Norton, Thomas

(1532-1584)
   He was born in London of wealthy parents who owned the manor of Sharpenhoe, Bedfordshire. As a boy he entered the service of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset-"Protector Somerset"-as scribe, and later became a lawyer. He was a member of Parliament and was appointed to record the trial (1571-1572) of the Duke of Norfolk for his negotiations with Queen Mary Stuart, which ended in the duke's death. Norton was a rabid anti-Catholic and his torture of Catholics earned him the nickname of "Rackmaster-General." His Calvinist views were regarded as too extreme and he was imprisoned in the Tower of London and although released, he died soon afterward at Sharpenhoe. He collaborated on Tragedy of Gorboduc with Thomas Sackville (1561) and translated John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion (originally published 1536; translated 1561). He contributed poetry to Tottel's Miscellany (1557) and translated many of the Psalms for a collection published in 1561. Some of his poems: "Dixit in Sipiens," "Eripeme," "Laudate Dominum," "Non Nobis Domine," "All Ye Nations of the Lord," "The Creed of Athanasius," "The Ordinal of Alchemy," "The Ten Commandments," "Thomas Norton to the Reader."
   Sources: A Sacrifice of Praise: An Anthology of Christian Poetry in English from Caedmon to the Mid-Twentieth Century. James H. Trott, ed. Cumberland House Publishing, 1999. Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). Microsoft Encarta 2006 (DVD). Microsoft Corporation, 2006. Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources (http://library.stanford.edu). The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org).

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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