George Morley 1598?-1684

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George MORLEY 1598?-1684

Biographical Note

Born in Cheapside, London, son of Francis Morley, an impoverished gentleman. BA Christ Church, Oxford 1618, MA 1622. Chaplain to Robert Dormer, Earl of Carnarvon, rector of Hartfield, Sussex 1641, shortly afterwards of Mildenhall, Wiltshire, also a royal chaplain and Canon of Christ Church. He fled abroad in 1649 and travelled extensively thereafter, in association with the royal court in exile. He was heavily involved in negotiations around the Restoration and was made Bishop of Worcester in 1660, and translated to Winchester in 1662. After the fall of his patron and friend Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon in 1667 his political influence waned, but he remained active as a diocesan bishop and publisher of doctrinal works, rooted in the Anglican Calvinist tradition in which he grew up.


Morley accumulated a library of ca.2000 volumes, which he bequeathed to Winchester Cathedral, where it remains today on 17th-century bookshelves in the room now called the Morley Library. The books are wide-ranging in content, with strong theological holdings, typical of a library of this kind and period. Morley left provision for a £5 annual salary for a librarian, and stipulated that two Blaeu globes be purchased.