This record is held by Hackney Archives

Details of D/F/NOR
Reference: D/F/NOR

The earlier BRA deposit (2031, Acc 1980/24) was concerned almost wholly with the estate after 1850. The earlier records had been mixed together, and it was necessary to rearrange bundles to produce the groupings in this list. Later records were retained in their bundle orders.


The records have been arranged as follows:


D/F/NOR/1. Estate title and associated records 1652 - 1805


D/F/NOR/2. Later estate title records etc 1843 - 1919


D/F/NOR/3. Other estate records (including construction of house, correspondence with other landowners, manor courts etc


D/F/NOR/4. Leases of parts of the estate prior to development 1702 - 1803


D/F/NOR/5. Leases of property after development


D/F/NOR/6. Conveyances of freeholds on the estate after development


D/F/NOR/7. Miscellaneous


D/F/NOR/8. Additional Records 1838 - c1867

Date: 1652 - 1958
Related material:

The Henry Currey plan of the estate is reproduced in 'Victorian Villas' by Michael Hunter (Hackney Society). A view of the pre 1728 house appears in 'Eighteenth century fieldwork in London and Middlesex: some unpublished drawings by William Stukeley' by F.Celoria (Transactions of the London & Middlesex Archaeological Society Vol 22(1) 1968. There is also a view of the later house in the illustrations collections, but artists license has been used and neither the precise location or the elevation correspond with those shown on the drawings.


See also Z36 Will of Henry Everard Du Cane Norris, 1958-9




Correspondence and papers of Henry Handley Norris, Rector of St. John of Jerusalem, Hackney, 1795-1864. Bought from Charles Higham (S.P.C.K. bookshop) 1978. (MSS. Eng.lett.b.38, c.789-91; Eng.misc.b.439, c.942, d.1367).


Letters to and from Norris, 1803-29, 1830-50, n.d., with (c.790, fols. 135-6, 167-9, 198-9) letters to his wife, 1846-51, n.d. 205, 199 leaves.


MSS. Eng.lett.c.789-90


Notes by Norris, mainly for sermons with a (fols. 31-8) his views on marriage, and b (fols. 51-72) miscellaneous letters, 1795-1864. 72 leaves.


MS. Eng.misc.c.942


Letters to Norris from T.F. Middleton, Bishop of Calcutta, 1812-22. 188 leaves.


MS. Eng.lett.c.791


Copies of letters from Middleton to George Barnes, Archdeacon of Bombay, 1815-22, with (fols. 37-63) other papers relating to Middleton and the church in India, 1818-22. 63 leaves.


MS. Eng.misc.b.439


Copies of correspondence relating to the Bishop's College, Calcutta, 1827-36. 49 leaves.


MS. Eng.lett.b.38


Copy of the journal of William Ward, describing the work of Baptist missionaries among British troops in India, 1807-17. 170 leaves.


MS. Eng.misc.d.1367

Held by: Hackney Archives, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Norris family of South Hackney

Access conditions:






Immediate source of acquisition:

Dates of deposit: October 1980, March 1986


Deposited by: Bircham & Co, solicitors


via British Records Association


BRA Refs 2031, 2240, 2250

Administrative / biographical background:

The Norris family association with South Hackney began in 1652, when the first Hugh Norris, a London merchant, acquired the nucleus of the estate, which included a house on the east side of Grove Street surrounded by fields, fields on the west side of Grove Street, and land in Well Street Common Field and in Hackney Marsh. The Norris link with the area was to continue for three hundred years, though later members of the family did not always live on the property.


The records consist mainly of deeds, though some estate correspondence is also included. They can be broadly be divided into two periods: those concerned with the management of the estate prior to 1850, and later records concerned with estate development and later management. Notable among the earlier records are the agreements to rebuild the old timber framed house in 1728 (D/F/NOR/3/1-2) which provide not only a detailed specification to the builder, but also include plans and an elevation of the house.


Members of the family served at various times as magistrates, but the records that comprise this group do not reflect this. The last owner of the estate prior to development, Rev Henry Handley Norris, was the rector of South Hackney Church, and instrumental in helping to acquire the site for the new church, which was completed in 1848. The Rev Norris also founded Norris' Almshouses at the corner of Handley Road and Victoria Park Road: records of which are included in those of St John of Jerusalem, South Hackney, deposited at the Greater London Record Office.


The Norris estate was adjacent to lands owned by the Cass family (and later the Sir John Cass Trust) and also St Thomas Hospital. Records of correspondence with Cass form D/F/NOR/3/7 in the group.


While the deposit includes a plan of the estate prepared for enfranchisement in 1853 (D/F/NOR/2/2/3), two other plans of the estate were not included in the deposit and remain with the depositors. These show the estate in 1803 and in 1850, just prior to prepartions for development. Colour photographs of both plans are included in the map cabinets.


Estate development was planned in 1850, and a proposed layout was prepared by Henry Currey. No copy has survived in the group, but one is included in H.A.D.'s 'M' sequence (M 3617). Although the street layout was proceeded with changes were made to increase the number of houses that could be built on the estate. Building began in 1860-61 and was completed by 1865. Later records are concerned mostly with leases and sales of the freehold, which began in earnest in the early 1920s.

Link to NRA Record:

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