MORLEY, Herbert (1616-67), of Glynde Place, Suss.

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

Constituency

Dates

c. May 1640
Nov. 1640
1654
1659
1660
1661 - 29 Sept. 1667

Family and Education

bap. 2 Apr. 1616, 1st s. of Robert Morley of Glynde by Susan, da. and h. of Thomas Hodgson of Framfield, Suss. educ. Lewes g.s.; Emmanuel, Camb. 1632; I. Temple 1634. m. 27 Oct. 1648, Mary (d.1656) da. of Sir John Trevor of Trevalyn, Denb., 3s. (1 d.v.p.) 2da. suc. fa. 1632.2

Offices Held

J.p. Suss. 1641-Aug. 1660, Surr. 1650-2, Mdx. Mar.-July 1660; commr. for assessment, Suss. 1643-52, 1657, Jan. 1660-d., sequestration 1643, accounts 1643, levying of money 1643, defence 1643, execution of ordinances 1644, courts martial, London 1644, new model ordinance, Suss. 1645, militia 1648, 1659, Suss. Mdx. and Tower Hamlets Mar. 1660, scandalous ministers, Suss. 1654, sewers, rapes of Lewes and Pevensey 1659, Sept. 1660; custos rot. Suss. Mar.-Aug. 1660.3

Col. of horse (parliamentary) 1643-5, ft. July-Oct. 1659, Dec. 1659-Aug. 1660.

Commr. for relief of Ireland 1645, exclusion from sacrament 1646, indemnity 1647-9, scandalous offences 1648, Admiralty 1648-9, 1651-2, May-Oct. 1659, Feb.-July 1660; member, High Court of Justice 1649; Councillor of State 1650-2, May-Oct. 1659, Jan.-May 1660; commr. for army 1652-3, May-Oct. 1659, Dec. 1659-July 1660; lt. of the Tower Jan.-June 1660.

Biography

Morley’s ancestor Nicholas, of Lancashire origins, married an heiress whose estates enabled him to sit for Hertfordshire in four of Henry VI’s Parliaments and for various Sussex constituencies from 1453, though he did not acquire Glynde till a few years later. Morley was an active Parliamentarian in the first Civil War, principally in defence of Sussex. Though considered an Independent in religion, and conforming after Pride’s Purge, he refused to take part in the King’s trial, and opposed both Cromwell and Lambert’s coup d’etat in 1659. By November he was in touch with his old school-fellow Evelyn, whom he begged to intercede with the King both for himself and his brother-in-law John Fagg I. He took an important part in the overthrow of the military regime by helping to secure Portsmouth, and was made lieutenant of the Tower. Evelyn pressed him in vain to declare openly for the King: ‘had he taken my advice in time, he had been duke, and I God knows what’. He was absent from the Tower when Lambert escaped on 10 Apr. 1660, having ‘gone down into Sussex to be chosen a Parliament man’. He was duly returned for Rye, where he had established a strong interest during the Interregnum.4

Morley was a moderately active Member of the Convention. He and John Gurdon ‘durst not speak’, but ‘expressed their dislike of things by the shaking of their heads’. His 18 committees included the drafting committee and those to consider the bill confirming land purchases, to draw up instructions for the messengers to the King and to confer with the Lords about the King’s reception. But it was not until 24 May that he took effective steps to procure his pardon. Evelyn, lamenting ‘the sottish indifference of this gentleman’, referred him to Lord Mordaunt, who, he later heard, exacted £1,000 for his services. Two days later Morley showed his zeal against the regicides by informing the House of a book ‘found about’ Gregory Clement which might be serviceable to discover his estate. But he was replaced as lieutenant of the Tower by John Robinson I. He was among those ordered to word clauses on harbour duties (26 July) and disbanding garrisons (10 Sept.), and to manage a conference on the poll-tax.5

Morley retained his seat in 1661 after a contest, but he was never reappointed to the commission of the peace. He was an inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament, being appointed to only 16 committees, none of which was of political importance. In 1662 he disposed of his Wealden iron interest, which had once been considerable. He retained enough sympathy for the nonconformists to take an ejected minister into his household. His last parliamentary committee was at Oxford, on the plague bill, and he died on 29 Sept. 1667.6

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / Basil Duke Henning

Notes

  • 1. Excluded.
  • 2. J. Comber, Suss. Genealogies, Lewes, 193-4.
  • 3. C181/6/367, 7/55.
  • 4. Keeler, Long Parl. 280; D. Underdown, Pride’s Purge, 265; Suss. Arch. Colls., lxxviii. 178-9; Evelyn Diary, iii. 237-8, 240; Huntington Lib. Q. i. 444; Rugge’s Diurnal (Cam. Soc. ser. 3, xci.), 69.
  • 5. Cal. Cl. SP, v. 7; Voyce from the Watch Tower, 121; Evelyn Diary, iii. 245; CJ, viii. 46.
  • 6. E. Straker, Wealden Iron, 294; D. R. Lacey, Dissent and Parl. Pols. 426.

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