Thomas Norris was born on 17 January 1765, the eldest surviving child of Hugh Norris and Ann Molyneux. He never married and had no known children, although after the death of his younger brother John in 1830, he took in two of John's sons, Thomas and John Jr.

He was a man of considerable wealth. He was a friend and business partner of Sir Robert Peel and retired at a young age to spend the rest of his days pursuing his varied hobbies, which included Astronomy, Botany, and Entomology.

He was a great lover of fine art and owned a collection that included sculpture, fine furniture, and paintings by Rembrandt, Gainsborough, and other masters.

He was a charitable man but made a great effort to keep his philanthropy quiet. He made countless donations of money and valuable objects to various schools, churches, and hospitals during his life and left a large bequest for the benefit of the poor of Croston.

Thomas Norris Esq.
John Jr. died at his uncle's home in 1850 after a long illness. Thomas the younger continued to live with his uncle and namesake until the elder Thomas died in 1852.

He and his nephew Thomas Norris the younger must have shared many of the same interests and concerns, and he made his nephew his principal benefactor.

Thomas Norris Esq. is buried beneath the stone floor of the parish church, St. Michael and All Angels, in Croston. A white marble plaque in his memory was re-discovered during the cleaning and restoration of the church only a few years ago. It had been hidden by 140 years of soot, grime and dust, and has been cleaned and restored to it's former beauty.


1: The story of Thomas Norris and his nephew, also called Thomas Norris, deserves more attention and I will be updating and adding more to this part of the website at a later date.
2: The photograph was kindly provided by Mr & Mrs J. S. Ackers.
3: The above information is taken from Baptism, Census and Burial records held at the Lancashire Record Office in Preston, and from the memorial inscription at Croston Parish Church.


Census Returns News Item Burial Record Info. from Will
Thomas' Family Inner Homepage Main Homepage