A TALK on the life and times of Henry Norwood, one of the most fascinating characters of the English Civil War is to be given at Worcester’s Commandery.

Col Norwood was living at Bishampton, near Pershore, when he fought as a cavalry officer for the Royalist cause at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. He was then imprisoned in the Tower of London, but following his release became deputy governor of Dunkirk in France and then went on to become governor of Tangiers.

Norwood also undertook a special visit to Virginia, America for King Charles II and the talk tonight is to be given by American historian and artist Sharon Himes, who lives in Worcester County, Massachusetts and has taken a close interest in Norwood’s remarkable life. 

He wrote of his American adventures in a broadsheet “A Voyage to Virginia” and Ms Himes traces his extensive travels through much of the seventeenth century in an upcoming book.

Her interest in Worcester County history led her to research a visit by Norwood to the area in 1650. She wrote and illustrated “A Cavalier’s Adventure” in 1999 and is currently re-writing and extending the book to include more of Norwood’s life as “Cavalier’s Odyssey; Life and Times of Col. Henry Norwood.”

After the defeat, trial and execution of Charles I in 1649, Norwood, who was a lawyer by profession, set out on what proved to be a difficult journey to Virginia, where his cousin Sir William Berkeley was governor.

He returned to England, became active as an agent attempting to aid Royalist uprisings, and spent a significant time imprisoned in the Tower for his pro-Royalist activities. 

On his release he was involved in an uprising against Parliament and, subsequently, acted as a messenger between Charles II of England and Edward Montagu, Earl of Sandwich. Norwood was appointed deputy governor in Dunkirk a little after the Restoration and, when Dunkirk was sold to Louis XIV of France, he was sent to Tangier, where he rose to become governor.  

Norwood subsequently became MP for Gloucester and died at Leckhampton Court, near Cheltenham, which is now a care home, in 1689.

Ms Himes’ talk, organised by the Battle of Worcester Society,  will take place in The Great Hall of The Commandery, Sidbury, and starts at 7pm. Public admission is £7 and £5 for BoWS members.