John Norman was born in Norwich in 1657 and lived in Old Catton. He prospered as a local farmer, landowner and brewer. He eventually became an Alderman and Mayor of the City of Norwich.

He died in 1724 and although having married twice, had no children; however, he was extremely interested in the education of children and left the bulk of his estate ‘In Trust’ to educate the male descendants of his close relatives. According to his wishes, the Norman Endowed School was eventually built for the benefit of his descendants but, as there were insufficient funds to maintain it, it was closed in 1934.

In 1839 his descendants were unhappy with the way the Foundation was being handled, and formed “The Claimants Unity” to keep a watchful eye on the Trustees. A Charitable Foundation, known as Alderman Norman’s Foundation was established by Act of Parliament and is now regulated by the rules of the Charity Commission.

The Claimants Unity provides proof via the Registrar that the person claiming is a descendant from those listed in the “First Schedule” of the will. The Foundation is managed by a Board of Trustees as defined in the Act of Parliament.

Portrait of Alderman John Norman
Alderman John Norman’s tombstone mounted on one of the walls in the interior of St. Margarets