Col. Herbert Morley was an active Parliamentarian in the first Civil War, principally in defense of Sussex.
Although considered an Independent in religion, and conforming after Pride’s Purge, he refused to take part in the King’s trial, and opposed both Cromwell and Lambert’s coup d’etat in 1659.
By November he was in touch with his old school-fellow Evelyn, whom he begged to intercede with Charles II both for himself and his brother-in-law John Fagg. He was important in the overthrow of the military regime by helping to secure Portsmouth, and was made lieutenant of the Tower. Evelyn asked him to declare for the King: ‘had he taken my advice in time, he had been duke, and I God knows what’.
He was absent from the Tower when Lambert escaped on 10 Apr. 1660, having ‘gone down into Sussex to be chosen a Parliament man’. He was returned for Rye, where he had established a strong interest during the Interregnum.4
Morley was a moderately active Member of the Convention. He and John Gurdon ‘durst not speak’, but ‘expressed their dislike of things by the shaking of their heads’.
On 24 May he took steps to procure his pardon. Evelyn, lamenting ‘the sottish indifference of this gentleman’, referred him to Lord Mordaunt, who, he later heard, exacted £1,000 for his services. Two days later Morley showed his zeal against the regicides by informing the House of a book ‘found about’ Gregory Clement which might be serviceable to discover his estate. But he was replaced as lieutenant of the Tower by John Robinson.
Morley retained his seat in 1661 after a contest, but he was never reappointed to the commission of the peace. He was an inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament.
He retained enough sympathy for the nonconformists to take an ejected minister into his household. His last parliamentary committee was at Oxford, on the plague bill, and he died on 29 Sept. 1667
Highlights from: http://www.historyofparliamentonl…
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.