Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Christopher Norton

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 11
Christopher Norton

by Blanche Mary Kelly


Martyr; executed at Tyburn, 27 May, 1570. His father was Richard Norton of Norton Conyers, Yorkshire, and his mother, Susan Neville, daughter of Richard, second Baron Latimer Richard Norton, known as "Old Norton", was the head of his illustrious house, which remained faithful to the Catholic religion. Despite this fact he held positions of influence during the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI, was Governor of Norham Castle under Mary, and in 1568-69 was sheriff of Yorkshire. He had been pardoned for joining in the Pilgrimage of Grace, but he and his brother Thomas, his nine sons, of whom Christopher was the seventh, and many of their relatives hastened to take part in the northern uprising of 1569. He was attainted and fled to Flanders with four of his sons, two of his sons were pardoned, another apostatized, Christopher and his father's brother having been captured proved themselves steadfast Catholics, were hanged, disemboweled, and quartered. Edmund, who apostatized, and a sister are the subject of Wordsworth's "White Doe of Rylstone".

SARTERS, Hist. of Durham, I, clx; LINGARD, Hist. of Eng. (ed. 1849), VI, 195; Records of English Catholics I, ii.

Blanche M. Kelly.