|Earldom of Morley|
|Creation date||29 November 1815|
|Monarch||The Prince Regent (acting on behalf of his father King George III)|
|Peerage||Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|First holder||John Parker, 2nd Baron Boringdon|
|Present holder||Mark Parker, 7th Earl of Morley|
|Heir presumptive||Edward Parker|
|Remainder to||The 1st Earl's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten|
|Subsidiary titles||Viscount Boringdon|
|Former seat(s)||Saltram House|
|Motto||FIDELI CERTA MERCES |
("Reward is sure to the faithful")
Earl of Morley, of Morley in the County of Devon, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1815 for John Parker, 2nd Baron Boringdon. At the same time he was created Viscount Boringdon, of North Molton in the County of Devon, which is used as a courtesy title by the heir apparent to the earldom. It does not seem to have any connection with Baron Morley of Morley in Norfolk, held by another Parker family in the 16th century.
There existed between 1299 and 1697 an ancient Barony of Morley first held by the de Morley family, lords of the manor of Morley Saint Botolph in Norfolk, which passed in 1489 by marriage to the Parker family, apparently unrelated to the Parker family of Saltram, Devon which latter had emerged in the 16th century from seemingly humble origins in North Molton in Devon. It can thus be no co-incidence that in 1815 John Parker, 2nd Baron Boringdon (1772–1840), on his elevation to the dignity of an earl in 1815, chose the title Earl of Morley, ostensibly referring to his recent purchase of the relatively minor Devon manor of Morley (modern spelling Moreleigh), midway between Totnes and Kingsbridge. It had become common in the 19th century for members of the post-mediaeval nobility when elevated further in the peerage to adopt defunct mediaeval titles which bore some ostensible link to the family, thus lending it an air of great antiquity. Such actions were often adopted in all innocence based on erroneous pedigrees produced by genealogists overly eager to please their patrons. An example is the Russell family, Dukes of Bedford, of which a younger son when himself elevated to the peerage adopted the title "Baron Russell of Kingston Russell", an ancient Dorset manor with which his family had in fact no historic connection.
The title of Baron Boringdon, of Boringdon in the County of Devon, was created in the Peerage of Great Britain in 1784 for the first earl's father, John Parker, who had previously represented Bodmin and Devon in the House of Commons.
Lord Morley was succeeded by his only son, the second Earl. He held minor office in the first Whig administration of Lord John Russell. His son, the third Earl, was a Liberal politician and notably served under William Ewart Gladstone as Under-Secretary of State for War and as First Commissioner of Works. His grandson, the sixth Earl, succeeded his uncle in 1962 (who in his turn had succeeded his elder brother in 1951). He was the eldest son of the Hon. John Holford Parker, third and youngest son of the third Earl. Lord Morley served as Lord Lieutenant of Devon from 1982 to 1998. He was succeeded by his only son in 2015.
The family seat was Saltram House in Plymouth. It was sold to the National Trust in 1957 and remained the family seat until the fifth Earl died in 1962. Their seat is now Pound House, near Yelverton, Devon.
The heir presumptive is the present holder’s first cousin, Edward Geoffrey Parker (b. 1967)
The heir presumptive's heir apparent is his son Oliver James Parker (b. 1996)