Morris, William Richard, 1st Viscount Nuffield (1877 -1963)

William Richard Morris 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. Morris was born in 1877 in a terraced house in Worcester, the son of Frederick Morris and his wife Emily Ann, daughter of Richard Pether. When he was three years old his family moved to Oxford. Upon leaving school at the age of 15, Morris was apprenticed to a local bicycle-seller and repairer, but soon left when his employer refused to make him a pay increase. At the age of 16 he set up a business repairing bicycles in a shed at the back of his parents' house. In 1901 he began to work with motorcycles, designing the Morris Motor Cycle, and in 1902 acquired buildings in Longwall Street, Oxford from which he repaired bicycles, operated a taxi service, sold, repaired and hired cars. In 1912 he designed a car, the bullnose Morris that he began to build at a disused military training college in Cowley, Oxford. In 1919 he witnessed the revival of car production, which had plummeted during the war. Now it rose from 400 cars in 1919 to 56,000 in 1925. Morris pioneered the introduction of Henry Ford's techniques of mass production. In February 1927, Morris paid £730,000 for the assets of the collapsed Wolseley Motors Limited. From a design that Wolseley was developing at this time, the first Morris Minor was built in 1928. Morris Motors Limited merged with Austin Motor Company in 1952 and became the new holding company, British Motor Corporation (BMC). Nuffield was chairman for its first year, but retired in 1952 at the age of 75, taking on the title of honorary president. Morris was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1918, created a baronet, of Nuffield, in 1929, and was raised to the peerage as Baron Nuffield, of Nuffield, in 1934. In 1938 he was further honoured when he was made Viscount Nuffield, of Nuffield in the County of Oxford. Morris married Elizabeth Anstey on 9 April 1903. They had no children. Instead he disbursed a large part of his fortune to charitable causes, among them the Nuffield Foundation in 1943, to which he made an endowment of £10 million in order to advance education and social welfare. He also founded Nuffield College, Oxford, and on his death the ownership of his former Oxfordshire home, Nuffield Place passed to the National Trust. Lord Nuffield died in August 1963, aged 85. The baronetcy and two peerages died with him, as he had no heirs.
Seat / Residence(s): Nuffield Place
Stamp(s) Stamp Information
Morris, William Richard, 1st Baron Nuffield (1877 - 1963) (Stamp 1) Motto: Fiat justitia
Helmet: Peer
Crest: A demi bull resting the sinister hoof on a winged wheel
Arms: Ermine on a fess between in chief two roses seeded and barbed in base a balance three pears
Coronet: Viscount
Heraldic Charges: balance, Heraldic Charges: bull, demi-, Heraldic Charges: fess, on a, between, Heraldic Charges: pears (3), Heraldic Charges: roses (2)