NORREYS, Sir Edward (1634-1712), of Weston-on-the-Green, Oxon.
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Family and Education
bap. 28 Aug. 1634, 2nd but o. surv. s. of Sir Francis Rose alias Norreys† of Weston-on-the-Green by Hester, da. of Sir John Rous† of Rous Lench, Worcs. educ. Queen’s, Oxf. 1650; L. Inn 1654; travelled abroad (France) 1656-8. m. lic. 9 Dec. 1662, Jane (d. 25 Dec. 1722), da. of Sir John Clarke of Shabington, Bucks. and North Weston, Oxon., 4s. d.v.p. 5da. Kntd. 22 Nov. 1662; suc. fa. 1669.1
Commr. for assessment, Oxon. 1663-80, Oxford 1677-80, Berks. 1679-80, Oxon. Oxford and Berks. 1689-90; j.p. Oxon. 1666-Mar. 1688, Oct. 1688-d., Oxford 1700-d.; freeman, Oxford 1668-Jan. 1688, Woodstock 1684; dep. lt. Oxon. by 1668-Feb. 1688, 1689-96, 1702-d., lt.-col. of militia ft. by 1697-?d.2
Norreys’s father, an illegitimate son of the 1st Earl of Berkshire, succeeded to the Weston estate in 1623. He took no part in the Civil War, but held local office from 1648 and represented Oxfordshire in 1656. Nevertheless he was nominated to the proposed order of the Royal Oak with an estate of £1,500 p.a.3
Norreys was returned for Oxfordshire at a by-election in 1675, but he made no mark in the Cavalier Parliament, sitting on only three unimportant committees and making no recorded speeches. He was marked ‘worthy’ on Shaftesbury’s list in 1677 and again in 1679, when he was returned to the first Exclusion Parliament, although he had refused to canvass, ‘by which one may see the honourable reward of honesty’. He was totally inactive and was absent from the division on the first exclusion bill. He may have stood again in the autumn as an opponent of exclusion. He certainly did so in 1681, but without success. In the 1685 election for Oxford city he came third in the poll. He refused the first two questions about the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws, saying:
If I am chosen a Member to serve for any place in the Parliament his Majesty shall think fit to call, I cannot say what I shall vote for there; but according to my present sentiment shall not be for the taking off the Penal Laws and Tests ... I believe I shall not be for giving my vote for any other person that shall be for the taking off the Penal Laws and Tests.
He was then removed from local office. Returned to the Convention for the city with his son-in-law, Henry Bertie, he seconded the motion of Sir John Knight for a vote of thanks to Dr John Sharp for his sermon on the anniversary of Charles I’s execution, despite the fact that the clergyman had prayed for James II, but he did not vote to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant. He was appointed to only five committees, of which the most important was for the second mutiny bill. He remained a Tory, at first refusing the Association in 1696. His son Francis sat for Oxford from 1701 till his death in 1706. Norreys was buried on 5 Oct. 1712 at Weston-on-the-Green, when Henry Bertie succeeded to the estate.4
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Authors: Leonard Naylor / Geoffrey Jaggar
- 1. Weston par. reg; Vis. Oxon. (Harl. Soc. v), 289; CSP Dom. 1656-7, p. 142; 1657-8, pp. 354, 359; Mar. Lic. (Harl. Soc. x, xiii), 80; J. Dunkin, Bullingdon and Ploughley, ii. 200-1, 214.
- 2. Oxford Council Acts (Oxf. Hist. Soc. n.s. ii), 27; Woodstock Council Acts, 1679-99 (17 Sept. 1684); Bodl. Carte 79, f. 680; Eg. 1626, f. 36.
- 3. VCH Oxon, vi. 349.
- 4. BL M636/32, Edmund to John Verney, 24 Feb. 1679; Wood’s Life and Times (Oxf. Hist. Soc. xxi), 519; Oxford Council Acts (Oxf. Hist. Soc. n.s. ii), 171; Grey, ix. 38-39; Weston par. reg.