William Morley (1847-1930)

William James Morley was born in 1847 and educated at Leeds Grammar School. He was articled to Lockwood & Mawson 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 Morley merged his practice with that of the much older George Woodhouse who died in the same year, Woodhouse’s interest in the practice passing to a son who does not appear in the British Architectural Library/RIBA ‘Directory of British Architects 1834-1914’ and has still to be identified: the elder Woodhouse, born c.1829 had previously been in partnership with Edward Potts from 1861 to 1872. The merged practice of Woodhouse & Morley was based at 269 Swan Arcade Bradford. A branch office was opened at Albany Chambers, Bolton, Greater Manchester by 1894; by that time the practice had become Morley & Woodhouse. 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.