Morse, Henry (DNB00)

MORSE, HENRY (1595–1645), Jesuit, known also as Claxton (his mother's name) and Warde, was born in Norfolk in 1595, and studied law in one of the inns of court in London. Harbouring doubts concerning the protestant religion, he retired to the continent, and was reconciled to the Roman church at Douay. Afterwards he became an alumnus of the English College there. He entered the English College at Rome 27 Dec. 1618, and having completed his theological studies, and received holy orders, he was sent from Douay to the English mission 19 June 1624. He entered the Society of Jesus in the London novitiate in 1625, and was soon afterwards removed to the Durham district. Being apprehended, he was committed to York Castle, where he remained in confinement for three years. In 1632 he was at Watten, acting as prefect of health and consultor of the college. In 1633 he was minister and consultor at Liege College, and in the same year he became a missioner in the London district. He was again apprehended, committed to Newgate, tried and condemned to death in 1637, but the sentence was commuted to banishment at the intercession of Queen Henrietta Maria. In 1641-2 he was camp missioner to the English mission at Ghent. Two years later he had returned to England, and again appears as a missioner in the Durham district. He was arrested, carried in chains to London, tried, and, being condemned to death as a traitor on account of his sacerdotal character, was executed at Tyburn on 1 Feb. (N.S.) 1644-5.

In Father Ambrose Corbie's 'Certamen Triplex,' Antwerp, 1645, is an engraved por-

trait, which is photographed in Foley's 'Records' [see Corbie, Ambrose]; two other portraits are mentioned by Granger (Biog. Hist. ii.207).

A copy of Morse's diary, entitled 'Papers relating to the English Jesuits,' is preserved in the British Museum (Addit. MS. 21203).

His elder brother, William Morse (d. 1649), born in Norfolk in 1591, was likewise a convert to the catholic faith, became a Jesuit, and laboured on the English mission until his death on 1 Jan. 1648-9.

[An account of Morse's execution, entitled Narratio Gloriosæ Mortis quam pro Religione Catholica P. Henricvs Mors è Societate Iesv Sacerdos fortiter oppetijt Londini in Anglia. Anno Salutis, 1645. 1 Februarij stylo nouo Quem hic stylum deinceps sequemur, Ghent, 1645, 4to, pp. 21; a memoir appears in Ambrose Corbie's Certamen Triplex, Antwerp, 1645, 4to, pp. 95–144. See also Challoner's Missionary Priests, ii. 180; Dodd's Church Hist. iii. 120; Florus Anglo-Bavaricus, p. 82; Foley's Records, i. 566–610, vi. 288, vii. 527; Oliver's Jesuit Collections, p. 146; Tanner's Societas Jesu usque ad sanguinis et vitæ profusionem militans.]

T. C.