William and Fletcher Norton of York

William Norton,

Fletcher Norton,
Lord Grantly
1716 Birth of Fletcher 23 June 1716
1717 William Norton was the third child born to Thomas Norton and Elizabeth Sergentson of York, England. His father died a year after he was born in 1718 and being the second son, it was arranged that he was to be appointed midshipman in the British navy at age 12. This family was a very old and noble line with origins from William the Conquerors time and descended on the distaff side from many royal lines including Alfred the Great, King John (of Robin Hood fame) and William the Conqueror.

Thomas, the father of Fletcher and William, died 22 February 1719. 

Birth Edward Norton brother

1729 William Norton is 12 and probably went to sea as a midshipmen
1741 Fletcher Norton marries 21 May 1741 Grace, daughter of sir William Chapple knight, one of the judges of the court of king's bench
April 7
Promoted to Lieutenant William, born 19 February 1742
1743 On board ship HMS Guensey
1744 Fletcher, born 16 November 1744
1746 On board ship HMS Colchester Chapple, born 2 April 1746
1752 Married Margaret Wood Margaret Wood, daughter of John Wood of Copmanthorp in the county of York Grace, born 8 November 1752
1754 Fletcher elected 1754 to represent the borough of Appleby in the county of Westmorland.
Nov 4

Promoted Commander 1755, Nov 4

On board ship HMS Prince


Command of HMS Cruizer

Promoted Captain 1756, Nov 15 Captain William Norton appointed in command of HMS Amazon 15 Nov 1756.

Start of the 7 Years War with France

Chapple constituted 21 April 1756 second major of the Coldstream regiment of foot guards

June 9

HMS Amazon began victualling 9 Jun 1757.

Capt William Norton in command of the HMS Amazon captured 26 pirate ships while on station in the Carribean. Click here for a list of ships Captured by Capt William Norton on the "Amazon"

The AMAZON under Captain William Norton is noted as among the ships on the
Leeward Islands station under Moore and Sir James Douglas from 1757 to 1760
but her activities are not singled out for special mention in Beatson's "Naval and Military Memoirs"; this is not remarkable as there were six frigates on the station and a large number of captures were made by the cruisers.

June 19
On hearing the news of Capt William's success and on his return to London in 1760, West India merchants based in the City of London held a dinner in his honour on the 19 June 1760 at the King's Arms tavern, Cornhill (a street in the City which still exists). 

Captain of the "Assistance" ,
Left Portsmouth April 17, 1761 to escort 100 merchant ships to Virginia.

Returned to England Dec 1761 in escort of 100 merchant ships from Virginia.

Fletcher - constituted -- December 1761 solicitor general to the king.


1761 elected to represent the borough of Wigan in the county palatine of Lancaster.

1763 Fletcher - Attorney-General
Nov 1763 - one of the lords commissioners of trade and plantations

Captain "William & Mary" yacht 

According to David Lyon, the WILLIAM AND MARY was under great repair 1764/5 at Deptford.


William, son of Fletcher, posted February 1765 his majesty's minister plenipotentiary to the Swiss cantons

resigned as attorney general, July 1765


"William & Mary" yacht  The only voyage was from the Thames via Harwich to Rotterdam in Sept 1776.

1768 1768 elected to represent the borough of Wigan in the county palatine of Lancaster
1769 Constituted 19 February 1769 chief justice in Eyre of his majesty's forests south of Trent
April 10
William Norton is recorded dead 10 April 1779 and buried at Copmanthorpe.
1770 Elected 23 January 1770 speaker of the honourable house of commons

Elizabeth (mother of Fletcher and William) died 10 September 1774

Re-elected in the year 1774 as Speaker of the house of Commons.

Elected to represent represent the borough of Guildford in the county of Surrey

1775 Fletcher Jr. was constituted 1775 one of the barons of the exchequer of the kingdom of Scotland

Fletcher - Removed as Speaker March 20, 1780.

Elected to represent the borough of Guildford in the county of Surrey.

... why was not the Great Seal given to Sir Fletcher Norton, who had become a favourite with the Rockingham Whigs, and was most eager for judicial elevation? The King, no doubt, was desirous that Thurlow should still be the "Keeper of his conscience," so that he might have a "friend" in the Cabinet; but his wishes at that moment might easily have been controlled. I suspect that the Shelburne and Rockingham sections continued distinct even at the formation of the government, Dunning belonging to the former, and Norton to the latter, and that neither would agree to the appointment of the other's lawyer to the woolsack. This jealousy was openly manifested in a few days, for, although it be the province of the prime minister to "take the King's pleasure" with respect to the creation of peers, Dunning was made Baron Ashburton on the advice of Lord Shelburne, without the knowledge of Lord Rockingham; whereupon Lord Rockingham immediately insisted that Norton should be made Baron Grantley. Thus the Great Seal remained in the clutch of Thurlow, who hated all Whigs of all degrees with a most perfect hatred, and could not possibly be expected cordially to act in a Government founded on principles which he had uniformly and vehemently opposed.

1782 Lord Grantley, Baron of Markenfield, April 9, 1782
1787 Chapple promoted 28 September 1787 to the rank of major general in the army
1789 Death of Fletcher January 1, 1789