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(1670 – 1726)

(Born: England, 18 July 1670/1; Died: Great Oxzendon, Northamptonshire, England, 18 July 1726) English theologian & naturalist.

Morton was educated at Cambridge University, receiving the degrees of B.A. (1691) and M.A. (1695). He was a clergyman in the Anglican Church, becoming Curate of Great Oxendon, 1694-1706 and Rector of Great Oxendon from 1706-26. In 1703, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Biographical references: Allibone, Dictionary of English Literature, 1859-71. BBA: I 793, 67-69. DNB: 13, 1050-1. Wake, H.T., "Epitaph on the Rev. John Morton", Notes and Queries, Ist ser., 6, 358. Watt, Bibliotheca Britannica, 1824.

1. English, 1712.
The Natural history of Northampton-shire; with some Account of the Antiquities. To which is annex'd, a Transcript of Doomsday-Book, so far as it relates to that County. London, Printed for R. Knaplock and R. Wilkin, 1712.

2°: [4], iv, 551, 46, 10 p., large folding hand-colored double-page map by John Harris, 14 plates with the coat-of-arms of each dedicatee hand-colored by van der Gucht after P. La Vergne.

Rare. This is Morton's only publication. In this work he followed Woodward's proposition that the deluge was responsible for the geological features of the county and for its fossils. Therefore, the text deals largely with figured fossils, of which it contains several plates.

In a letter of 1704 Morton speaks of the encouragement of gentlemen and noblemen of Northamptonshire, which enables him to pursue his natural history of the county. The work was published by subscription, the new device for making publications then coming into practice.

Bibliographical references: BL [L.R.38.c.26.]. BMC: 3, 1356. LKG: XIV 412. Smith, Early Mineralogy in Great Britain, 1978.