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Family of George Morley, Bishop of Winchester

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no known test candidates
Theorised origin
Family claimed descent from Lords Morley
First recorded
Cheapside, London
Longest association
131 years
Droxford, Hampshire
Last recorded
Droxford, Hampshire
Ribbesford, Worcestershire
Marker Count
Markers last changed

Our information comes mostly from secondary sources:

The last three references give pedigrees. "b'p Winton" is an abbreviation for "Bishop of Winchester". Bowles' pedigree gives a different descent from Francis Morley of London, and claims that his father was "Robert Morley, descended from Thomas, son of Wm. Lord Morley". This is similar to the claim made by the Morleys of Holme Hall, Bottesford. There were two Williams that fit this description: the first and third barons. This William must be the first baron, because the Thomas that was the son of the third baron ended up becoming the fourth baron [Complete Peerage (1936), vol. IX, pp. 209ff].

Not much has been written about Francis Morley of London. He was married to Sarah Denham by 1589, since Sarah's mother's will from this year mentions "my daughter Morley" [Frederic Turner, Notes on some Surrey Pedigrees, in Susex Arch. Coll. vol XXX (1917), p. 2ff].

Turner confirms Sarah as the daughter of William Denham and sister of Sir John Denham. William Denham was a London goldsmith. Is there a connection to Francis Morley, goldsmith and creditor of the Earl of Cumberland?

Turner states that Francis (in 1598) leased the manor of Milton in Egham, co. Surrey. It is probably a coincidence that a member of the Billington Morleys held land in Egham in 1594. The above-mentioned William Denham settled in Thope, Egham sometime between 1559 and 1582 ["The Family of Denham of Egham", Surrey Archaeological Collections 65, p. 71]

Turner indicates that Bishop George Morley had a brother Lionel, alive 1609 [Cal. State Papers, James I, p. 539].

A Lionel Morley, gentleman of the City of Westminster, died around 1626. His 1625 will leaves pretty much everything to his only daughter Sara and her husband Richard Higgins. His "cosyn" Sir Henry Jenkins was appointed a supervisor of the will [PROB 11/149]. Sir Henry was married to a Tankard from Pannall (sic Tancred from Pannel?), and Bowles' pedigree claims (without mentioning Lionel) that Lionel's grandmother was a Tancred from Pannel, Yorkshire. Is this the source of their kinship? (Lionel's nephew Francis Morley junior also married a Yorkshire Tancred, but not until 1652.)

Bishop Morley's nephew Richard is mentioned by name only in Le Neve's pedigree. Richard's last will is dated 17 January 1698/9. It names:

  • eldest daughter Gertrude
  • eldest son Thomas (of Inner Temple at time of probate?)
  • son Henry (under 21), bapt. 28 June 1696 St Clement Danes [FMP transcription]
  • younger daughter Charlotte (unmarried and under 21); bapt. 10 October 1697 St Martin-in-the-Fields [FMP transcription]
    • bequeathed pictures of her grandfather and Richard's uncle the late Bishop of Winchester
  • wife Elizabeth, with a life interest in Richard's house on the Strand.

Thomas and Gertrude were Richard's children by his first wife (not named).

Richard requested burial at Putney in a private manner. (On first reading of the will, it appears that he is requesting the burial of his uncle's portrait in a private manner!)

At the time of probate (20 May 1699) Gertrude Morley is called Gertrude Browne. She is therefore an alleged great-great grandmother of the Empress Josephine. This connection has been debunked [1, 2].

It appears the son Thomas was betrothed to Sarah Gardner circa 1697, and their pre-marriage settlement concerned the clerkship of the castle of Taunton. Thomas Morley of Inner Temple appears in a 1724 list of serjeants at law and in a 1740 list of former sergeants.



Surname: Morley
Title Start Year End Year Added Updated
Cheapside, London
1597 1610 2013-05-03 2013-05-03
Droxford, Hampshire
1650 1781 2013-05-03 2013-05-03
Ribbesford, Worcestershire
1738 1781 2013-05-03 2013-05-03


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