Elizabeth Norris, Lady Fentoun

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Elizabeth Norris, Lady Fentoun

Also Known As: "Elizabeth (Norreys) Webb Norris Erskine"
Birthplace: White Waltham, Berkshire, England
Death: before April 21, 1621
White Waltham, Berkshire, England
Place of Burial: White Waltham, Windsor and Maidenhead, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Sir John Norreys, MP and Mary Norreys
Wife of Sir Henry Norreys, KG, MP, Colonel General; Mr. Webb; Sir Edward Norreys, MP, of Rycote and Thomas Erskine, 1st Earl of Kellie
Mother of Sir William Norris; Mary (Norris) Allerton, "Mayflower" Passenger; Reverend Edward Norreys, II and Martha Norris
Sister of Stephen Norreys; Edward Norreys; William Norreys; Jane Norreys; Isabel Norreys and 4 others

Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:

About Elizabeth Norris, Lady Fentoun

Elizabeth, da. and h. of John Norris of Fyfield, Berks., wid. of one Webb of Salisbury. Married 2nd to Edward Norris (1550-1601); 3rd to Thomas Erskine, 1st Viscount of Fentoun

From History of Parliament

In July 1600 Norris’s daughter and sole surviving child, already a rich widow, married (Sir) Edward Norris, then aged about 50, the only surviving son of Lord Norris of Rycote. Sir Edward evidently hoped to found a new line upon the reunion of two branches of the family, but he died childless in October 1603. The scheme had its advantages for John Norris. He was knighted at Englefield when the Queen dined there in September 1601, and some did ‘much marvel’ that Sir Edward Norris ‘would be the means to make such a Sir John Norris’. He attempted to arbitrate in the disputes between Sir Edward and the now Lord Norris.4

His daughter married, as her third husband, Thomas Erskine, 1st Viscount of Fentoun. Norris’s nuncupative will, registered in 1616, declares that in December 1612, in his last illness, he called his daughter to him and said  "All is thine, Bess ... be good to your tenants that they may bid you good morrow with a cheerful heart'; no executors are mentioned, and Lady Fentoun was granted letters of administration. According to John Chamberlain, writing in January 1613, however, Norris appointed Sir Henry Neville* and Sir William Bowyer his executors, but 'his daughter ... hath put herself in possession and means to carry it away by strong hand'. The matter caused a dispute between Neville and Lady Fentoun, in which the latter, 'ver violent', complained to the King.5

From Tudor Women

ELIZABETH NORRIS (d. April 28, 1621)

Elizabeth Norris was the daughter and heir of John Norris of Fifield in the parish of Bray, Berkshire (c.1550-December 1612) and Mary Basford (Beresford/Bashford). Her first husband was a man named Webb, of Salisbury, who left her a wealthy widow. On July 17, 1600, she married Sir Edward Norris of Englefield, Oxfordshire (c.1550-September 8, 1603), one of the Rycote Norris family. He bought Englefield for £1500, enlarged the house, and made a new park for his wife.The queen visited them there in 1601. That same year, husband and wife went to court to effect a reconciliation with Sir Robert Cecil following litigation with the new LordNorris, Sir Edward's nephew, who was married to Cecil's niece. Her third husband, to whom she was married in 1604, was Thomas Erskine, 1st viscount Fenton and later earl of Killie (1566-1639). He was involved in litigation over Norris's will with Lord Norris. Norris offered to settle by paying £2000 for Norris's debts and £1000 for his servants. In 1613, Lady Fenton (or Fentoun) was granted letters of administration for her late father's estate, although Sir Henry Neville of Billingbear had been named executor. Fenton complained to the king about him. Elizabeth does not appear to have had any children, although she was said to have feigned a miscarriage during her marriage to Norris.


From 'Parishes: White Waltham', A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 3 (1923), pp. 171-177. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=43199&strquery=Erskine Date accessed: 15 August 2014.

After the Dissolution the manor of Heywood was granted in 1541 to John Norreys of Fyfield, usher of the black rod, (fn. 72) who died in 1577. (fn. 73) His son William Norreys of Fyfield died seised of the manor in 1591 and was succeeded by his son John Norreys. (fn. 74) In 1606 Sir John Norreys settled his property in White Waltham and Shottesbrook on himself for life, with remainder to his wife Margery, then his daughter Elizabeth and her husband Thomas Lord Erskine in tail. (fn. 75) Lord Erskine was created Earl of Kellie in 1619. Sir John Norreys died in 1612 and the Countess of Kellie in 1621, her uncle Edward Norreys being her heir. (fn. 76) The latter seems to have released his right, (fn. 77) and in 1623 Thomas Earl of Kellie together with Sir Peter Vanlore and his wife Jacquetta (cf. Smewyns) conveyed the manor to Dame Elizabeth Craven, Sir William Whitmore and Sir Edmund Sawyer.


  • 5.CP, vii. 101, incorrectly identifies Lady Fentoun as the widow of Edward, John Norris's brother, who was still alive in 1612: cf. Norris's will and Vis. Berks. (Harl. Soc. lvii), 185; PCC 19-20 Weldon; Chamberlain Letters, i. 405, 409, 414.


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Elizabeth Norris, Lady Fentoun's Timeline

White Waltham, Berkshire, England
Age 9
Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom
Age 13
Speke Hall, Lancashire, England
Age 15
Isle of Man
Age 16
Newbury, West Berkshire, England
April 21, 1621
Age 50
White Waltham, Berkshire, England
April 28, 1621
Age 50
White Waltham, Windsor and Maidenhead, England, United Kingdom