Basic Biographical Details

Name: William James Morley
Designation: Architect
Born: 1847
Died: 16 March 1930
Bio Notes: William James Morley was born in 1847 and educated at Leeds Grammar School. He was articled to Lockwood & Manson of Bradford in 1861 and became their office manager in 1868, leaving at the end of 1873 to commence independent practice in the same town at the beginning of 1874. At some unspecified point prior to 1868 Morley had previously been an assistant with Eli Milnes and Charles France, also of Bradford.

In 1883 illness had forced George Woodhouse of Bolton to cease active work and put contol of the business in the hands of Trustees. Morley was employed on a temporary basis to manage his Bolton office while continuing to maintain his own practice in Bradford until such time as Woodhouse recovered. However, the illness was to prove fatal and Woodhouse died at Uttoxeter a few weeks later. Seemingly Morley continued to manage the practice on behalf of the Trustees until the inheritance was resolved. Claims that William James Morley had entered into partnership with George Woodhouse in these few weeks before his death in 1883 appear extremely doubtful.

At the time of his father's death George Herbert Woodhouse was barely out of his teens and it was not until 1884 or 1885 that the Trustees gave him control of the practice. Almost immediately he entered into partnership with W J Morley a partnership that was unusual if not unique in that it operated under two styles - Woodhouse and Morley in Bolton and Morley and Woodhouse in Bradford. The partnership was dissolved about 1892 at which time Morley opened a branch office on Mawdsley Street, Bolton while George Herbert Woodhouse continued to practice from his father's old offices in St George's Road in partnership with Edward Potts.

Woodhouse and Morley were primarily industrial architects specialising in stylish multi-storey brick and terracotta mills and factories. However they also designed extensively for the Wesleyans in a rather repetitive Gothic style. Morley was admitted FRIBA on 21 November 1892, his proposers being William Young, London, John Bradshaw Gass of Bolton (Greater Manchester). In 1899 the partnership had been dissolved, Morley practising in his own name only. In his later years he was assisted by his son, Eric Morley, born in 1884 who became his partner and continued the practice. The elder Morley died on 16 March 1930 at Heaton, West Yorkshire.

N.B. Various sources state that there was a brief partnership between George Woodhouse senior and Morley in 1883. However further research has indicated this did not exist.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 4Leeds, Yorkshire, EnglandPrivateLate 1850s *  
Item 2 of 4269, Swan Arcade, Bradford, Yorkshire, EnglandBusiness1883After 1894 
Item 3 of 4Albany Chambers, Mawdsley Street, Bolton, Lancashire, EnglandBusinessc. 1892 Branch office opened following the dissolution of the partnership with Woodhouse
Item 4 of 4Heaton, West Yorkshire, EnglandPrivate1930 * Place of death

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 5Lockwood & Mawson1861c. 1866Apprentice 
Item 2 of 5Milnes & Francec. 1866(?)1868(?)Assistant 
Item 3 of 5Lockwood & Mawson1868Late 1873Office Manager 
Item 4 of 5Morley & Woodhouse (Bradford) Woodhouse & Morley (Bolton)c. 1884c. 1892Partner 
Item 5 of 5W J Morley & Son1901 Partner 

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 1Eric MorleyBefore 1930Before 1930Assistant 

Buildings and Designs

This architect was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 101886Anchor Mills, Domestic Finishing MillPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 2 of 101887Ferguslie Thread works, Bridge Lane GatehousePaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 3 of 101887Half-Time School, Ferguslie MillsPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 4 of 101887No 1 Spinning Mill, Ferguslie MillsPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 5 of 101887No 8 Spinning Mill, Ferguslie MillsPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 6 of 101890Ferguslie Thread WorksPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 7 of 101892Rum Mausoleum Rhum/RumInverness-shireScotland 
Item 8 of 101899Anchor Mills, Mile End MillPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 9 of 101899Cartwright Memorial HallBradford YorkshireEnglandCompetition design
Item 10 of 101899KursaalHarrogate YorkshireEnglandUnplaced competition design


Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Builder28 March 1930  p608
Item 2 of 2RIBA Journal7 June 1930 London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp568 Obituary of William James Morley

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Additional information from Graham Potts