Norton History 1795 to 1910
Back to - CONTENTS & INDEX
NORTON HISTORY for Betty
BETTY'S GREAT GREAT GRANDFATHER
James Norton I (27 July 1795 –
31 August 1862) was a solicitor and public figure in early colonial
New South Wales. Admitted to practice in England, he arrived in
Sydney in September 1818. First wife Jane Mackenzie.
This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, (MUP), 1967
James Norton (1795-1862), solicitor, was born on 27 July
1795, the third son of John Norton, of Hastings, England, and his wife
Mary, née Bradford. He received a legal education and was admitted to
practise as an attorney. He decided to try his fortune as a lawyer in
New South Wales and sailed as captain's clerk in the Maria, which
arrived at Sydney in September 1818. He brought with him £800. Only
four other solicitors were then practising in the colony. His father, a
brother and three sisters followed him to Sydney and the family received
a large grant of land in the Mulgoa district with a six-mile (9.6 km)
frontage to the Nepean River where James Norton also was granted 950
acres (384 ha), which he farmed. The legal practice flourished and in
1826 he took William Barker into partnership. Norton was counsel for the
Crown in many big cases.
In his first year in Sydney he became an
active member of a committee to form a savings bank. In May 1825 he
became first registrar of the archdeaconry of Sydney, and served in it
for thirty years. In 1834 he bought Elswick, a 100-acre (40 ha) property
on the Parramatta Road. There he had an old-world garden with groups of
roses, bamboos and gardenias, peacocks, a pond rich in eels, and an
orchard. A row of cottages stood behind the house for the convict
servants. He won several prizes for his flowers and plants at the
Australian Floral and Horticultural Society Exhibition in 1841.
was a shareholder in the Australian Agricultural Co. and a director of
the Bank of Australia from April 1826 until its collapse in 1843. He was
also director of the Bank of New South Wales from February 1823 until
May 1826, when he resigned. He was nominated to the first Legislative
Council under responsible government on 16 September 1856 and framed
many bills of a legal character. He took little part after 1859 because
of ill health and his term of five years lapsed on 13 May 1861. Among
his many pamphlets he published Essays and Reflections in Australia (Sydney, 1852) and Australian Essays on Subjects Political, Moral, and Religious (London, 1857). He declared himself undeluded 'by the clap-trap of free trade', and wrote Facts for the Protectionists (Sydney, 1857) in refutation of John Dunmore Lang's article of the same name. In support of the Protectionists he also published Free Trade and Protection (Sydney, 1857) and The Condition of the Colony of New South Wales (Sydney, 1860).
On 10 January 1824 he married Jane, daughter of Alexander McKenzie,
cashier of the Bank of New South Wales. They had eight sons and two
daughters. His wife died on 23 March 1840 at Elswick and on 1 February
1843 he married Marian, only daughter of John Backhouse, of Ipswich,
England, by whom he had three sons and two daughters. Norton died on 31
August 1862 at Elswick, and a few months later his widow sailed for
England where she settled.
Norton had a rough manner and was very
outspoken but was kind and conscientious and regarded with affection by
those in close contact with him.
BETTY'S GREAT GRANDFATHER
James Norton II (1824-1906),
solicitor, was born on 5 December 1824 in Sydney, eldest son of James
Norton and his first wife Jane, née Mackenzie.
On 1 June 1854 at Longford, Tasmania,
he married Harriet Mary (d.1860), daughter of deputy commissary
general Thomas Walker, and in 1859 bought Ecclesbourne, Double Bay.
On 31 December 1862 he married Isabella, sister of Professor W. J.
This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 5, (MUP), 1974
James Norton (1824-1906), solicitor, was born on 5 December 1824 in Sydney, eldest son of James Norton and his first wife Jane, née Mackenzie. He was educated at W.and W. T. Cape's schools, Sydney College in 1835-39, by Rev. J. F. Walpole as tutor in 1840 and under Rev. Robert Forrest
at Campbelltown in 1841. In 1842 he was articled to his father,
admitted a solicitor on 2 July 1848 and joined his father as Norton
& Son, later Norton, Son & Barker. On 1 June 1854 at Longford,
Tasmania, he married Harriet Mary (d.1860), daughter of deputy
commissary general Thomas Walker, and in 1859 bought Ecclesbourne, Double Bay. On 31 December 1862 he married Isabella, sister of Professor W. J. Stephens.
A notary public from 1860, Norton became senior partner of his firm,
Norton, Smith & Co., and solicitor to the University of Sydney from
1886. His clients included Sir Edward Macarthur.
was also a director of the Australian Gaslight Co., the North Shore Gas
Co. and the Australian Joint Stock Bank, a fellow of St Paul's College
in the University of Sydney from 1869, an alderman of Double Bay from
1873, an elected trustee of the Australian Museum in 1874-1906, and a
trustee of Hyde, Phillip and Cook Parks from 1878 and chairman in
1894-1904. A trustee of the Free Public Library from 1878, he was its
chairman in 1890-1906 and as D. S. Mitchell's
legal adviser was greatly interested in the building of the Mitchell
Library. In 1879 he became a trustee of the Zoological Station, Watson's
Bay, and was president of the royal commission on the working of the
Real Property Acts and on 7 October was nominated to the Legislative
Council. A strong critic of the purity of Sydney's water supply, he
advocated its filtering. On 2 May 1884 he became postmaster-general in Alexander Stuart's ministry, but Governor Loftus
reported that although Norton was highly 'esteemed his appointment has
not been favourably received by public opinion'. When the ministry fell
in October 1885 he was criticized by the Daily Telegraph as a 'respectable incapable'.
member of the Royal Society of New South Wales from 1873, Norton became
a founder of the Linnean Society of New South Wales in 1875 and served
on its council in 1878-79 and 1881-1906, as treasurer in 1882-97 and
president in 1899 and 1900. An 'observer rather than a writer', he
studied the indigenous flora and was an ardent horticulturist and
vice-president of the Horticultural Society of New South Wales in the
1870s. He met informally with Stephens, R. D. FitzGerald
and Edwin Daintree to compare their botanical collections. Norton was
very proud of the 'trees and shrubs, especially those of indigenous
species, which he cultivated in his fine old garden'. Each spring when
his South African bulbs flowered at Ecclesbourne he had a garden party
and delighted in his country estate at Springwood where he safeguarded
the native plants and compiled a census of its flora. In June 1890 he
read a paper on Australian Birds. Useful and Noxious to the
conference of fruit-growers and vine-growers, which was published in its
report. Earlier that year St Andrews University awarded him an honorary
doctorate of laws. In 1891 he was elected a member of the Royal
Geographical Society of Australia. He had a fine collection of
Australian books and was a committee member of the Union Club.
died at Ecclesbourne on 18 July 1906 and was buried in the Anglican
section of Rookwood cemetery. He was survived by a son and two daughters
of his first wife, and by his second wife and their son and daughter.
His estate was sworn for probate at £43,000. FitzGerald named a rare
Blue Mountain orchid Adenochilus nortoni after him.
Edward Norton m. Alice Wilkenson
(who was left with a Wilkenson family in Sydney. Her parents
(name not known) disappeared en route to India.
The 12 Children of Edward and Alice -
1. Arthur m. Edith Priddle (a cousin)
2. Hubert did not marry
3. Edward m. Ellsie Herbert
4. Cecil m. Ellena Kent-Hughes
5. Ernest (Billy) m. Helena
Hague-Smith (Betty's parents)
6. Walter m. Ester Taylor
7. Alfred m. Sybil Wright (no children,
had a 2nd marriage ?)
8. Oswald m. May Ogilve (4 children)
9. ? Died young?
10. Ethel m. George Waller?
11. Gertrude m. Robert Gill
12.Murial m. Jack Gill
Edward Norton owned “Tiara” Walcha,
NSW which had been purchased in the 1820's
Ernest (Billy) Norton b. 1862 d. 1944 m. 1902 Helena Hague-Smith b. 1872 d. 1971
The 4 children of
Ernest & Helena
1. Edward died age
35 in an accident
2. Alice (Girl) m.
3. Helen m. Tom
4. Edith (Betty)
m. Jack Wilcox
Earlier Norton history (James I & II) Ancestors can be viewed in the NORTON'S OF SUSSEX & NSW BOOKLET (141 KB)
There is a booklet titled The Nortons of Sussex (Eng) and New South Wales which you can read on Google and has a tree of Edward's ancestors.
James I & II Norton Summary
Back to - CONTENTS & INDEX