MORLEY, Francis (c.1623-90), of Droxford, Hants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1623, 1st s. of Francis Morley of London by Joan, da. of John Collins of Northampton. m. 1652, Jane, da. of Charles Tancred of Arden, Yorks., 7s. (1 d.v.p.) 6da. suc. uncle George Morley, bp. of Winchester 1684.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Winchester 1666; j.p. Surr. 1678-Feb. 1688, Nov. 1688-d., Hants. 1678-d.; commr. for assessment, Hants 1679-80, 1690, Wilts. 1689-90.2


Morley’s father fought in the Civil War as a captain of foot in the regiment of Sir Allen Apsley. His uncle, one of the leading lights of the Tew circle and a close friend of Clarendon, was in exile for most of the Interregnum. Morley joined him in Holland in 1654 and was alleged to be planning to assassinate Cromwell. After the Restoration he became tenant to his uncle for the episcopal manor of Droxford, as well as some property in Winchester, and thought of standing on the bishop’s interest for Downton in 1678, but gave up when Giles Eyre withdrew his support. Morley stood for Winchester in 1685 on his own interest and with the support of the Tory lord lieutenant (Edward Noel); but he was persuaded by his uncle’s friend, Bishop Ken, to desist in favour of two courtiers, ‘hoping that the King, to whom he had been much misrepresented, would remember it in his favour’.3

Morley returned a curt negative to the first and second questions on the repeal of the Tests and the Penal Laws, consenting to the third, and was removed from the commission of the peace. He was noted as one of the candidates for Winchester who would not ‘comply’, and was duly returned to the Convention. He was appointed to no committees and made no speeches, but his voting record is curious. He was presumably a Tory who wished to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant; but he was later listed as a supporter of the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations. His attitude may have been due to the difficulties which Winchester had experienced over the surrender of its charter; but he was defeated at the general election, and died on 10 Dec. 1690 in his 68th year. He was buried at Droxford. His son sat for Hindon as a Whig from 1695 till his death two years later.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. Le Neve’s Knights (Harl. Soc. viii), 452-3; PCC 134 Hare, 206 Dyke.
  • 2. Winchester corp. assembly bk. 6, f. 29.
  • 3. List of Officers Claiming, 2; Thurloe, ii. 381; VCH Hants, iii. 285; Wilts. RO, Radnor mss 1084, Ashe to Snow, 29 July 1678; HMC Dartmouth, i. 123.
  • 4. Eg. 2364, f.162.