MORTON, Sir James (1652-96), of Slaugham, Suss.
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Family and Education
bap. 5 Oct. 1652, 4th but o. surv. s. of Sir William Morton. educ. Trinity, Oxf. 1667; I. Temple, entered 1667. m. lic. 19 Dec. 1671, Anne, da. and coh. of Sir John Covert, 1st Bt., of Slaugham, 4s. (3 d.v.p.). Kntd. 23 Dec. 1671; suc. fa. 1672.1
Commr. for assessment, Suss. 1673-9, 1689-90, j.p. 1674-Apr. 1688, Nov. 1688-d., dep. lt. 1685-Feb. 1688.
Morton, who had succeeded his father-in-law at Slaugham in 1679, was first returned to Parliament for Steyning in 1681, on the interest of Henry Goring II, who married the other coheir. He was not named to any committees and did not speak, but doubtless opposed exclusion. At the general election of 1685 he gave way to Goring, but he is said to have been returned at the by-election occasioned by his death, though he left no trace on the records of James II’s Parliament. To the lord lieutenant’s questions in 1688, he replied uncompromisingly:
The Test and Penal Laws being a security established by law for the Protestant religion, which by oaths taken he has promised to maintain, he can in no ways consent to the abrogating of them, or electing any Member of Parliament for so doing.
He was re-elected to the Convention, where he did not vote to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant. His only committee was to consider the claims of Edmund Prideaux. He is not known to have stood again, and was buried at Slaugham on 18 June 1696, the last of his family to sit in Parliament.2