Norgate, Thomas Starling (DNB00)

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NORGATE, THOMAS STARLING (1772–1859), miscellaneous writer, son of Elias Norgate, surgeon, and Deborah, daughter of Alderman Thomas Starling, was born at Norwich, 20 Aug. 1772. From 1780 to 1788 he attended the Norwich grammar school, where Dr. Samuel Parr was headmaster until 1785. In 1789 he was sent to the ‘New College,’ which had recently been established in the independent interest at Hackney, under the presidency of Dr. Thomas Belsham, and he was subsequently entered at Lincoln's Inn; but although he kept the requisite number of terms, he relinquished the chances of a legal career, and returned to his native city without any very definite views for the future.

While in London he was a frequent guest at the house of William Beloe [q. v.], and at his instigation he contributed to an early volume of the ‘British Critic.’ A year or two later, on the invitation of William Enfield, minister at the Octagon Chapel in Norwich, he became a regular contributor to the ‘Analytical Review’ until its death in 1799, and he supplied a few papers to the ‘Cabinet,’ a short-lived periodical published (1795–6) under the management of Charles Marsh, William Taylor, and other literary inhabitants of Norwich. He was a writer on various topics in the ‘Monthly Magazine,’ and supplied the ‘Half-yearly Retrospect of Domestic Literature’ from 1797 to 1807, when the publication was discontinued. To Arthur Aikin's ‘Annual Review’ (1802–8) Norgate was a large contributor, writing nearly one-seventh part of the whole work. Subsequently his intimate friend William Taylor introduced him to Griffiths, the editor of the ‘Monthly Review,’ for which he wrote for a time while living in retirement on his estate at Hetherset in Norfolk.

In 1829 he wrote the introductory chapter on the ‘Agriculture of the County’ for Chambers's ‘General History of Norfolk,’ 2 vols. 8vo, and in the following year, in conjunction with Simon Wilkin, F.L.S., and another friend, established the ‘East-Anglian,’ a weekly newspaper published at Norwich (1830–3). Norgate was assisted as editor by his eldest son, Elias Norgate, who also joined his father in founding (1829) the Norfolk and Norwich Horticultural Society. Norgate died at Hetherset, 7 July 1859, in the eighty-seventh year of his age.

His fourth son, Thomas Starling Norgate (1807–1893), born 30 Dec. 1807, was educated at Norwich grammar school under the Rev. Edward Valpy, and graduated B.A. from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, in 1832. He was curate successively of Briningham, of Cley-next-the-Sea, and of Banningham, all in Norfolk, and was collated rector of Sparham in the same county in 1840. He died at Sparham on 25 Nov. 1893. He was the author of three volumes of blank-verse translations of the Homeric poems: ‘Batrachomyomachia, an Homeric fable reproduced in dramatic blank verse,’ 1863, 8vo; ‘The Odyssey’ in dramatic blank verse 1863, 8vo; and ‘The Iliad,’ 1864, 8vo.

[Manuscript autobiographical memoranda and personal recollections.]

F. N.