Norgate, Edward

, an ingenious artist, was the son of Robert Norgate, D. D. master of Bene‘t college, Cambridge, and in his youth shewed a great inclination to heraldry and limning, in both of which he became very eminent, but his talent in illuminating the initial letters of patents, was chiefly admired. His judgment in paintings also was considered very great, for which reason he was employed by the earl of Arundel, that celebrated collector of antiquities, to purchase pictures for him in Italy. Returning by Marseilles, and by some accident being disappointed of the remittances he expected, and totally unknown there, he was observed by a French gentleman, who, after inquiring into his circumstances, furnished him with the means of returning to his own country on foot. He was afterwards one of the clerks of the signet to ’Charles I. and as such attended his majesty to the North in 1640. He was also made Windsor herald for his great skill in heraldry, in which office he died, at the heralds’ college, Dec. 23, 1650, and was buried at St. Bennet’s, Paul’s Wharf, leaving the character of an honest, amiable, and accomplished man. Lloyd tells us that he left manuscripts to several of his friends to be published, but his intention in that point has not been executed. His letters, giving an account of the expedition against the Scotch in 1639, are among Dr. Birch’s “Historical Letters,” 3 vols. ms. in the British Museum, Ayscough’s catalogue. As an illuminator, the evidence of his abilities is a curious patent discovered some years ago. The late earl of Stirling received from a relation an old box of neglected writings, among which he found the original commission of Charles J. | appointing his lordship’s predecessor, Alexander earl of Stirling, the celebrated poet, commander in chief of Nova Scotia, with the confirmation of the grant of that province made by James I. In the initial letter are the portraits of the king sitting on the throne, delivering the patent to the earl, and round the border representations in miniature of the customs, huntings, fishings, and productions, of the country, all in the highest preservation, and so admirably executed, that it was believed of the pencil of Vanclyck. But Mr. Walpole ascribes it to Norgate, who was allowed the best illuminator of that age. 1


Fuller’s Worthies. Lloyd’s Memoirs. Master’s Hist, of C. C. C. C. p. 118. Walpole’s Anecdotes of Painting.