accounts over the years:
- John Norman and the London River Procession
- John Norman of Norwich
- Normans of Charminster in Dorset
- Isaac Norman of Culpeper County, Virginia
- The Normandale Blast Furnace
- George Warde Norman of Bromley
John Norman and the London River Procession
is considered to be the first lord mayor to go to Westminster by water. It is thought that his infirmity may have
been the reason for the river procession instead of the usual parade.
The historian Humpherus, in describing the
procession in 1453, said:
having at his own expense built a noble barge, had it decorated with
streamers, in which he was this year rowed by watermen with silver
attended by such of the city companies as possessed barges, in a manner
splendid that ‘his barge seemed to burn on the water.’”
The watermen were said to have made John
Norman a song of praise, which began: “Rowe
bote, Norman, Rowe to thy Lemman” (where lemman meant sweetheart).
The river procession became popular
among Londoners and the practice continued to be held for mayors until
John Norman of Norwich
was born in Norwich in 1657 and lived in Old Catton.
He prospered as a local farmer, landowner and
brewer. He eventually became an alderman
and mayor of Norwich.
died in 1724
and, although he had married twice, had no children.
However, he was extremely interested in the
education of children and left the bulk of his estate ‘in trust’ to
male descendants of his close relatives.
According to his wishes, the Norman Endowed School was
for the benefit of his descendants.
school lasted until 1934 when the funds proved insufficient to maintain
Charminster in Dorset
family of Charminster was stalwart in their membership of the Society
Friends in Dorchester. James Norman and
his brother Ralph were trustees of the Meeting House there when it was
purchased in 1712. James also held monthly
meetings in his own house in Charminster.
In his will, proved in 1747, he bequeathed his house to his son
“to give lease and liberty for the people of God called Quakers to keep
meetings therein as in my time.”
Normans were also clockmakers.
James Norman of Charminster was the earliest, making 30 hour
clocks with brass dials and a single hand during the late 17th and
centuries. There was another James
Norman of Charminster and Poole and his son Ralph who was apprenticed
Norman of Poole in 1760.
of their clocks are to be found at the Dorset collection of clocks in
House Cider Museum.
Isaac Norman of Culpeper County, Virginia
born in 1682 reportedly in Gloucester county, married Frances (by
tradition Courtney) and died around
1763. He lived during the
early 1700’s on Flatt Run in what is now Culpeper County, Virginia.
Nearby, Norman’s Ford was an early crossing
of the Rapahannock river which was said to have taken its name from
Ford, on the
Rappahannock River took its name from Isaac Norman of the Stafford
first settled there and in June 1726 had a land grant on the Culpeper
Isaac’s parentage is
not really known, because of lost records and the similarity of the
of many of the early Normans in America.
The Normandale Blast Furnace
Normandale is a township along Lake Erie in Ontario. The
following plaque marks the site of the blast furnace there.
industrial enterprises, the Normandale ironworks and its blast furnace
played a significant role in the early economic development of the
province. Built in 1816-17 by John Mason and enlarged in 1821-22
by John Van Norman, it produced the famous Van Norman cooking
stove. Up to 200 men were employed prior to the closure of the
blast furnace in 1847, following the exhaustion of the local bog iron
The plaque is located to the south of Van Norman Street in
Normandale. The Van Norman house on Front Road, built in 1842
from the proceeds of the iron foundry, still stands.
George Warde Norman of Bromley
Norman joined his father’s timber business after leaving school in
spending much of his time in Norway. He
soon spoke fluent Norwegian, as well as French and Italian. Charles Darwin spoke of him as “my clever
neighbor, Mr. Norman.” In 1821 he became
a Director of the Bank of England, a position he held for fifty years.
Initially, like his father and grandfather
before him, George travelled to work in London by horseback. However, after the opening of the Greenwich
railway in 1836, he rode to Greenwich and finished his journey by train.
He had played cricket while a schoolboy at
Eton and that enthusiasm stayed with him as an adult.
He helped found the West Kent cricket club
and played in the Kent team until he was in his mid forties.
His home was the Rookery in Bromley, where he lived
with ample staff. The 1851 census recorded
a butler, footman,
groom, housekeeper, two ladies maids, a nurse, nursery maid, two
cook and a kitchen maid.
George died in
1882. He and his wife Sibella had seven sons.
His oldest son George died in the Crimean
War. A younger son, Frederick Henry
Norman, was Governor of the Bank of England for nearly 25 years at the
beginning of the 20th century. Another
son, Philip Norman, made his name as an artist and historian.
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