Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Norton, John (fl.1674)
NORTON, JOHN (fl. 1674), a youthful prodigy, born in London in 1662, made, at the age of twelve, a paraphrase translation of the poems of Marcus Antonius Flaminius. This was published as ‘The Scholar's Vade Mecum, or the Serious Student's Solid and Silent Tutor,’ 1674. Norton especially prided himself on the ‘idiomatologic and philologic annotations,’ which were extraordinary for so young a boy. In an appendix he supplies instances of the different figures of speech from the hymns of Flaminius, and writes about them in Latin. He then devotes 163 pages to a very ingenious and painstaking collection of idioms, introducing some part of the Latin verb ‘facere’ and the English verb ‘to make.’ The ‘Scholar's Vade Mecum’ is dedicated to John Arnold, esq., high sheriff of Monmouth, and to his wife. Congratulatory verses are offered by four writers, in one of which Norton's book is spoken of as ‘meet for Milton's pen and curious Stillingfleet.’ There is a portrait engraved by William Sherwin. There is in the British Museum a broadside, written in the same year (1674), by John Norton, entitled ‘The King's [Charles II] Entertainment at Guild-hall, or London's Option in Fruition’ [in verse].
[Scholar's Vade Mecum, 1674; Granger's Biogr. Hist. iv. 98.]