MORICE, Sir William, 3rd Bt. (?1707-50), of Werrington, Devon.
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Family and Education
b. ?1707, o.s. of Sir Nicholas Morice, 2nd Bt.. educ. Salisbury sch.;1 C.C.C. Oxf. 24 Aug. 1724, aged 17. m. (1) Sept. 1731, Lady Lucy Wharton (div. 1738), da. of Thomas Wharton, M.P., 1st Mq. of Wharton, 1 da. d.v.p.; (2) 9 Sept. 1741, Anna, da. of Thomas Bury of Berrynarbor, Devon, sis. of Thomas Bury, s.p. suc. fa. 27 Jan. 1726.
A Tory, if not a Jacobite, Morice contributed to the election fund raised by the Cornish Tories in 1741.2 Nevertheless in December that year he voted with the Government on the Bossiney election petition, having been won over by his kinsman, Lord Abergavenny (like himself an injured husband),3 whose wife had been seduced by one of the opposition candidates, Richard Liddell.4 Otherwise he regularly voted with the Opposition.
In 1744 Morice came into collision with the Duke of Bedford over hunting rights near Werrington. He wrote to the Duke: ‘You seem to treat me rather like one of your meanest vassals and dependants than a gentleman’, but ‘though I am not adorned with those gawdy titles you are nor master of such large possessions yet I have as quick a sense of an injury offered to me as you can have and have as much spirit and inclination to resent it’.5 In 1748 Bedford, having purchased an estate at Newport, opened an unsuccessful attack on Morice in his boroughs.6 He died 17 Jan. 1750.