Philip Morant

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Philip Morant (6 October 1700 in Jersey – 25 November 1770 in Battersea) was an English clergyman, author and historian.[1]

He was educated at Abingdon School and Pembroke College, Oxford,[2] eventually taking his master's degree at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge in 1729.

Ordained in 1722, he began his association with the county of Essex with a curacy at Great Waltham near Chelmsford in 1722.[3] He was the Chaplain of the English Episcopal Church in Amsterdam from 1732 to 1734. In 1737 he became both the Rector of St Mary-at-the-Walls, Colchester as well as Rector of Aldham in Essex.[4] During his time in Colchester, Morant wrote The History and Antiquities of Colchester, published in 1748; and his county history, The History and Antiquities of the County of Essex, published in two volumes between 1763 and 1768. He also conducted a number of excavations of Roman sites in and around the town. He married Anne Stebbing in 1739 and they had a daughter, Anna Maria. In 1755, Philip Morant was elected to the Fellowship of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

After the death of his wife, he moved to his son-in-law's house in Battersea and was employed in the House of Lords, although he retained the living of both his parishes. He died in 1770 and is buried at Aldham.[5]

There is a contemporary memorial and a window of 1855 in his memory in the new church at Aldham (the memorial was moved in 1854), and there is a wooden plaque at St Mary-at-the-Walls dated 1966. The Morant Club was formed in Colchester in 1909 to investigate local archeology, but was dissolved in 1925.[6] In 1965, The Norman Way Secondary School in Prettygate, Colchester was renamed Philip Morant School and College in his honour.


  1. ^ Clark, Benjamin. "Memorial of the parishes of Greensted-Budworth". Netgems. 
  2. ^ "Philip Morant (MRNT730P)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  3. ^ G. H. Martin, ‘Morant, Philip (1700–1770)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2006
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External links[edit]

 Goodwin, Gordon (1894). "Morant, Philip". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 38. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 

Genealogical information retrieved from the papers of Thomas Astle (1735-1803), Keeper of the records.