MORICE, Sir William, 1st Bt. (c.1628-90), of Werrington, Devon.
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Family and Education
b. c.1628, 1st s. of William Morice I; bro. of John Morice† and Nicholas Morice. educ. Exeter, Oxf. matric. 21 May 1647, aged 19. m. (1) 1654, Gertrude, da. of Sir John Bampfield, 1st Bt., of Poltimore, 1s. d.v.p. 3da.; (2) lic. 5 Sept. 1676, Elizabeth (bur. 3 Apr. 1684), da. of Thomas Reynell of East Ogwell, 2s. (1 d.v.p.). cr. Bt. 20 Apr. 1661. suc. fa. 1676.1
Commr. for assessment, Devon Aug. 1660-80, Cornw. 1677-80, Cornw. and Devon 1689-90; j.p. Devon 1661-80, 1689-?d.
Morice’s father was not qualified by birth for a baronetcy, and hence the honour was conferred on Morice at the Restoration ‘in consideration of his father’s services’. He was also granted a pension of £300 on surrendering his reversion to the governorship of Plymouth in the same year. He does not seem to have been ambitious of office, for when his father died he passed over the post of havener of the duchy, which should have descended to him, to his son, William Morice II. In 1680 he was removed from the commission of the peace as a supporter of exclusion, and he may have supported the country candidates in the Devon election in the following year. But it was only after his son’s death in 1688 that he stood himself. He was returned to the Convention for the family borough of Newport, no doubt as a Whig, but left no trace on its records. He was buried on 7 Feb. 1690 at Werrington. His eldest surviving son sat for Newport as a high Tory in seven Parliaments from 1702 until his death in 1726.2