Mores, Edward Rowe

Mores, Edward Rowe an English Roman Catholic noted for his antiquarian labors, was born of Protestant parents January 13, 1730, at Tunstall, in Kent, where his father was rector for nearly thirty years. He was educated at Merchant Taylor's school and at Queen's College, Oxford. Even while yet a student at the university he was noted for his attainments, and assisted in antiquarian labors. Being intended for orders by his father, he took the degrees of B.A. May 12, 1750, and M.A. January 15, 1753, before which time he had formed considerable collections relative to the antiquities, etc., of Oxford, and particularly to those of his own college, whose archives he arranged, and made large extracts from, with a view to its history. He also gathered some collections for a history of Godstow Nunnery and of Iffley church. His MSS. relative to his own college, with his collections about All Souls' College, are still unpublished, but are treasured in the Bodleian Library. In 1752 he printed in half a 4to sheet some corrections made by Junius in his own copy of his edition of Ccedmon's Saxon Paraphrase of Genesis, and other parts of the Old Testament (Amstelod. 1655), and then went to the Continent, where he seems to have fallen in with Roman Catholics, and to have secretly joined their communion. He is even reported to have taken orders, but there is no clear record of this. He was favored by the Sorbonne with the degree of D.D., indicating that he must have made strong friends among the French Romanists. On his return to England he entered into deacon's orders in the Establishment, but never held any preferments, as he was universally disliked for his peculiar religious opinions. Thus he avowed a preference for the Latin language in religious worship, and composed a creed in it, with a kind of mass, of which he printed a few copies in his own house, under the disguised title of Ordinale Quotidianum (1685), Ordo Trigintalis (1685). That Mores, however, had forsaken his Roman Catholic notions, at least in part, in later life, is apparent from his conduct in the case of his daughter, who, while under the tuition of French Romanists, was surrounded by influences of such a character as might secure her conversion. He no sooner gained knowledge of it than he had her removed, besides severely remonstrating against the breach of good faith of the friends he had trusted. He died in 1778, leaving many works and collections of great value to the antiquarian. A curious work which he left in MS. in Latin, entitled De AElfrico Archiepiscopo Dorovernensi Commentarius Auctore Edwardo Rowe Mores, A.M., Soc. Antiq. Lond. Soc., seems to have been intended for publication. It contains ten chapters; and the first seven relate to archbishop AElfric; cap. 8 is entitled "De AElfrico Bata;" cap. 9, "De AElfrico Abbate Meildunensi;" cap. 10, "De aliis AElfricis." An appendix is subjoined, containing transcripts of Saxon charters and extracts from historians concerning archbishop l'Elfric. It is now preserved in the Lambeth Library. See Genesis Biog. Dict. s.v.; and the Memoirs prefixed to his history of Tunstall. (J.H.W.)

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