Another Thomas Norris!

The 1841 census listed another Thomas Norris in Uttoxeter besides the one who was a relieving officer. This second Thomas was a printer and bookseller living in the Market Place and was somewhat younger, having been born in 1809. He was at this stage unmarried and living with his mother Ann and sister Jane. He married Ann Caroline Fowler of Leominster in 1845 and went on to be steward of the Wesleyan Methodist church in Uttoxeter. His sister Jane married a Wesleyan minister (John Peaviour Johnson) in 1844.

However, it is their mother Ann who is the most intriguing figure. She was born Ann Schofield and married Thomas & Jane’s father John Norris at Leek in 1806. Sometime after Thomas’s birth in 1809 and that of Jane in 1814 the family decamped to Pentwyn in Llanfair Kilgeddin, Monmouthshire. John Norris had been a baker but became a farmer in Wales. By 1834 Ann was a widow and was living in Uttoxeter again. In May of that year she requested to register a printing press and thus the firm of A. Norris & Son of Uttoxeter was born. This must have been quite a departure from her life as the wife of a baker then farmer. What happened in those 20 years between 1814 and 1834 remains to be uncovered.

Ann died in Uttoxeter in December 1848 aged 72. Her son continued the business in the name of A. Norris & Son until the 1860s when it hit the rocks financially.