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George Morley
George Morley, as Bishop of Winchester
George Morley.jpg
Portrait by Peter Lely
ChurchChurch of England
SeeBishop of Winchester
In officeMay 1662 to October 1684
PredecessorBrian Duppa
SuccessorPeter Mews
Other post(s)Dean of Christ Church (26 July 1660–1660)
Bishop of Worcester (1660–1662)
Dean of the Chapel Royal (1663 – February 1668)
Personal details
Born(1597-02-27)27 February 1597
Died29 October 1684(1684-10-29) (aged 87)
Farnham, Surrey, England
BuriedWinchester Cathedral
DenominationChurch of England
ResidenceFarnham Castle (at death)
ParentsFrancis Morley & Sarah née Denham
Alma materChrist Church, Oxford
Ordination history of
George Morley
Episcopal consecration
Date28 October 1660

George Morley, 27 February 1598 to 29 October 1684, was a senior member of the Church of England from London, who served as Bishop of Worcester from 1660 to 1662, and of Winchester from 1662 to 1684.

Early life

Morley was born in London, England, in February 1598, to Francis Morley and Sarah Denham, and educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford. He graduated BA, 1618, and MA, 1621. Throughout the 1620s and 1630s he moved in the illustrious intellectual political circles of Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount Falkland at Great Tew.[1] During these years, he served as domestic chaplain to Robert Dormer, 1st Earl of Carnarvon.[1] In 1640, he was presented to the sinecure living of Hartfield, Sussex, and in the following year he was made canon of Christ Church, Oxford and exchanged Hartfield for the rectory of Mildenhall, Wiltshire.[2]

Civil Wars and Interregnum

He preached before the House of Commons in 1642, but his sermon gave offence, and when in 1647 he took a prominent part in resisting the parliamentary visitation of Oxford University he was deprived of his canonry and living.[2]

Leaving England, he joined the court of Charles II, and became one of the leading clergy at The Hague. Shortly before the Restoration he came to England on a highly successful mission to gain for Charles the support of the Presbyterians. In 1660, he regained his canonry, and soon became Dean of Christ Church.[3][4][2] In the same year, he became Bishop of Worcester. He was elected to the See on 9 October, confirmed 23 October, and consecrated a bishop on 28 October.[5] At the Savoy Conference of 1661 he was chief representative of the bishops. He was translated to the See of Winchester in 1662 and made Dean of the Chapel Royal in 1663, a position he held until dismissed by Charles II in 1668.


His works are few and chiefly polemical, e.g. The Bishop of Worcester's to a friend for Vindication of himself from the Calumnies of Mr. Richard Baxter.[2]


  1. ^ a b Spurr, John (2004). "Morley, George". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/19285. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ a b c d Chisholm 1911.
  3. ^ Salter, H. E.; Lobel, Mary D., eds. (1954). "Christ Church". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3: The University of Oxford. Victoria County History. pp. 228–238. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
  4. ^ Horn, Joyce M., ed. (1996). "Deans of Christ Church, Oxford". Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541–1857: volume 8: Bristol, Gloucester, Oxford and Peterborough dioceses. Victoria County History. pp. 80–83. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
  5. ^ Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541–1857, vol. 7, 1992, pp. 105–109


3 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

George Morley (1597-1684)
After resisting the Parliament during the Commonwealth, he joined Charles in exile in France; before the Resoration he came to England and gained the support for it of the Presbyterians. In 1660 "he was consecrated bishop of Worcester. At the Savoy conference of 1661 he was chief representative of the bishops. He was translated to the see of Winchester in 1662."

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

George Morley, some time chaplain to Charles I. was a polite scholar, and an eminent divine, especially in controversy. He was, in the early part of his life, one of Ben Jonson's sons. He was also an intimate friend of lord Falkland, Mr. Hyde, Mr. Chillingworth, Mr. Waller, and others of the first eminence in the late reign. One of his excellencies, which raised him much in the esteem of all his friends, helped to degrade his character in the opinion of his enemies. This was his wit, which was natural, but uncommon; keen, but inoffensive. The very faculty was condemned by many in this age, without the least regard to its application. After the death of the king, he retired to the Hague, where he attended on Charles II. He afterwards resided at Antwerp, where he was very assiduous in his ministerial duty. During his residence abroad, he contracted an intimacy with Rivetus, Heinsius, Salmasius, Bochart, and other persons of rank in the learned world. Upon the Restoration, he was made dean of Christ-church, and the fame year bishop of Worcester, whence he was translated to Winchester. His constant practice was to rise at five o'clock in the morning, to go to bed at eleven, and eat but once a day. By these rules he preserved his health, with very little interruption, through the course of a long life. He died Oct. 29, 1684. His writings are chiefly on polemical subjects. In 1683, he published several treatises in a quarto volume. In the preface is a good account of the religious character of Anne Hyde, dutchess of York, before her conversion to popery.
---A Biographical History of England. J. Granger, 1779.

Bill  •  Link

MORLEY, GEORGE (1597-1684), bishop of Winchester; of Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford; M.A., 1621; D.D., 1642; met at Oxford Robert Sanderson, Gilbert Sheldon, Edward Hyde, afterwards earl of Clarendon, and subsequently Edmund Waller and John Hampden; canon of Christ Church, 1641; rector of Mildenhall, 1641; preached before the House of Commons, 1642; ejected, 1648; went abroad and performed service for the English royalists wherever he stayed; sent to England to win over the presbyterians to the Restoration; regained his canonry, became dean of Christ Church, Oxford, and in October bishop of Worcester, 1660; preacher of the coronation sermon, 1661; translated to Winchester, 1662; frequently entertained the Duke of York at Farnham Castle; signified to Clarendon the king's wish that he should leave the country, 1667; of Calvinistic leanings; benefactor of Winchester diocese, St. Paul's Cathedral, and Christ Church and Pembroke College, Oxford; published controversial works.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.

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