Sir Henry Norris, Friend of King Henry VIII

Last Modified: Apr 28 2017

While there is no evidence to suggest any connection to my ancestors, it is interesting to look at some of the people through the ages who have carried the name Noers, Norreys, Norris or Nurse.

I continue with Sir Henry Norris a friend of King Henry VIII.

Over the centuries the “Le Norreys” or “Norreys” line appears to have adopted the more English sounding name “Norris”. This family, which had considerable holdings in Lancashire appears to be the ancestor of most of the Norrisses. By far the most famous of all Norrises is Sir Henry Norris. Sir Henry was the second son of Sir Edward Norreys, and Frideswide Lovel, daughter and co-heir of Francis, Viscount Lovel, and was probably born during the reign of Edward IV.

Henry Norris became one of the six gentlemen-in-waiting for King Henry VIII and apparently a good friend, often being used to relay messages to other close associates of the King. Even though he gained tremendously financially from his closeness to the King, he was to pay for this closeness in another way, namely his closeness to the Queen, Anne Boleyn. In fact he was arrested and charged as one of the Queen’s lovers.

King Henry VIII loved Sir Henry Norris dearly and said to him before sending him to the block, "save your head and confess the guilt of Anne Boleyn." Sir Henry Norris replied, "I would rather undergo a thousand deaths than betray the innocent”. In rage King Henry VIII then cried "Off with his head!" and Sir Henry Norris was beheaded on May 14, 1536. The King subsequently repented of his hasty action, having lost a dear friend by his own hand.

Bibliography and Notes

[1] Wikipedia,  -

[2] Luminarium, -

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