Henry Norris was born to Sir Edward Norris and his wife, Lady Frideswide Lovel. It is thought that he was the couple’s second son and that John Norris was born a year earlier. Some sources indicate that Henry was the son of Edward Norris’s brother Richard and was born later. However, when Richard Norris died it was his daughter that inherited whereas if Henry Norris had been his son he would have inherited the estate.
Henry’s father died.
1509 (21st April)
Henry was created Keeper of Foliejon Park.
Henry Norris became a member of the Privy Chamber.
Norris, who had become a close friend of King Henry VIII, was appointed Gentleman of the Bedchamber.
Henry Norris married Mary Fiennes, daughter of Thomas Fiennes Baron Dacre and Anne Bourchier. Henry had met Mary in France where she was a maid of honour to Queen Claude.
Norris was made Keeper of Langley New Park in Buckinghamshire.
A son, Edward, was born to Henry Norris and Mary Fiennes.
A son, Henry, was born to Henry Norris and Mary Fiennes.
A daughter, Mary, was born to Henry Norris and Mary Fiennes.
Henry Norris was given the post of Groom of the Stool. His responsibilities included supervising the running of the King’s Privy Chamber and he became very close to the King.
Norris became Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod. This post made him responsible for the conduct of the Lords in parliament.
1527 (late Spring)
King Henry VIII had become infatuated with Anne Boleyn
. She had accepted Henry’s proposal to marry as soon as he was divorced from Catherine. Henry instructed his chief minister, Thomas Wolsey to work to securing his divorce from Catherine of Aragon
It appears that Henry Norris was upset by the fall of Thomas Wolsey
and likely felt that the former statesman was badly treated.
Norris was made Chamberlain of North Wales.
1533 (25th January)
Anne Boleyn, who was pregnant, and King Henry VIII were secretly married in the King’s chapel at Whitehall by Dr Rowland Lee, one of the royal chaplains.
1533 (1st June)
Anne Boleyn was crowned Queen consort of England in St Peter’s Abbey, Westminster.
1533 (7th September)
Anne Boleyn announced that she was pregnant again.
Norris became Constable of Beaumaris Castle.
Anne was delivered of a stillborn child. Henry who did not want to lose face ordered the details be kept secret.
Act of Supremacy
This act declared England as a sovereign state with the King as the head of both the country and the church. The Act gave the monarch the power over all areas that had previously been the province of the clergy and ecclesiastical courts. It also meant that his injunctions would be binding on the clergy and that he had the power to define faith in parliament. All heresy cases would now be prosecuted by special commissions. The King would also now appoint men of his choosing to ecclesiastical posts.
This act made it a treasonable offence to deny any of the King’s titles. It stated that any malicious wish, will or desire to deprive the King or Queen of title or name of their royal estates was to be deemed treason. Slanderous publication of writing or words uttered describing the King as heretic, schismatic, tyrant, infidel or usurper would also be deemed treason.
1535 (mid March)
Anne Boleyn declared she was pregnant again.
1535 (17th June)
, who continued to support Catherine of Aragon, was found guilty of high treason under the terms of the Treasons Act.
1535 (22nd June)
John Fisher, aged 76 years, was beheaded on Tower Hill. Fisher was the first bishop to be executed since Thomas Becket
in 1170 and the people were deeply shocked.
1535 (late June)
Anne was prematurely delivered of a stillborn child. Henry kept the news secret because he was worried that people would say it was God’s revenge for the murder of Fisher.
1535 (1st July)
was tried for treason. He was found guilty and sentenced to death.
1535 (6th July)
Thomas More was executed by beheading. He made a short speech asking people to pray for him and saying that he died the King’s good servant but God’s first.
1535 (late Summer)
Norris was granted property that had belonged to Thomas More.
1535 (late November)
Anne discovered that she was pregnant again. She was aware that everything depended on the outcome of this pregnancy.
1535 (29th November)
Norris became Constable of Wallingford Castle.
1536 (7th January)
Catherine of Aragon died. It was commonly believed that Anne Boleyn had slowly poisoned her to death. Nowadays it is believed that she died from cancer.
1536 (mid January)
Catherine and Henry’s daughter, Mary
, was taken very ill and it was commonly believed that she was being poisoned by Anne Boleyn.
1536 (29th January)
Anne Boleyn miscarried of a son four months into her pregnancy. The child was badly deformed and Henry saw this as clear evidence of God’s displeasure with the marriage.
Henry VIII believed that the miscarriage of a son was God’s way of declaring that his marriage to Anne Boleyn was unlawful either because of her earlier pre-contract to James Butler or because of Henry’s affair with Anne’s sister, Mary Boleyn. He decided that he needed to find a way out of his marriage to Anne.
began collecting evidence against Anne. During the course of his investigations he heard that some members of Anne’s court were admitted to her chamber at late hours. Henry Norris was named alongside George Boleyn, Francis Weston
, William Brereton and Mark Smeaton. Cromwell used this information to construct a case that Anne had committed adultery with all five men and that they had plotted to murder the King. The information was passed to Henry.
1536 (24th April)
Henry signed a document authorising commissioners to enquire into any kind of treason committed by Anne Boleyn.
1536 (29th April)
Cromwell presented Henry with a list of charges against Anne Boleyn. Henry was furious and ordered the arrest of all those concerned including the Queen.
1536 (30th April)
Mark Smeaton was arrested and taken to Cromwell’s house for questioning. After being tortured he admitted committing adultery with the Queen.
1536 (1st May)
At the end of the May Day Joust, King Henry VIII publicly accused Norris of committing adultery with the Queen and ordered his immediate arrest.
1536 (2nd May)
Henry Norris was taken with George Boleyn to the Tower of London. Anne Boleyn was separately arrested and taken by barge to the Tower.
1536 (4th May)
Francis Weston and William Brereton were arrested and taken to the Tower of London on suspicion of treason.
1536 (5th May)
Thomas Wyatt and Richard Page were arrested on suspicion of committing adultery with the Queen. However they were later released. Cromwell reasoned that if two men were allowed to go free then the others accused would seem more guilty.
1536 (10th May)
Anne was indicted before a grand jury for treason. She was charged with having committed adultery with Norris, Weston, Brereton, Smeaton and incest with her brother George. It was alleged that George was the father of the deformed baby. She was also charged with plotting to murder the King and making fun of him in public.
1536 (12th May)
The trial of Henry Norris, Mark Smeaton, Francis Weston and William Brereton, took place. The Duke of Norfolk presided over the trial which found all men guilty. They were sentenced to death.
1536 (15th May)
Anne Boleyn was tried by 26 peers of the realm including her uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, who presided over the trial. Although Anne argued her innocence she was found guilty and sentenced to die by burning or beheading whichever the King chose. George Boleyn was tried after his sister and was also found guilty.
1536 (17th May)
Henry Norris was executed by beheading on Tower Hill.