Morton, Thomas, Bishop of Durham (1564 -1659)
Thomas Morton was born 20 March 1564, the sixth of nineteen children of Richard Morton, mercer and Alderman of York, and Elizabeth Leedale. He was educated at the Grammar Schools of York and Halifax, and at St John's College, Cambridge, entering as a pensioner in 1582, taking his B.A. in 1586, his M.A. in 1590. He was ordained priest in 1594, and D.D. `with great distinction' in 1606, he was Rector of Long Marston, near York in 1598, and Chaplain to Lord Huntingdon, Lord President of the North. He published his Apologia Catholica, the first of many works directed against Catholicism in 1605, and was appointed one of the King's Chaplains the same year. The next year he was made Dean of Gloucester, and of Winchester in 1609. In 1615 the King nominated him Bishop of Chester, a nomination which he accepted with reluctance, his consecration not taking place till 7 July 1616. In 1618 he was removed to Lichfield and Coventry and translated to Durham in June 1632. When in August 1640 the Scots crossed the Tweed, Morton retired into Yorkshire. Early in 1641 he was in London and attended Parliament until ejected from his coach by a mob in December of that year. He was imprisoned twice without trial, for short periods. In 1648 he was turned out of Durham House in the Strand by the soldiers who had been quartered there for some years, and took refuge with friends, later being offered a home by Sir Christopher Yelverton at his house at Easton Mauduit in Northamptonshire. He died 22 September 1659. There is a list of 170 printed books given to St John's College, Cambridge about 1620 in St John's College, Cambridge MS U.3 folios 45r 47v and a further list, dated 29 July 1639, of about 300 printed books on folios 62r 70v.