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William Morris, 1st Viscount Nuffield

william morris 1st viscount nuffield health, william morris 1st viscount nuffield hospital
William Richard Morris, 1st Viscount Nuffield GBE CH FRS1 10 October 1877 – 22 August 1963, known as Sir William Morris, Bt, between 1929 and 1934 and as The Lord Nuffield between 1934 and 1938, was a British motor manufacturer and philanthropist He was the founder of Morris Motors Limited and is remembered as the founder of the Nuffield Foundation, the Nuffield Trust and Nuffield College, Oxford He took his title, Lord Nuffield, from the village of Nuffield, Oxfordshire where he lived

Contents

  • 1 Background
  • 2 Career
    • 21 Before motor car manufacture
    • 22 Motor car manufacture
    • 23 World War II
    • 24 Post-war
  • 3 Honours
  • 4 Personal life and philanthropy
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References
  • 7 Sources
  • 8 External links

Backgroundedit

Morris was born in 1877 at 47 Comer Gardens, a terraced house in the Comer Gardens area of Worcester, about 2 miles 3 km north-west of the centre of Worcester, England He was the son of Frederick Morris and his wife Emily Ann, daughter of Richard Pether1 When he was three years old his family moved to 16 James Street, Oxfordcitation needed

Careeredit

Before motor car manufactureedit

The Morris Garage
Morris's 1910 building on his site in Longwall Street, Oxford

Upon leaving school at the age of 15 Morris was apprenticed to a local bicycle-seller and repairer Nine months later, after his employer refused him a pay increase, aged 16 he set up a business repairing bicycles in a shed at the back of his parents' house This business being a success he opened a shop at 48 High Street and began to assemble as well as repair bicycles, labelling his product with a gilt cycle wheel and The Morris Morris raced his own machines competing as far away as south London He did not confine himself to one distance or time and at one point was champion of Oxford City and County, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire for distances varying between one and fifty miles2

He began to work with motorcycles in 1901, designing the Morris Motor Cycle, and in 1902 acquired buildings in Longwall Street from which he repaired bicycles, operated a taxi service, sold, repaired and hired cars He held the agency for Arrol-Johnston, Belsize, Humber, Hupmobile, Singer, Standard and Wolseley cars In 1910 he built new premises in Longwall Street - described by a local newspaper as The Oxford Motor Palace - changed his business's name from The Oxford Garage to The Morris Garage and still had to take more premises in Queen Street2 The Longwall Street site was redeveloped in 1980, retaining the original frontage, and is now used as student accommodation by New College3

Motor car manufactureedit

Morris bullnose

In 1912 he designed a car, the bullnose Morris and using bought-in components including engines and axles from USA began to build them at a disused military training college in Cowley, Oxford The outbreak of World War I saw the nascent car factory largely given over to the production of munitions - including 50,000 minesinkers for the North Sea Minefield - but in 1919 car production revived rising from 400 cars in that year to 56,000 in 1925 Morris pioneered the introduction to the United Kingdom of Henry Ford's techniques of mass production During the period 1919–1925 he built or purchased factories at Abingdon, Birmingham, and Swindon to add to those in Oxford

In February 1927, in competition against — amongst others — its creator, Herbert Austin, Morris paid £730,000 for the assets of the collapsed Wolseley Motors Limited which became his personal property Wolseley were at this stage in fairly advanced development of an overhead camshaft 8 hp car, which he launched as the first Morris Minor in 1928 The original MG Midget, launched in 1929, was based on the Minor

When major component suppliers had difficulties he purchased them on his own account His American engines were now made under licence for him by Hotchkiss in Coventry When in 1923 they were unwilling to expand production Morris bought their business and called it Morris Engines Limited It would become Morris engines branch when he later sold it to Morris Motors Again when back-axle manufacturer E G Wrigley and Company ran into financial difficulties he bought and reconstituted it as Morris Commercial Cars Limited to manufacture an expanded truck and bus offering Following the same policy he bought the manufacturer of SU Carburettors in 1926

Impressed by American all-steel bodies he persuaded Edward G Budd of Budd Corporation to enter a joint venture with him called Pressed Steel Company which erected their large factory at Cowley opposite Morris's own and with a connecting bridge in 1926 But the two business tycoons had each met their match Eventually in 1930 the High Court ended their disagreements by obliging Morris to surrender his and his colleagues' membership of the Pressed Steel board and all Morris holdings and Morris lost all the capital he had invested in the venture

In 1938, Morris purchased the bankrupt Riley Coventry and Autovia companies from the Riley family and quickly sold them to his own Morris Motors Limited, with the addition of Wolseley Motors Limited later that year After he was ennobled as Baron Nuffield the whole gallery of all his personal enterprises – he was the most famous industrialist of his age4 – became known as the Nuffield Organisation

World War IIedit

The Supermarine Spitfire was a technically advanced aircraft Though ordered by the Air Ministry in March 1936 by early 1938 no single plane had been made so a vast new factory at Castle Bromwich was ordered by the Air Secretary and Morris, now Lord Nuffield, placed in charge of it He had claimed he could produce 50 Spitfires a week but by May 1940, the height of the Battle of France, not one Spitfire had been built at Castle Bromwich That month Lord Beaverbrook was placed in charge of all aircraft production, Lord Nuffield was sacked and the plant handed over to Vickers, Supermarine's parent company5

Post-waredit

Morris Minor
by Alec Issigonis

Morris Motors Limited merged with Austin Motor Company in 1952 in the new holding company, British Motor Corporation BMC, of which Nuffield was chairman for its first year6

Morris retired as a director of BMC on 17 December 1952 at the age of 75, taking on the title of honorary president instead He was succeeded as chairman by Leonard Lord7 As honorary president, he attended his office regularly and advised his colleagues1

Honoursedit

Morris was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire OBE in 1918, created a baronet, of Nuffield in the County of Oxford, in 19298 and raised to the peerage as Baron Nuffield, of Nuffield in the County of Oxford, in 19349 In 1938 he was further honoured when he was made Viscount Nuffield, of Nuffield in the County of Oxford10 He was also made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1939,1 a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire in 194111 and a Companion of Honour CH in 1958 He was appointed Honorary Colonel of 52nd London Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery on 4 June 1937 and continued that role with its postwar successor, 452 HAA Regiment1213

Personal life and philanthropyedit

Grave slab of Lord Nuffield at Holy Trinity Church, Nuffield

Morris married Elizabeth Anstey on 9 April 1903 — they had no children, and he disbursed a large part of his fortune to charitable causes In 1937 he gave £50,000 to fund the expansion of the Sea Cadet Corps In 1937 Lord Nuffield donated £60,000 to Birmingham University for the Nuffield building, to house a cyclotron14 In December 1938 he offered to give an iron lung see Both respirator made in his factory to any hospital in Britain and the Empire that requested one; over 1700 were distributed He also founded the Nuffield Foundation in 1943 with an endowment of £10 million in order to advance education and social welfare He also founded Nuffield College, Oxford On his death the ownership of his former Oxfordshire home, Nuffield Place and its contents, passed to the Nuffield College who opened it to the public on a limited basis Although a sale had been mooted,15161718 it has now passed to the National Trust and is open to the public on a regular basis19 He is also commemorated in the Morris Motors Museum at the Oxford Bus Museum Morris also has a building named after him at Coventry University, at Guy's Hospital London and a theatre at the University of Southampton20 His home in James Street now has a blue plaque21 He died in August 1963, aged 85 The baronetcy and two peerages died with him as he was childless He was cremated, and his ashes lie in Nuffield churchyard, beside his wife's22

See alsoedit

  • Nuffield College, Oxford
  • Nuffield Trust

Referencesedit

  1. ^ a b c d e Holder, D W 1966 "William Richard Morris, First Viscount Nuffield 1877-1963" Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 12: 387–326 doi:101098/rsbm19660018 
  2. ^ a b Jarman, Lytton P; Barraclough, Robin I The Bullnose and Flatnose Morris Newton Abbot, UK: David and Charles p page needed ISBN 0 7153 6665 3 
  3. ^ Jenkins, Stephanie "Old Morris Garages, 21 Long Wall Street" Oxford History Retrieved 18 June 2016 
  4. ^ Overy, R J 2004 "Morris, William Richard, Viscount Nuffield 1877–1963" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Oxford University Press doi:101093/ref:odnb/35119 Retrieved 30 May 2013  subscription or UK public library membership required
  5. ^ McKinstry, Leo 17 November 2007 "How labour unrest nearly lost us the Battle of Britain" The Spectator p 19 Retrieved 2 January 2015 
  6. ^ "Lord Nuffield's Retirement" The Times 52498 London 18 December 1952 p 6 
  7. ^ "Nuffield Retires and Plans a Cruise" Dundee Courier 18 December 1952 Retrieved 2 January 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive subscription required help 
  8. ^ "no 33482" The London Gazette 2 April 1929 p 2235 
  9. ^ "no 34015" The London Gazette 16 January 1934 p 386 
  10. ^ "no 34477" The London Gazette 28 January 1938 p 578 
  11. ^ "no 35184" The London Gazette 6 June 1941 p 3286 
  12. ^ Monthly Army List
  13. ^ Burke's Peerage
  14. ^ "A proud history" University of Birmingham: Birmingham Energy Institute 
  15. ^ "William Morris and the Joy of Giving" The Daily Telegraph 26 April 2011 
  16. ^ "William Morris the humble lifestyle of Britain's greatest philanthropist" The Daily Telegraph 27 April 2011 
  17. ^ "Press release" Archived from the original on 27 September 2011 
  18. ^ See also "Save Nuffield Place" Archived from the original on 26 January 2012 Retrieved 23 November 2009 
  19. ^ "Nuffield Place" National Trust 
  20. ^ "History" Nuffield Theatre 
  21. ^ "Blue Plaque on Lord Nuffield's former home in James Street" 
  22. ^ "Lord Nuffield William Morris - History of Hedington" headingtonorguk Retrieved 17 November 2013 

Sourcesedit

  • Leasor, James Wheels to Fortune - The Life and Times of William Morris, Viscount Nuffield UK 1954, 2011 ISBN 978-1-908291-24-0

External linksedit

Early products
  • The Morris Trailer by Morris & Cooper, Oxford 1902
  • The "MORRIS" Motor Cycles, Oxford 1904
  • Video biography of William Morris in British Pathé's movie The British Motorcar at the National Archives
Nuffield Trust and Foundation websites
  • The Nuffield Foundation
  • The Nuffield Trust for Forces of the Crown
  • The Nuffield Trust
  • Lord Nuffield and his Foundation
  • Nuffield Place, home of William Morris
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Viscount Nuffield
1938–1963
Extinct
Baron Nuffield
1934–1963

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