John Parker, 1st Earl of Morley
Morley was the only son of John Parker, 1st Baron Boringdon, of Boringdon Hall, Plympton, of Court House, North Molton, and of Saltram, all in Devon, by his second wife Theresa Robinson, daughter of Thomas Robinson, 1st Baron Grantham. His mother died when he was three years old and his father when he was fifteen. His father had employed the architect Robert Adam to complete the interior of Saltram House, rebuilt by his own father John Parker as one of the grandest houses in Devon. The Parker family had risen to prominence in the mid-16th century as the bailiff of the manor of North Molton, Devon, under Baron Zouche of Haryngworth.
He was educated locally at Plympton Grammar School (which his father's friend the painter Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723–1792) had also attended) within walking distance of Saltram House, and at Christ Church, Oxford.
Morley took his seat in the House of Lords on his 21st birthday in 1793. He was an active member of the House of Lords, initially supporting government policies until the death of William Pitt the Younger in 1806. After Pitt's death he supported George Canning, with whom he corresponded on political matters for many years. In 1815 he was created Viscount Boringdon, of North Molton in the County of Devon, and Earl of Morley, in the County of Devon. After Canning's death in 1827 he began to support the Whigs, and voted for the Great Reform Act of 1832. Apart from his involvement in national politics, Morley was also a great benefactor to public works in his home county of Devon and was a Fellow of the Royal Society. He made only minor additions to the family seat at Saltram, including the porch and enlargement of the library, 1818–20.
Marriage & progeny
Morley married twice:
- Firstly in 1804 to Lady Augusta Fane, second daughter of John Fane, 10th Earl of Westmorland, from whom he was divorced by Act of Parliament in 1809, after which she re-married to Sir Arthur Paget.  By his first wife he had one son, who died young:
- Henry Villiers Parker, Viscount Boringdon (28 May 1806 – 1 November 1817)
- Secondly in 1809 he married Frances Talbot (1782–1857), only daughter of Thomas Talbot of Gonville and Wymondham, by whom he had one son:
This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- Pevsner, p.710
- The early genealogy of the Parker family as given in the heraldic visitations of Devon appears unreliable. A deed exists which records that in 1550 Edmund Parker, "gent" the son and heir apparent of John Parker of North Molton, Esquire, was granted by John la Zouche, 8th Baron Zouche (of Haryngworth), 9th Baron St Maur (c. 1486–1550), by deed of gift, the office of bailiff of the manor of North Molton and lands called "Legh" for the term of his life. (Plymouth & West Devon Record Office 69/M/2/93, dated 28 March 1550)
- "Plympton St Maurice - South Devon". Plympton St Maurice - South Devon.
- Norgate 1895.
- Pevsner, Nikolaus & Cherry, Bridget, The Buildings of England: Devon, London, 2004, p.711
- Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p.588, pedigree of Parker
- Vivian, p.588
- Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [self-published source][better source needed]
- Norgate, Gerald le Grys (1895). Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 43. London: Smith, Elder & Co. . In
- Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990,[page needed]
- Lundy, Darryl. "John Parker, 1st Earl of Morley". The Peerage.[unreliable source]
- David Beamish's Peerage Page
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Earl of Morley
|Peerage of Great Britain|
| Baron Boringdon
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation|| Earl of Morley