Norris, William (1719-1791) (DNB00)

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NORRIS, WILLIAM (1719–1791), secretary to the Society of Antiquaries, was apparently son of John Norris, Nonsuch, Wiltshire, and matriculated from Merton College, Oxford, on 12 March 1735–6. Robert Norris [q. v.] was his brother. He was elected F.S.A. on 4 April 1754, and that year commenced to assist Ames as secretary to the society. On Ames's death, in 1759, Norris became sole secretary, and held the post till 1786, when he retired on account of ill-health. His secretaryship was characterised by great diligence and energy. Gough speaks of his ‘dragon-like vigilance’ (Nichols, Lit. Anecd. vi. 128). He was for several years corrector for the press to Baskett, the royal printer. In 1766 he appears to have been residing in Chancery Lane. He died in Camden Street, Islington, in November 1791, and was buried in the burial-ground of St. James's, Pentonville, on 29 Nov. Letters by him, written in 1756 to Philip Carteret Webb, are in the British Museum (Lansdowne MS. 841, ff. 86, 87).

[Gent. Mag. 1792, pt. i. p. 88; Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. vi. 127; Hist. MSS. Comm. 5th Rep. p. 359; registers of St. James's, Pentonville, per the Rev. J. H. Rose.]

B. P.