John Parker, 1st Earl of Morley

John Parker, 1st Earl of Morley FRS (3 May 1772 – 14 March 1840), known as 2nd Baron Boringdon from 1788 to 1815, was a British peer and politician.

John Parker, 1st Earl of Morley (1772-1840)
Arms of Parker: Sable, a stag's head cabossed between two flaunches argent


Morley was the only son of John Parker, 1st Baron Boringdon, of Boringdon Hall, Plympton, of Court House, North Molton, and of Saltram, all in Devon, and his second wife Theresa Robinson, daughter of Thomas Robinson, 1st Baron Grantham. His mother died when he was three years old and his father when he was fifteen. His parents had employed the architect Robert Adam to complete the interior of Saltram House,[1] rebuilt by his own father John Parker[2] as one of the grandest houses in Devon. The Parker family had risen to prominence in the mid-16th century as the bailiff of the manor of North Molton, Devon, under Baron Zouche of Haryngworth.[3]


He was educated locally at Plympton Grammar School (which his father's friend the painter Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723–1792) had also attended) within walking distance of Saltram House,[4] and at Christ Church, Oxford.[5]


Morley took his seat in the House of Lords on his 21st birthday in 1793. He was an active member of the House of Lords, initially supporting government policies until the death of William Pitt the Younger in 1806. After Pitt's death he supported George Canning, with whom he corresponded on political matters for many years. In 1815 he was created Viscount Boringdon, of North Molton in the County of Devon, and Earl of Morley, in the County of Devon. After Canning's death in 1827 he began to support the Whigs, and voted for the Great Reform Act of 1832. Apart from his involvement in national politics, Morley was also a great benefactor to public works in his home county of Devon and was a Fellow of the Royal Society.[5] He made only minor additions to the family seat at Saltram, including the porch and enlargement of the library, 1818–20.[6]

Marriage and childrenEdit

Morley married twice:


Lord Morley died at his seat of Saltram House in March 1840, aged 67, and was succeeded in his titles by his only son Edmund Parker, 2nd Earl of Morley (1810-1864).


  1. ^ "Bull [née Hicks], Amy Maud (1877–1953), suffragist | Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/63868. Retrieved 23 March 2020. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ Pevsner, p.710
  3. ^ The early genealogy of the Parker family as given in the heraldic visitations of Devon appears unreliable. A deed exists which records that in 1550 Edmund Parker, "gent" the son and heir apparent of John Parker of North Molton, Esquire, was granted by John la Zouche, 8th Baron Zouche (of Haryngworth), 9th Baron St Maur (c. 1486–1550), by deed of gift, the office of bailiff of the manor of North Molton and lands called "Legh" for the term of his life. (Plymouth & West Devon Record Office 69/M/2/93, dated 28 March 1550)
  4. ^ "Plympton St Maurice - South Devon". Plympton St Maurice - South Devon.
  5. ^ a b c Norgate 1895.
  6. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus & Cherry, Bridget, The Buildings of England: Devon, London, 2004, p.711
  7. ^ Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p.588, pedigree of Parker
  8. ^ a b Vivian, p.588


External linksEdit

Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by Baron Boringdon
Succeeded by
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Earl of Morley
Succeeded by