprisonment (5 May 1621),24 and three days later to make his only recorded speech, in defence of Sir Charles Morrison’s* conduct in a fracas with Clement Coke*.25 When Prince Charles and Buckingham landed at Portsmouth on their return from Spain in 1623, Norton supplied his coach to take them to London.26 This service may have raised his status in the county, for he was elected as a knight of the shire in 1624. He received three committee appointments in this Parliament, for bills to enable clergy to make leases (22 Mar. 1624), to punish unworthy ministers (22 Mar.), and to prevent simony in university appointments (12 April).27 On 27 Apr., at the presentment of recusants, he named three of his neighbours among the Hampshire gentry, including Sir Richard Tichborne.28 He was also named to a conference on two proposed reforms in the Exchequer (30 April).29 For the first Parliament of Charles’s reign Norton was again returned for Portsmouth. On 21 June 1625 he seconded the unsuccessful motion of Sir John Jephson* for holding the Commons’ fast in the House.30 Norton’s sole committee appointment was for a bill against recusancy (23 June). He is not mentioned in the records of the brief Oxford sitting.31

Following the dissolution of the 1625 Parliament Norton served a second term as sheriff, and so was precluded from standing at the 1626 election. He established a close relationship with Portsmouth at this time, assisting the corporation in its communications with the Privy Council about an outbreak of plague, the grievances of unpaid seamen, and the problems arising from the billeting of troops in the town.32 Norton was charged with paying £50 for the Forced Loan, the second highest assessment in Hampshire after Wallop.33 In June 1627 Charles I stayed with Norton at Southwick Priory while the fleet for the Ile de RĂ© was making ready at Portsmouth.34

Norton was chosen to represent Hampshire again in 1628. On 8 Apr. both he and his colleague, Wallop, informed the House of the unruly behaviour of soldiers billeted in Hampshire; Norton predicted ‘a good store of bastards which they will leave to our keeping, but what will become of us without speedy help, God knows’.35 He was appointed to attend a conference on the proposed general fast (21 Mar.), and to consider bills concerning the office of clerk of the market (18 Apr.), the naturalization of two Scottish courtiers (25 Apr.), and the maintenance of the clergy (7 May).36 After attending Roger Manwaring’s sermon at St. Giles-in-the Fields on the divine sanction for extra-parliamentary taxation, Norton testified against its author on 11 June before the Lords.37 Although he could not remember Manwaring’s precise words, he gave a brief outline of his argument.38 In July Charles again commandeered Norton’s house in order to be near Buckingham while the expedition to relieve La Rochelle was being prepared, and he was at prayers in Norton’s chapel when news of the duke’s assassination was brought to him.39

When Parliament reassembled in 1629 Norton accused Bishop Neile on 7 Feb. of having warned one of his prebendaries that preaching against Catholicism was no longer acceptable. This remark Norton described as ‘an offence to our pious king, for the necessary understanding of the words must be that our religion, freed from popery, was defended by King James, but not now so; an injury to the present king’.40 After being seconded by his Hampshire neighbour, Sir John Cooper*, Norton undertook to obtain a transcript of the prebendary’s statement, which he delivered to the House on 14 February.41

During the 1630s Norton went to great lengths to save the estate of his spendthrift friend Cooper (d.1631), and became the guardian of the latter’s son, Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper†, who later commemorated Norton as ‘a worthy and an honest gentleman’.42 Norton’s daughter married the heir of Sir John Eliot* on 28 Nov. 1632. However, as Eliot had died in the Tower only a few hours before, a fine of £4,000 was subsequently imposed for ‘ravishment’ of the king’s ward.43 To avoid a similar disaster Norton’s heir Richard† was married to the daughter of Sir Walter Earle* while Norton was on his death-bed.44 Norton died on the evening of 4 July 1636 and was buried at Southwick.45 In his will, dated 28 Mar. 1635, his three younger daughters were left portions of between £2,000 and £2,500, and his ‘dear and loving wife’, who had a life interest in Southwick, was appointed executrix.46 Richard Norton sat in Parliament between 1645 and 1691 as Member for Hampshire or Portsmouth.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Virginia C.D. Moseley / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. Soc. Gen., F.J. Baigent, Norton fam. notes.
  • 2. Berry, Hants Gen. 44, 106.
  • 3. Soc. Gen., F.J. Baigent, Norton fam. notes; N and Q (ser. 10), vi. 82-3.
  • 4. PROB 11/173, f. 241v, 11/219, f. 151v.
  • 5. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 122.
  • 6. C142/534/101.
  • 7. Add. 21922, ff. 5, 16, 62v, 80v; SP16/6/52.
  • 8. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 56.
  • 9. Portsmouth Recs. ed. R. East, 348.
  • 10. C66/1988; C231/5, f. 100.
  • 11. C212/22/20-1, 23.
  • 12. Add. 21922, f. 38.
  • 13. CSP Dom. 1625-6, p. 419; APC, 1623-5, p. 499; 1626, p. 14.
  • 14. APC, 1626, p. 224.
  • 15. Ibid. 1626, p. 221; CSP Dom. 1627-8, p. 440.
  • 16. C181/3, f. 241; APC, 1627-8, p. 318.
  • 17. Add. 21922, f. 174.
  • 18. C181/4, f. 49v.
  • 19. C181/5, f. 24.
  • 20. C142/312/138; PROB 11/79, f. 162; VCH Hants, iii. 31, 163.
  • 21. Whithed Letter Bk. (Hants Recs. ser. i), 115.
  • 22. APC, 1618-19, p. 450.
  • 23. NRA, Winchester Coll. muniments, 15256, 16258.
  • 24. CJ, i. 610a.
  • 25. Nicholas Procs. 1621, ii. 42.
  • 26. J. Nichols, Progs. of Jas. I, iii. 936.
  • 27. CJ, i. 746a, 762b.
  • 28. Ibid. 776b.
  • 29. Ibid. 965a.
  • 30. Ibid. 227.
  • 31. Procs. 1625, p. 210.
  • 32. CSP Dom. 1625-6, pp. 112, 379-80, 425; 1627-8, p. 166.
  • 33. Add. 21922, f. 16; SP16/521/177.I.
  • 34. Ibid. 1627-8, p. 212.
  • 35. CD 1628, ii. 365.
  • 36. Ibid. ii. 42, 540, iii. 70, 301.
  • 37. LJ, iii. 847, 848b; HMC Abergavenny, 128.
  • 38. Lords Procs. 1628, v. 616.
  • 39. CSP Dom. 1628-9, pp. 233, 234, 243-4, 250, 253, 256, 265, 310, 323; N. and Q (ser. 10), vi. 83.
  • 40. CD 1629 pp. 133, 180.
  • 41. CJ, i. 927b, 930a.
  • 42. CSP Dom. 1631-3, pp. 136, 294; 1634-5, pp. 220, 600; 1635-6, p. 323; W.D. Christie, Shaftesbury Mems. Letters and Pprs. i. 13-14.
  • 43. The Gen. n.s. i. 21-27.
  • 44. C142/534/101.
  • 45. PROB 11/219, 151v.
  • 46. PROB 11/173, f. 241v.