Thomas Morell

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Thomas Morell (/mɔːˈrɛl/; 18 March 1703 – 19 February 1784) was an English librettist, classical scholar,[1] and printer.[2]

Thomas Morell, 1763 engraving by James Basire after William Hogarth.[3]


He was born in Eton, Berkshire and educated at Eton College and King's College, Cambridge (BA, 1726, MA, 1730 and DD, 1743).

He was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and in 1768 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society as a "Rector of Buckland in Hertfordshire, Author of the Greek Thesaurus lately published, and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, a Gentleman well skilled in Natural History and every branch of Polite Literature".[4][5]

He was appointed Garrison Chaplain at Portsmouth barracks in 1775.

Morell wrote the longest and most detailed surviving account of collaboration with Handel.[6]

He died in 1784 and was buried in Chiswick, London.


He is best known as the librettist of the following of George Frideric Handel's oratorios:


  1. ^ Morell, Thomas (2004). "Morell, Thomas (1703–1784), classical scholar and librettist | Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/19201. Retrieved 2020-03-01. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ a b c d e Smith, R. (2002). Thomas Morell and His Letter about Handel. Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 127(2), 191-225. Retrieved March 1, 2020
  3. ^ "Portrait of Thomas Morell | Royal Society Picture Library". 2012-05-15. Retrieved 2020-03-01.
  4. ^ "Morell; Thomas (1703 - 1784) - DServe Archive Persons Show". Retrieved 2020-03-01.
  5. ^ "Library and Archive Catalogue". Royal Society. Retrieved 2020-03-01.
  6. ^ The Manuscripts of J. Eliot Hodgkin, F.S.A., of Richmond, Surrey, Historical Manuscripts Commission 15th Report, Appendix, pt ii (London, 1897), 91-93