Morant, Philip

, M. A. and F. S. A. a learned and indefatigable antiquary and biographer, the son of Stephen Morant, was born at St. Saviour’s in the isle of Jersey, Oct. 6, 1700; and, after finishing his education at Abingdon-school, was entered Dec. 16, 1717, of Pembrokecollege, Oxford, where he took the degree of B. A. June 10, 1721, and continued till Midsummer 1722; when he was preferred to the office of preacher of the English church at Amsterdam, but never went to take possession. He took the degree of M. A. in 1724, and was presented to the rectory of Shellow Bowells, April 20, 1733; to the vicarage of Bromfield, Jan. 17, 1733-4; to the rectory of Chicknal Smeley, Sept. 19, 1735; to that of St. Mary’s, Colchester, March 9, 1737; to that of Wickham Bishops, Jan. 21, 1742-3; and to that of Aldham, Sept. 14, 1745. All these benefices are in the county of Essex. In 1748 he published his “History of Colchester,” of which only 200 copies were printed at the joint expence of Mr. | Bowyer and himself. In 1751, Mr. Morant was elected F. S. A. In February 1768, he was appointed, by the lords subcommittees of the House of Peers, to succeed Mr. Blyke, in preparing for the press a copy of the rolls of parliament; a service to which he diligently attended to his death, which happened Nov. 25, 1770, in consequence of a cold, caught in returning by water from the Temple to Vauxhall, in his way to South Lambeth, where he resided for the convenience of attending to his parliamentary labours; for which, as a native of Jersey, and excellently skilled in the old Norman French, he was particularly well qualified. This work, after his death, devolved on Thomas Astle, esq. F. R. and A. Ss. who had married his only daughter, and who communicated to Mr. Nichols the following exact account of Mr. Morant’s writings, from a list of them drawn up by himself. 1. “An Introduction to the Reading of the New Testament, being a translation of that of Mess, de Beausobre and Lenfant, prefixed to their edition of the New Testament,1725, 1726, 4to. 2. “The Translation of the Notes of Mess, de Beausobre and Lenfant on St. Matthew’s Gospel,1727, 4to. N. Tindal translated the text printed therewith. 3. “The Cruelties and Persecutions of the Romish Church displayed, &c.1728, 8vo, translated into Welsh by Thomas Richards, curate of Coy church in Glamorganshire, 1746, with the approbation of Dr. Gilbert, the bishop of Landaff. 4. “1 epitomised those Speeches, Declarations, &c. which Rapin had contracted out of Rushworth in the Life of King James I. King Charles I. &c.” 1729, 1730. 5. “Remarks on the 19th Chapter of the Second Book of Mr. Selden’s Mare Clausum.” Printed at the end of Mr. Fallens “Account of Jersey,1731. 6. “1 compared Rapin’s History with the 20 volumes of Rymer’s Fcedera, and Acta Publica, and all the ancient and modern Historians, and added most of the notes that were in the folio edition,” 1728, 1734. This is acknowledged at the end of the preface in the first volume of Rapin’s History. 7. “Translation of the Notes in the Second Part of the Othman History, by Prince Cantemir,1735, fulio. 8. Revised and correeled “The History of England, by way of Question and Answer,” for Thomas Astley, 1737, 12mo. 9. Revised and corrected “Hearne’s Ductor Historicus,” and made large additions thereto, for J. Knapton. 10. “Account of the Spanish Invasion in 1588, by way of illustration to | the Tapestry Hangings in the House of Lords and in the King’s Wardrobe. Engraved and published by J. Pine,” 1739, folio. 11. “Geographia Antiqua & Nova; taken partly from Dufresnoy’s ‘ Methode pour etudier la Geographic;’ with Ceilarius’s Maps,1742, 4to. 12. “A Summary of the History of England,” folio, and “Lists at the end of Mr. TindaPs Continuation of Rapin’s History, in vol. III. being 55 sheets. Reprinted in three volumes,” 8vo. 13. “The History and Antiquities of Colchester,1748, folio; second edition, 1768. 14. “All the Lives in the Biographia Britannica marked C. 1739, 1760, 7 vols. folio. I also composed Stiliingfleet, which hath no mark at the end.” 15. “The History of P:ssex,1760, 1768, 2 vols. folio. 16. “I prepared the Rolls of Parliament for the Press” (as far as the 16 Henry IV.) Other works in ms.: 17. “An Answer to the first Part of the Discourse of the Grounds and Reasons of the Christian Religion, in a Letter to a Friend, 1724. Presented in ms. to Edmund Gibson, bishop of London.” Never printed. This was the beginning of Mr. Morant’s acquaintance with the bishop, whom he acknowledged as his only patron, and who gave him several livings in the county of Essex. 18. “The Life of King Edward the Confessor.” 19. About 150 Sermons. 1


Nichols’s Bowver.