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Biography of William Richard Morris



William Richard Morris (later Lord Nuffield) was a twentieth century motor manufacturer and later a philanthropist.

When and Where was Lord Nuffield Born?

Born 10th October 1877, Worcester.

William Richard Morris, later Lord Nuffield was the son of Frederick Morris who became a clerk in Oxford after several speculative journeys to the wild west of the United States of America in attempts to make his fortune and Emily Ann Petter, a farmer’s daughter. Nuffield was the eldest of seven children. He was educated at the Church School, Cowley, Oxfordshire which he left at the age of fourteen.

1893: Morris works at 16 James Street, Oxford as a repairer of bicycles in the shed at the bottom of his father’s garden with the starting capital of £4.

1904: He marries Elizabeth Anstey.

1912: He designs his first car, the bull nosed Morris, at his car repair garage at Longwall Street, Oxford. Large scale production of this car is moved to a disused military training college in Hollow Way, Cowley, Oxfordshire.

1913: The first Morris Oxford car is introduced. He becomes known as “The English Henry Ford”.

1914: The Cowley factory is turned over to the making of munitions for the war effort during the First World War.

1918: Morris receives an OBE (Officer of the British Empire).

1925: The annual output of motor cars from Cowley is now 56,000.

1926: Morris buys Huntercombe Golf Course to indulge in his favourite sport.

1928: He has a bad reaction to anaesthetics when he has an operation to remove his appendix and always stored the appendix in a jar in a cupboard on the first floor of his house.

1933: He buys Nuffield Place, near Wallingford, as it was near the golf course.

1934: He is made a Baron. (Lord Nuffield) and takes the name of Nuffield after the Oxfordshire village he was living in.

1937: He endows Nuffield College, Oxford. and sets up a Professorship of Anaesthesia at Oxford University as he had always wanted to become a doctor and remembered his traumatic operation of 1928.

1938: He is made a Viscount and is raised to the Peerage.

1943: The Nuffield foundation is begun with a gift of £10 million in shares from the Morris Motors company. He was to give over £30 million to charity during his life, mainly to medical and scientific causes.

1963: He dies aged 86 on 22nd August at Nuffield Place, Henley on Thames.