Norton, Thomas

, esq. an inhabitant, if not a native, of Sharpen haule, or Sharpenhoe, in Bedfordshire, was a barrister at law, and a zealous Calvinist in the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign, as appears by several tracts, printed together in 1569, 8vo. He was counsel to the Stationers’ company, in whose books we find accounts of the fees paid to him set down, the last of which was between 1583 and 1584, within which period we imagine he died. He was contemporary with Sternhold and Hopkins, and assistant to them in their noted version of the Psalms, twenty-seven of which he turned into English metre, and in all the editions of them, the initials of his name are prefixed. He also translated into English, an epistle from Peter Martyr to Somerset the protector, in 1550; and under the same patronage, Calvin’s Institutes. Being a close intimate and fellow-student with Thomas Sackville, esq. afterwards earl of Dorset, he is said to have joined with him in the composing one dramatic piece, of which Mr. Norton wrote the three first acts, entitled “Ferrex and Porrex;” afterwards reprinted, with considerable alterations, under the title of “Gorboduc;” but Mr. Warton seems to doubt his having any, or at least much share in this drama. 2


Warton’s Hist, of Poetry Biog. Dram. Ellis’s Specimens, vol. II. p. 136. —Strype’s Life of Parker, p. 364, 375. —Strype’s Life of Whitgift, p. 23.