Joseph Norris was born in England circa 1649, and was apprenticed to Edward Norris (possibly a relative, but not his father) in November 1661 and made Free in 1670.
Norris is one of a small band of English Clockmakers who formed the so-called 'Dutch connection'. In about 1675 he travelled to Amsterdam where he stayed and worked for about five years; it is widely thought that Norris had strong connections with the Fromanteel workshops, both in London and in Amsterdam. Norris's Master, Edward Norris, finished his time under Thomas loomes who had strong Fromanteel connections. The Clockmakers' Company records show that Joseph Norris was back in London in March 1695/6 when he is recorded taking Francis Maine for an apprentice and paying off his arrears of quarterage. he is recorded as paying quarterage until 1697 when he either died or possibly travelled back to Amsterdam.