NORRIS, HENRY NORRIS or NORREYS, BARON (c. 1525-1601), belonged to an old Berkshire family, many mem bers of which had held positions at the English court. His father, Henry Norris, was a grandson of Sir William Norris, who corn manded the royal troops against Lambert Simnel at the battle of Stoke in 1487. Like his brother John (d.- 1564), the elder Henry Norris obtained a post at the court of Henry VIII. ; he gained the king's favour and was rewarded with many lucrative offices. He belonged to the party which favoured the elevation of Anne Boleyn; but in May 1536 he was arrested on the charge of intriguing with her, and though he was probably innocent of any serious offence, he was beheaded on May ][7, 1536. His son Henry regained some of his father's lands and entered upon court life, being a member of parliament under Edward VI. During Mary's reign he was one of those who were entrusted with the custody of the princess Elizabeth, and when the princess became queen she amply repaid the kindness which Norris had shown to her when he was her guardian at Woodstock. In 1566 he was knighted and sent as ambassador to France, where he remained until 157o, and in 1572 he was created Baron Norris of Rycote.
He died in June 16or.
The eldest of his six sons, Sir WILLIAM NORRIS, died in Ireland in Dec. 1579, leaving a son Francis (1579-1623), who succeeded to his grandfather's barony and also to the estates of his uncle Sir Edward Norris. In 1621 Francis was created earl of Berkshire. He left no sons and the earldom became extinct, but the barony descended to his daughter Elizabeth (d. the wife of Edward Wray (d. 1658). Their daughter Bridget (1627-57) married as his second wife Montagu Bertie, 2nd earl of Lindsey, and their son James Bertie became Baron Norris (or Norreys) in 1657, and was created earl of Abingdon in 1682. His de scendants the Berties, earls of Abingdon, still hold this barony.
Sir EDWARD NORRIS (d. 1603), the 1st Lord Norris's third son, served with the English troops in the Netherlands from 1585 to 1588. He is chiefly remembered owing to his fierce quarrel with Philip, count of Hohenlohe (1550-16o6), called Hollock by the English, in August 1586 at Gertruydenberg.