Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 39.djvu/169

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Morton
Morton
163

at-arms for six months (Whitelocke, Memorials, 1732, p. 14). On the abolition of episcopacy in 1646 an annual income of 800l. was assigned to him out of the revenues of the see. This, however, he never received, the authorities by whom it was to be paid not being specified. All he obtained was a sum of 1,000l. from the committee at Goldsmiths' Hall 'towards the arrears,' which he employed in paying his debts and purchasing an annuity of 200l. for life. In 1648 he was driven from Durham House by the soldiery, who took forcible possession of it. He then resided with his friends, the Earl and Countess of Rutland, at Exeter House in the Strand ; but, being unwilling to live permanently at the charge of others, he left them, and passed his time with various royalist lay friends. At last he resolved to return to London. On his way thither, on horseback, he fell in with Sir Christopher Yelverton. There had been some previous relations between them. Sir Christopher was theson andheir of Sir Henry Yelverton [q.v.], James I's attorney-general, in whose behalf, when brought before the bar of the house in 1621 for an attack on the all-powerful Buckingham, Morton had remonstrated against the injustice of condemning him unheard. Sir Henry had also, in 1629, sat as judge of assize at Durham in the case of Morton's enemy, Peter Smart, and had charged the jury in his favour, declaring that he 'hoped to live and die a puritan.' Sir Christopher inherited his father's puritanical bias. On their meeting the bishop recognised him, though Sir Christopher did not recognise the bishop. To his inquiry who he was, Morton replied, 'I am that old man, the Bishop of Durham, in spite of all your votes;' to the further inquiry whither he was going, his answer was, 'To London, to live there a little while, and then to die.' Ultimately Sir Christopher invited him to his house at Easton-Mauduit, ten miles from Northampton. His visit only ended with his death. He became a revered member of Sir Christopher's family, and tutor to Henry, his eldest son, then a lad of sixteen, receiving 'from the wholefamily all the tender respect and care which a father could expect from his children' (Barwick, Life, p. 123). At Easton-Mauduit Morton endeavoured to maintain the ministerial succession of the church of England by holding secret ordinations. Sir Christopher died in 1654. The bishop died at Easton-Mauduit on 22 Sept. 1659, 'blessed,' writes his friend Walton (Life of Donne, u.s., p. 634), 'with perfect intellectuals, and a cheerful heart,' in the ninety-fifth year of his age, and the forty-fourth of his episcopate, and the twenty-fourth of his translation to Durham. He was buried in the Yelverton chapel of the parish church. His chaplain, Dr. John Barwick [q. v.], afterwards dean of St. Paul's, preached the funeral sermon. One of his latest acts before his death was to publish a denial, fully attested, of the slanderous statement that he had in a speech in the House of Lords acknowledged the fiction of the 'Nag's Head Consecration' of Arch-bishop Parker (Bramhill, Works, iii. 5-10 ; Strype, Parker, i. 119 ; Neal, Puritans, iv. 179 ; Barwick, Life, pp. 108-20). By his will he left 10. to the poor of the parish in which he died, and his chalice to All Saints, York, the parish in which he was born. He also bequeathed a silver-gilt chalice and paten of large size for the use of the chapel recently added to his manor-house by Sir Henry Yelverton. Since the demolition of the house these have been transferred to the parish church. A codicil to his will contained a declaration of his faith and of his adhesion to the church of England, solemnly attested by witnesses, as 'a legacy to all pious and sober Christians, but especially those of his diocese of Durham' (ib. p. 127). He died unmarried, having early in life ' resolved to die a single man' (Walton, Life of Donne, p. 636).

Morton is described as small of stature, upright in person, and sprightly in motion, preserving the vigour of youth in extreme old age, of a sweet and serious countenance, grave and sober in speech, manifesting a gentleness which won all hearts and disarmed enmity ; 'in the fullest sense of the word, a good man' (Gardiner, u.s. iii. 249). His habits were ascetic. He slept on a straw bed, and rose at 4 A.M., never retiring to rest till 10 P.M., drank wine but seldom, and then sparingly, and only took one full meal in the day. In his attire he was 'always decent in his lowest ebb, and never excessive in his highest tide,' never discarding the episcopal habit, even when it was perilous to wear it. Portraits of Morton are at Christ Church, Oxford, at St. John's College, Cambridge, and at Auckland Castle, Durham. An engraved portrait is prefixed to Barwick's 'Life.'

Morton was a great patron of good and learned men. His house was ever open to scholars as a home and as a place of refuge in poverty or trouble. At the commencement of the parliamentary war, while it was still in his power to do so, he offered Fuller a home and maintenance (Fuller, Worthies, ii. 541). Isaac Basire [q. v.] was one of the many deserving scholars whom he brought forward. Ralph Brownrig [q. v.], bishop of Exeter, Henry Feme [q. v.], bishop of Ches-