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John Moore (bishop of Ely)

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John Moore (bishop of Ely)

Bishop Moore

John Moore (1646–1714) was an English cleric, scholar, and book collector. He was bishop of Norwich (1691–1707) and bishop of Ely (1707–1714).


  • Life 1
  • Bibliophile 2
  • Family 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5


Bishop John Moore was descended from the ancient family of De La Moor (later Moore), of Moorhayes, Cullompton, Devonshire, England. His paternal grandfather was the cleric and author John Moore (1595?–1657), whose son Thomas (1621–1686) became an ironmonger of Market Harborough in Leicestershire, and married Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Wright of Sutton, in the parish of Broughton, Leicestershire, and was John Moore's father.[1]

Moore was born in Market Harborough and was educated at Clare Hall, Cambridge where he subsequently became a Fellow in 1667.[2] Rector of Blaby in Leicestershire from 1676 to 1687, he subsequently became Rector of St Ann's, Westminster and St Andrew, Holborn. By 1670 he was in the household of Heneage Finch, and served as his chaplain. He supported the Glorious Revolution and was appointed a Royal Chaplain.

Moore was appointed Bishop of Norwich in 1691. He was a Whig in politics, and supported the low church party. He gave practical support to leading theologians, such as Richard Bentley, Gilbert Burnet, and John Strype; and he found preferment for Samuel Clarke, William Whiston (whose undergraduate study he subsidised), and Samuel Knight.[3]

Moore was translated to the see of Ely in 1707. When it was proposed that Bentley should be appointed bishop of Chichester (1709), the support of Moore was enlisted on his behalf. As visitor of Trinity College, Cambridge, he presided at the trial of Bentley; during the sessions at Ely House, London, he caught cold. He died in Ely on 31 July 1714 and was buried in the Cathedral.[3]


At the time of his death in 1714, Moore's collection of books and papers contained over 30,000 items, and may have been the largest in England. To celebrate his coronation, Cambridge University Library. Moore's library alone contained nearly twice the material in the existing University library. While some material has been removed over the years, the gift is still largely intact, and is called The Royal Library in honour of its patron. Notable books in his library include the Book of Deer and the Treatise of Love.[4]


Moore married twice: firstly to Rose, daughter of Neville Thomas Alexander Butler and Cicely Aglionby; and secondly to Dorothy, daughter of William Barnes of Sadberge, Co. Durham, widow of Sir Richard Browne, Bart (killed in Flanders in 1689 by Colonel Billingsley), as her third husband.[5][6][7]

The Coat of Arms of Moore of Moorhayes, Cullompton, Devon, can be seen in both Norwich and Ely Cathedrals.


  1. ^   
  2. ^ "Moore, John (MR662J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  3. ^ a b   
  4. ^  
  5. ^ See further reading
  6. ^ William Courthope (1835), Synopsis of the extinct baronetage of England ^
Church of England titles
Preceded by
William Lloyd
Bishop of Norwich
Succeeded by
Charles Trimnell
Preceded by
Simon Patrick
Bishop of Ely
Succeeded by
William Fleetwood

Further reading

  • Peter Fox (editor); Cambridge University Library: the Great Collections; 1998, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-62636-6, (Paperback ISBN 0-521-62647-1). The volume contains: J. Ringrose; "The Royal Library: John Moore and his books".
  • Genealogial Memoranda of the Family of de la Moore or Moore de Moorehayes in the Parish of Cullompton in the County of Devon from A.D. 1120 (Circa) to A.D. 1884 by Rev Cecil Moore. M.A.


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