CHARLES NORRIS, TENBY ARTIST, AND HIS FAMILY (PLATES XIV 30-31) (Condensed from Notes for a talk to the Arts Society at Tenby.) The central figure of the Norris family, in Tenby's history, is Charles Norris, the artist, my great-great-grandfather. I think, however, that one cannot hope to understand him, as an artist and as a man (and also his elder brother, John, whom I propose to introduce to you) without knowing the sort of family he sprang from, and the sort of family into which he married. In 1363 Geoffrey Norreys bought land at Lynn in Norfolk, and he also had land at Tilney. We don't know what Geoffrey's occupation was, but the family evidently prospered. His elder grandson, also Geoffrey, is described as 'Lord of Monpinsonn's Manor in West Bilney, Norfolk' and a younger grandson, John, was Vicar of South Lynn in 1444. Five generations later Thomas, born in 1549, is described as 'Patron of the living of Anmere', so he was evidently Lord of the Manor. His younger brother, Cuthbert, was Archdeacon of Sudbury when he died in 1621. Thomas's sons were squires of Anmere and of Congham, and a grandson, Osbert, was a silk merchant in Norwich and a freeman of that city. So it is possible that the family fortunes were founded on silk Norwich was the chief port in those days for the thriving Continental trade, including French and Italian silks and velvets. From this background we get a picture of a prosperous, respectable middle-class family, country squires and landowners, parsons and merchants. They would be men with responsibility in parish affairs, the natural guardians of local law and order and of the care of the poor. As Lords of Manors they presided at manorial courts, and safeguarded the rights of the ordinary man. This background explains, I think, the character and the actions of Charles Norris. Osbert had two sons, Robert and James. Captain James Norris was a prominent Royalist; he was a freeman of Norwich, like his father, and his descendants were squires and parsons in Norfolk, right down to the present century when the last young Norris of James's direct line was killed in action at Gallipoli. However, it is James' elder brother Robert, who concerns us; he was the gread-grand- father of John Norris and his brother Charles, of Tenby. Robert's son, also Robert, broke the family tradition, in more ways than one. He left Norfolk and settled in London. He died in 1751 at no. 17, Cheyne Walk, Chelsea. He had offices at St. Sepulchre's in the City and is described as 'a prosperous merchant' possibly he was in the family silk business. With Robert comes the first known deviation from four centuries of respectability we do not know if he was over-extravagant, or lacking in business acumen, or just unlucky but one letter he wrote gives his address as 'within the liberty of the Fleet' the debtor's prison! And a friend writes about 'money that had come to Robert through his father-in-law and that it would be a good thing for his creditors'. Robert had married an heiress, Ellen Savage of Tachbrook, in Warwickshire. 'Father-in-law' left £ 140,000. Unfortunately, it must be recorded that Robert's son John was also a bit of a black sheep all families get them once in a while. We call him 'John I' to avoid mixing him with his son, known as 'John II'. John I seems to have inherited, from his mother's family, plenty of money he, also, is described as 'a prosperous merchant' land in Warwickshire and at Islington, and two fine manors, Hawley, in Hampshire and Hughenden, at High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. He had a good education; Eton; and Christ Church, Oxford, where he matriculated at 17. He was offered a 'Demyship' (scholarship) by Magdalen College and from there he took his B.A., M.A., and later became a Doctor of Civil Law. He was High Sheriff for Buckingham in 1775.