Open main menu

Morton, Robert (DNB00)


MORTON, ROBERT (d. 1497), bishop of Worcester, was the nephew of Cardinal John Morton (1420–1500) [q. v.] His father was William Morton (Nichols, Collectanea Topographica et Geneal. iii. 170), not Sir Rowland, who did not die till 1554 (Burke, Extinct Baronage, p. 373). He became prebendary of Thorngate, Lincoln, 16 Aug. 1471, and succeeded his uncle as archdeacon of Winchester in 1478. He held the degree of LL.D. (Wharton, Anglia Sacra, i. 538). On 30 May 1477 his uncle had secured the reversion of the office of master of the rolls for him in the event of his own death or resignation. Robert obtained it by a new patent 9 Jan. 1479. He kept the office under Edward IV and Edward V, and lost it under Richard III, when his uncle was in disgrace. He was reinstated by Henry VII, and named as one of the commissioners to perform the office of steward on Henry's coronation. He said he required help as master of the rolls because of his activity in the king's service, and a coadjutor was given him 13 Nov. 1485.

In 1481 he was canon of Windsor, but he resigned the office 8 March 1486. On 15 March following he was granted, jointly with Margaret, countess of Richmond, the advowson of a prebend in the church of Windsor and the advowson of a canonry in Windsor (21 Dec. 1487 and 12 Jan. 1488). On 8 June 1482 he was collated archdeacon of Gloucester, and resigned when he became a bishop. On 16 Oct. 1486 he received a papal provision for the bishopric of Worcester, obtained a license of consecration from his uncle 24 Jan. 1486-7, was consecrated 28 Jan., and received his temporalities 10 Feb. He was enthroned by proxy 22 July 1487; he instituted to vacant benefices as early as 8 Jan. (Thomas, Account of the Bishops of Worcester, p. 200).

On 15 March 1497 he received a pardon from Henry VII, which was intended to secure his property against extortions. He died in the following April or May. His arms are given in Thomas and his epitaph in Browne Willis. He was buried in the nave of St. Paul's Cathedral, London. In his will he gave twenty marks to the cathedral of Worcester, and directed that he should be buried in the cemetery of the place where he should die (Browne Willis, Survey, i. 643). The same writer states that Morton received many other preferments, but these seem to have belonged to a person named Robert Moreton, whom Le Neve does not identify with the bishop.

[Foss's Judges of England, v. 67, &c.; Le Neve's Fasti Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ, ed. Hardy, ii. 223, iii. 26, 78, 389; Thomas's Account of Bishops of Worcester, p. 200.]

M. B.