John Morley, Rector 1719-1731
When Wesley was elected to a fellowship in 1724 the Rector of Lincoln was John Morley, a Fellow of the College since 1689 and Rector from 1719. Like Wesley, Morley was originally from Lincolnshire and since 1711 had held the College living of Scotton, near Gainsborough, making him a neighbour of Wesley’s father Samuel. Wesley seems to have liked and respected Morley, describing him on his death as “one of the best friends I had in the world.” The Oxford antiquarian Thomas Hearne judged Morley more harshly, describing him as a “worthy, honest man” who had ultimately become idle as a result of marriage and preferment. On his death Morley left the College £100, to be put towards the cost of a living, and his collection of silver Queen Anne medals.
The portrait of Morley, which now hangs in the Senior Common Room, is attributed to Johann Kerseboom (d. 1708), a German painter who set up in London in the 1680s and is best known for his portrait of Robert Boyle.
Image: Portrait of John Morley (c.1670-1731), attributed to Johann Kerseboom.