George Morley

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This article is about the English bishop. For the British Chief Constable, see George Morley (police officer).
Bishop Morley.

George Morley D.D. (1598–1684) was an English bishop, of the dioceses of Worcester and Winchester.


Morley was born in London, England, in February, 1598, to Francis Morley and Sarah Denham, and educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford. He graduated B.A., 1618, and M.A., 1621. Throughout the 1620s and 1630s he moved in the illustrious intellectual political circles of Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount Falkland at Great Tew.[1] During these years, he served as domestic chaplain to Robert Dormer, 1st Earl of Carnarvon.[1] In 1640, he was presented to the sinecure living of Hartfield, Sussex, and in the following year he was made canon of Christ Church, Oxford and exchanged Hartfield for the rectory of Mildenhall, Wiltshire.

Morley in the Civil Wars and Interregnum

He preached before the House of Commons in 1642, but his sermon gave offence, and when in 1647 he took a prominent part in resisting the parliamentary visitation of Oxford University he was deprived of his canonry and living.

Leaving England, he joined the court of King Charles II, and became one of the leading clergy at The Hague. Shortly before the Restoration he came to England on a highly successful mission to gain for Charles the support of the Presbyterians. In 1660, he regained his canonry, and soon became Dean of Christ Church.[2][3] In the same year, he was consecrated Bishop of Worcester. At the Savoy Conference of 1661 he was chief representative of the bishops. He was translated to the see of Winchester in 1662 and made Dean of the Chapel Royal in 1663, a position he held until dismissed by King Charles in 1668.


His works are few and chiefly polemical, e.g. The Bishop of Worcester's to a friend for Vindication of himself from the Calumnies of Mr. Richard Baxter.


  1. ^ a b Spurr, John (2004). "Morley, George". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/19285.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ Salter, H. E. and Lobel, Mary D., ed. (1954). "Christ Church". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3: The University of Oxford. Victoria County History. pp. 228–238. Retrieved July 26, 2011. 
  3. ^ Horn, Joyce M., ed. (1996). "Deans of Christ Church, Oxford". Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541–1857: volume 8: Bristol, Gloucester, Oxford and Peterborough dioceses. Victoria County History. pp. 80–83. Retrieved July 26, 2011. 


Academic offices
Preceded by
Edward Reynolds
Dean of Christ Church, Oxford
Succeeded by
John Fell
Church of England titles
Title last held by
John Prideaux
Bishop of Worcester
Succeeded by
John Gauden
Preceded by
Brian Duppa
Bishop of Winchester
Succeeded by
Peter Mews