MORLEY, George (1664-1711), of the Inner Temple
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Family and Education
bap. 14 July 1664, 4th but 3rd surv. s. of Francis Morley† of Droxford, Hants; bro. of Charles Morley*. educ. Winchester 1677; Christ Church, Oxf. 1682, ?DCL 1706; L. Inn 1683; I. Temple 1688. ?unm.
Master in Chancery in alienations office 1687–93, 1696–June 1702; commr. prizes June 1702–6.1
Freeman, Winchester by 1695.2
In March 1698 Morley staged an ‘entertainment’, with supper and a ‘masquerade’, for Peter the Great in his chambers at the Temple. In the general election of 1698 Morley was defeated at Hindon, having put up on his family’s interest. His petition on that occasion was never reported, but at the next election he successfully petitioned against the return of the Whig Reynolds Calthorpe I*. Classed with the Tories in Robert Harley’s* list of the December 1701 Parliament, he supported the motion of 26 Feb. 1702 vindicating the Commons’ proceedings in the impeachments of the Whig lords, and was a teller twice in the same month: on the 20th, against hearing a petition from Lord Haversham (Sir John Thompson, 1st Bt.*) concerning forfeited estates in Ireland; and on the 28th, in favour of allowing the committee of inquiry into Christopher Codrington’s administration in the West Indies to hear the deposition of a legal officer there. In June he exchanged his place in the alienations office for a commissionership of prizes worth £500 p.a., and although returned again at the general election in July was thrown out of the House himself when it was proved that he had spent over £100 in bribing the electors. Defeated at the by-election, he came back into the House in 1705. Classed as ‘Low Church’ in an analysis of the election returns, he was one of the Tory placemen who voted against the Court candidate in the division on the Speakership on 25 Oct. 1705, after which it was rumoured that he would resign his commissionership, and he was absent from the Court side in the regency bill division list of 18 Feb. 1706. Meanwhile, he had told for the Tories on 17 Dec. 1705 against an amendment to the land tax bill. Retribution came eventually in May 1706 in the form of dismissal from the prize office. His classification as a ‘Whig’ in a list from early 1708 must be a mistake. Having stepped down in 1708 he was returned once more for Hindon in 1710, being classed as a Tory in the ‘Hanover list’, as a ‘worthy patriot’ who in the first session of this Parliament exposed the mismanagements of the previous administration, and a member of the October Club. His death was reported on 8 May 1711, however, as having occurred ‘lately’.3
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: D. W. Hayton
- 1. IGI, London; info. from Dr D. F. Lemmings; Cal. Treas. Bks. viii. 1344; ix. 19; x. 310; xi. 144; xvii. 243, 250; Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 50.
- 2. Hants RO, Winchester bor. recs. ordnance bk. 7, f. 128.
- 3. Trans. Amer. Phil. Soc. li. 63; Luttrell, iv. 349; Bull. IHR, xxxvii. 24; Folger Shakespeare Lib. Newdigate newsletter 30 Oct. 1705; Post Boy, 5–8 May 1711.