Monday, October 12, 2015

12 October 1500 A.D. John Morton Dies—66th of 105 Archbishops of Canterbury (was the CANTUAR when Thomas Cranmer born in 1489)

12 October 1500 A.D.  John Morton Dies—66th of 105 Archbishops of Canterbury (was the CANTUAR when Thomas Cranmer born in 1489)

Bevans,  G. M. “John Morton (1420-1500).”  N.d.  Accessed 26 May 2014.
Bevans,  Portraits of the Archbishops of Canterbury. Toronto, ONT:  University of Toronto Libraries, 2011. Available here:
John Morton

Bishop of Ely
Archbishop of Canterbury
Born: 1420 at Bere Regis or Milborne St. Andrew, Dorset
Died: 12th Oct 1500 at Knole, Kent

John Morton was born in Dorset, about 1426, and educated at Cerne Abbey, in that county, and at Balliol College, Oxford. He took Orders and became an ecclesiastical lawyer in the Court of Arches. He was appointed a member of the Privy Council, Chancellor of the Duchy of Cornwall and Master in Chancery.

During the Wars of the Roses, he cast in his lot with the Lancastrians and was involved in their misfortunes. However, on making his submission, he was received into favour by King Edward IV and was employed by him on diplomatic missions. He was made Archdeacon of Winchester and of Chester in 1474 and Bishop of Ely in 1479.

Bishop Morton was imprisoned by Richard III, but escaped to Flanders and was from thence recalled by Henry VII, whose financial minister and adviser he became. In 1486, he was made Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Chancellor, was created a Cardinal in 1493 and elected Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 1495. His death took place in 1500.
Morton was a great builder. The central tower of Canterbury Cathedral, known both as the "Angel Steeple" and as "Bell Harry" was erected by Prior Goldstone with Morton's help and at his expense. The Gateway Tower of Lambeth Palace, where he lived and where Sir Thomas More served him as page, bears his name and remains as a monument of his taste and munificence.
Edited from G.M. Bevan's "Portraits of the Archbishops of Canterbury" (1908).

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