Norris, John (2)

Norris, John (2), an English philanthropist to whom Cambridge University is greatly indebted, was born at Norfolk in 1734. He died Jan. 3, 1777, at London. He was of a peculiarly serious turn of mind, fond of inquiry into religious subjects, of very strong sense and extensive learning, a lover of justice, of great humanity, and ever extending his bounty to distressed objects: but he was of a reserved disposition, so that he seldom conciliated the affections, except of those who most intimately knew him; and, though respected by all, there were few who felt themselves cheerful in his society. His regard for religion strongly testified itself in his will, whereby, among a number of charitable legacies to a large amount, he left an estate of £190 per annum for the purpose of establishing a professorship at Cambridge, with a salary of £120 per year to the professor, besides other advantages for lectures on religious subjects. Upon his death this, with other trusts, was carried into execution, and was called the Norrisian Professorship, the inestimable value of which establishment has been proved by the lectures published by Dr. Hey, and numerous disputations upon religious subjects printed at the Cambridge press, under the title of Norrisian Prize Essays. Mr. Norris's estate, worth about £4000 per annum, descended to his daughter.

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