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George Morley

Bishop of Worcester
Bishop of Winchester
Born: 27th February 1597 in Cheapside, Middlesex
Died: 30th October 1681 at Farnham Castle, Surrey

George was the son of one Francis Morley Esq. and Sarah, the sister of Sir John Denham. He was a Canon of Christ Church, Oxford who adhered to King Charles I throughout his troubles; and in 1648 was deprived of his preferments and imprisoned for a short time. He afterwards assisted the King during his conferences with the Parliamentary Commissioners at Newport in the Isle of Wight and, in March 1619, prepared Charles, the 'lion-like Capel,' for death and attended him to the scaffold. He left England in the same year, and remained in the families of Royalist exiles at Antwerp and Breda until the Restoration.

In 1660, he was consecrated Bishop of Worcester, assisted in revising the Liturgy in 1661 and, in 1662, was translated to the See of Winchester. Bishop Morley expended more than 8,000 in repairing Farnharn Castle, which had been much shattered during the Civil War, and purchased, for the See, Winchester House in Chelsea. His other benefactions were numerous and he was the founder of the College for Widows of the Clergy, adjoining the Cathedral Close (Winchester) which still bears his name.

He died at Farnham Castle on 30th October 1681, "gathered under the feet of St. Simon and St. Jude," as Bishop Turner wrote to Sancroft. On his deathbed, he was attended by the excellent Bishop Ken.

In his earlier life, Bishop Morley had been one of that distinguished company, among whom were Chillingworth, Selden and Clarendon, who were in the habit of meeting at Lord Falkland's house at Thame (Oxfordshire).


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