Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Morris, Morris Drake

1338222Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 39 — Morris, Morris Drake1894Gordon Goodwin

MORRIS, MORRIS DRAKE (fl. 1717), biographer, born in Cambridge, was son of a barrister of Cambridge named Drake, for some years recorder of Cambridge, by Sarah, daughter of Thomas Morris, merchant, of London, and of Mount Morris in Horton, otherwise Monks Horton, Kent. After his father's death his mother married Dr. Conyers Middleton [q. v.] He was for some time fellow-commoner of Trinity College, Cambridge. On the death of his grandfather in 1717 he assumed the additional surname of Morris as the condition of succeeding to Mount Morris (will of Thomas Morris, registered in P. C. C., 141, Whitfield). He died without issue, at Coveney in the Isle of Ely, where he possessed property, and was buried at Horton, his death being accelerated by intemperance. The estate of Mount Morris went by entail to his sister, Elizabeth Drake, wife of Matthew Robinson of West Layton in Yorkshire, and mother of Mrs. Elizabeth Montagu [q. v.]

Morris compiled in 1715 and 1716, from very obvious sources of information, 'Lives of Famous Men educated in the University of Cambridge,' which he entered in two large folio volumes, and illustrated with engraved portraits. He presented them to Lord Oxford, and they are now Harleian MSS. 7176 and 7177. In 1749 Dr. Conyers Middleton, his stepfather, presented William Cole with Morris's rough drafts, which Cole indexed, and included in his manuscripts presented to the British Museum, where they are numbered among the Additional MSS. 5856-8.

[Hasted's Kent, folio edit. iii. 317; Brydges's Restituta, iii. 73; Addit. MS. 5876, f. 215 (Cole's Athenæ Cantabrigienses); Cat. of Harleian MSS. in Brit. Mus.]

G. G.