Annie Norris was born at Wroxton on 22 November 1835 and died on 8 May 1923. She was the second daughter of Henry Norris (1810-1889), J.P. and Deputy Lieutenant for Oxfordshire and J.P. for Warwickshire, and his wife Ellen (also referred to as Cleonora or Eleanor) nee Crawley (c.1810-1893). The family took the lease of Swalcliffe Park in 1848. As well as her parents, her three unmarried siblings were living at Swalcliffe Park during the period covered by the diaries: Ellen (1834-1927), referred to as "Ellie" or E" in the diaries; Mary (1839-1924) and George (1843-1935), "G" in the diaries. Annie Norris also had two married siblings: Albinia (1837-1911), who married Revd Henry Clark Powell in 1863 and is referred to as "Albie" in the diaries, and Henry or Harry (1841-1914), who married Mary Bovil in 1867. Two nieces, Albinia Powell and Dorothy Norris ("Do" in the diaries), and two nephews, "Harry" or "young Harry" Norris (b.1869) and John or Jack" (b.1870) Norris, are also referred to. Dorothy Norris married Arthur Pearson Davison of Sevenoaks in 1888. (See also family tree at the end of this catalogue.)
The diaries end with the death of Annie's father in 1889. She, her mother and unmarried siblings apparently left Swalcliffe Park, because only her brother Henry and his wife are recorded as living there in the 1891 census.
The diaries contain many references to places near Swalcliffe, notably Banbury, Epwell and Shutford.
Two of Annie Norris' diaries for 1880-1881 are deposited among the Swalcliffe parish records (reference PAR262/17/J/1-2). Those archives also contain notes on the history of the parish by her (PAR262/17/MS/1) and a typescript copy of Revd Payne's memoirs, which she mentions transcribing after his death in 1886.
The information in this introduction is taken from Annie Norris' diaries, the Wroxton parish register transcript, the Victoria County History of Oxfordshire volume X and "Burke's Landed Gentry (1935).
These diaries were purchased in 1995 and given the accession number 4046.
Catalogued by Elizabeth A. Finn, July 1997