MORLEY, Edward (c.1579-1620), of the Inner Temple, London and The Broyle, nr. Chichester, Suss.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. c.1579,1 2nd s. of John Morley† (d.1587) of Aldersgate, London and Elizabeth, da. of Edward Wotton, fell. of the Coll. of Physicians, of Wood Street, London; bro. of Sir John*.2 educ. Merton, Oxf. BA 1597; I. Temple 1597, called 1606.3 m. 29 Apr. 1606, Katherine, d. and coh. of William Devenish of The Broyle, Suss., wid. of Michael Smalepage of Chichester, 1s.4 kntd. 6 July 1618.5 d. 13 May 1620.6

Offices Held

Commr. sewers, Suss. 1610-at least 1617;7 recorder, Chichester c.1614-18;8 j.p. Suss. 1616-d.9


Although Morley inherited property from his father, including the manor of Tile in Old Windsor, Berkshire, he chose to become a lawyer, following his father and elder brother into the Inner Temple. He sold Tile in 1606, and that same year married a widow who brought him a lease of episcopal land near Chichester, in Sussex. Soon thereafter he secured a reversion to the office of chirographer in Common Pleas, the official responsible for engrossing fines, a similar grant having been previously acquired by his father.10

A stepson of Sir Edward Caryll, a leading Catholic, this Member was apparently not the Edward Morley convicted of recusancy at the Middlesex quarter sessions in 1609, who paid fines on lands in Holme in northern Lincolnshire from May 1610.11 In 1612 he purchased land in Lincolnshire from Edward Seymour, 1st earl of Hertford ‘for great sums of money’, the sale being presumably arranged through his brother-in-law James Kirton I*, the earl’s steward. In a subsequent settlement of the property his trustees included (Sir) Edward Fraunceys* and Thomas Bowyer*.12

Arundel lay only about seven miles from Halnaker, the family seat, but Morley probably owed his return there in 1614 to the Howards. Caryll had been described in the 1580s as the Sussex ‘steward and doer’ to Philip Howard, earl of Arundel, and had remained connected with the family. In 1605 Caryll was appointed trustee for Philip’s son, Thomas, and in the same year named Thomas’ uncle Lord William Howard, together with Morley’s elder brother, as trustees for his own estate.13 Morley left no mark on the records of the Addled Parliament.

Morley became recorder of Chichester sometime after the death of the previous incumbent, Adrian Stoughton*, who died in October 1614. However, as the corporation noted in 1626, he was subsequently sacked for absenteeism. The date of his dismissal is not known, but it must have occurred by 1618, when the corporation’s new charter was issued, as Thomas Whatman* claimed he was the first recorder to hold office in accordance with its provisions.14

In 1617 Morley, together with Fraunceys, became trustees for Sir John Leedes*, a chronically indebted Sussex courtier.15 He was knighted the following year. When he drew up his will on Christmas day 1619, Morley held leases in Kent and Norfolk, as well as scattered properties in Sussex. He described himself as of the Inner Temple and instructed his executors ‘to take no interest of any person whatsoever for any money that shall be owing at the time of my decease’. He died in the following May. Neither his son nor grandson, his only direct male descendants, sat in Parliament.16

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Alan Davidson


  • 1. Age calculated from date of admiss. to I. Temple.
  • 2. Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. liii), 140; (lxxxix), 77.
  • 3. Al. Ox.; I. Temple database of admiss.
  • 4. Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. lxxxix), 77; Goodwood Estate Archives ed. F.W. Steer and J.E.A. Venables, i. 131; PROB 11/84, f. 197.
  • 5. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 169.
  • 6. Notes of Post Mortem Inquisitions taken in Suss. ed. E.W.T. Attree (Suss. Rec. Soc. xiv), 165.
  • 7. C181/2, ff. 134, 292v.
  • 8. SP16/35/74.
  • 9. C231/4, f. 20; Cal. Assize Recs. Suss. Indictments, Jas. I ed. J.S. Cockburn, 89.
  • 10. VCH Berks. iii. 82; PROB 11/135, f. 291v; CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 335; CPR, 1578-80, p. 192.
  • 11. Mdx. Co. Recs. ed. J.C. Jeaffreson, ii. 212; E401/2415.
  • 12. PROB 11/135, f. 291; T.D.S. Bayley, ‘Lady Mary May’s Monument in Mid-Lavant Church’, Suss. Arch. Colls. cvii. 4.
  • 13. H. Ellis, ‘Certificate concerning Justices of the Peace in 1587’, Suss. Arch. Colls. ii. 60; M.A. Tierney, Hist. and Antiqs. of Castle and Town of Arundel, 20n.; PROB 11/115, f. 408.
  • 14. S16/35/74-5.
  • 15. Suss. Manors and Advowsons ed. H.W. Dunkin (Suss. Rec. Soc. xx), 463.
  • 16. PROB 11/135, f. 291.