Jeff Lavender

Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

William Palmer

Second Advisor

Leonard J. Deutsch


This work details primarily the last nine years of the life of Henry Norris, a British court figure during the reign of Henry VIII. His career in Tudor England developed from and through his role in the Privy Chamber, which was a department of court operating in the king’s private suite of rooms. Norris was the most prestigious of the chamber groomsmen who took care of the king’s daily needs and personal care. As chief groomsman or Groom of the Stool, Norris also played a significant part in the distribution of offices through patronage and through his influence with the king. Norris had useful connections with Anne Boleyn, and was one of her main supporters. Anne Boleyn’s followers managed to keep much of the king’s attention (and material blessings) for a number of years in the late 1520s and early 1530s. In May 1536, however, the so-called Boleyn faction ended abruptly when Henry VIII turned away the queen and arrested, tried, then executed several members of the group.

I propose to examine closely Norris’ role in the Boleyn faction from 1528- 1536 and to learn what about the man himself made him important and illustrative of Tudor society. This study attempts to analyze historical events from two perspectives. First, it will engage in the factional interpretation of Tudor England from a different angle than studies of Cromwell and Anne Boleyn that have already been done. Examination of Norris and his career as part of this faction may unearth new information about the Boleyns, or about court structure. Second, Norris’ role as court figure deserves study as a small slice of British history. Norris as a Tudor England personality deserves study. Who was this individual, whom another person at court termed “All times one manner man,” a steadfast friend on whom he could always rely? The events of his life can help present-day persons better understand the Tudor period.


Tudor, House of.

Great Britain – History – Henry VIII, 1509-1547.

Great Britain – Social life and customs.