Norice or Norreys.

"Petrus Norreis" is found in the Norman Exchequer Rolls, about 1198, and several of the name in England at the same date. "Henry le Norreys was seized of estates in Notts, which on his death King John granted to Alan le Norreys, his brother."—The Norman People. From him (according to the same authority) came the Norreys' of Speke in Lancashire, whom Dugdale affirms to be the ancestors of the Lords Norris of Rycote and the Earl of Berkshire, now represented by the Berties. "They were," he says, "of Speke, in com. Lane, long before King Edward the Third's time, and most of them Knights." John, the second son of Sir Henry Norris of Speke, is said to have lived in 1361 at Bray, in Berkshire, where he was succeeded by a son and a grandson.

But I fear that "those gentle historians who dip their pens in nothing but the milk of human kindness" (as Edmund Burke aptly describes the heralds), have dissimulated the true origin of the Lords Norris. Their undoubted ancestor was Richard de Norreys, the favourite cook of Henry III.'s Queen, Eleanor of Provence, who was rewarded in 1267 by a grant of the manor of Ocholt in Berkshire, "subject to a fee farm rent of 40s., and stated to have been an encroachment from the forest."—Lysons. One of his descendants, John, who impartially served the Red and White Rose, having been Master of the Wardrobe to Henry VI., and Esquire of the Body to Edward IV., built the present mansion of Ockwell during the former reign. "A large bay window full of coats of arms in stained glass, shows those of the abbey of Abingdon, with the mitre, and of the family of Norreys, several times repeated, with their motto feythfully Serve."—Ibid. The line, which could boast of some very gallant soldiers, ended with Francis, second Lord Norreys, who was created Earl of Berkshire by James I., and the barony passed through his grand-daughter, Bridget Wray, to the Berties. Her son was the first Earl of Abingdon.

-- Cleveland

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