English martyr, born at Ellerton-upon-Swale, parish of Catterick, North Riding of Yorkshire; died at Durham 9 August, 1600. He arrived at Reims 24 July, 1592, whence he set out for Valladolid 24 August, 1592. There he was ordained priest in 1596. He was arrested in the house of John Norton, of Ravenswroth, nearly Lamesley, County Durham, who seems to have been the second son of Richard Norton, of Norton Conyers, attainted for his share in the Rebellion in 1569. Norton and his wife (if the above identification be correct, she was his second wife, Margaret, daughter of Christopher Redshaw of Owston) were arrested at the same time, and with them John Talbot, one of the Talbots of Thorton-le-Street, North Ridding of Yorkshire. All four were tried at Durham and condemned to death, Palasor for being a priest, and the others for assisting him. Another gentleman was condemned at the same time but saved his life by conforming, as they might have done. Mrs. Norton, being supposed to be with child, was reprieved. The others suffered together. Bishop Challoner tells how an attempt to poison Palasor and his companions made by the gaoler's wife resulted in the conversion of her maid-servant Mary Day.
Palasor, Norton, and Talbot were beatified by Pope Saint John Paul II, on the 22nd of November 1987.
Of Blessed John Norton's father, Richard, the Dictionary of National Biography states:
So the Norton family resolutely remained Catholic and suffered for it. William Wordsworth wrote about the family's misfortunes in his narrative poem, The White Doe of Rylstone; or, The Fate of the Nortons. The painting above is by John William Inchbold. The doe in Wordsworth's poem visits one of the graves near the ruins of Bolton Abbey and the poem tells why.