FAQs

Your Cart

Close
Paper Plane Your order qualifies for free standard delivery
Subtotal £0.00
Delivery £0.00
Order Total £0
Checkout Securely

William Morris; the Early Years

6th August 2019

There’s lots that we love to blog about when it comes to William Morris; from his designs, life work, family and life story. The list goes on. There is so much that we can talk about that we never get bored! We hope you don’t either, but if there’s ever anything you want us to write about, be sure to let us know on our social channels – we’d absolutely love to hear from you! To understand someone, you can begin with where they came from. In this blog we wanted to discuss William Morris early years.

“It was my good luck only of being born respectable and rich, that has put me this side of the window among delightful books and lovely works of art.” – William Morris

The literary and artistic talents that he became famous for, began at an early age. The passions that he begun in his childhood would remain for the rest of his life; nature, architecture, art.

His grandfather was from Wales, but left in the later half of the 18th Century to Worcester. His mother, Emma and his father, William, moved to Walthamstow in 1833 with their two daughters, Emma and Henrietta. Then they had their third child – William – on the 24th March 1834.

Morris early years, though privileged, allowed him to build up his social beliefs that he campaigned for and pushed for change on throughout his life. His childhood coincided with the working man’s struggle with the affects of industrialisation. Many of his later achievements actually came from his desire to see change with his socialist ideology. Following William’s birth, his parents had two more girls and four more boys. He is known to have had a close relationship with Emma during their younger years, but historians have found little evidence of this in their adult life; of course, that doesn’t mean they didn’t keep in touch, just that evidence hasn’t remained/ been recorded. His youngest brother Edgar joined him in his work at Merton Abbey.

Due to a successful investment in copper shares, when his father passed away, he left them with a large sum of money. The shares were from the West Country copper mine. At £1 a share for 272, these soared to £800 per share. With over £200,000 (when you consider inflation to today’s money, that would be even more) is childhood was very financially comfortable, as was his adult life. He was able to attend university and further educate himself, giving him the freedom to explore his passions instead of choosing a job based on salary alone. He was very self aware of this and the fact it didn’t fully compliment his socialist ideals. He said, “it was my good luck only of being born respectable and rich, that has put me this side of the window among delightful books and lovely works of art.”

Ironically, industrialisation, the one thing he hated more than anything, was the thing that brought his family prosperity. It was a source of embarrassment for Morris, historians have noted.

He began school in 1848 which is also the year that the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood began. He began school at Marlborough College which was a new school and lax in approach. His education appears at this time to be mainly self taught at the library. This continued throughout his life; teaching himself multiple skills in the arts.

In 1853 when Morris attended Oxford University, the city was still a medieval city. The architecture he admired in the city inspired a career and then a passion throughout his life to rebel against modernising the buildings. He is known to have said that these years were the happiest of his life. Formative years for his art, passions and friendships that he kept throughout his life; including Edward Burne Jones.

Studying theology at Exeter College, himself and Burne-Jones initially wanted to be clergymen. During to influences at university, Morris entered into a career in architecture.

Many of his ideas were created at this time. An opinionated man, he passionate believed in everything he wrote or spoke about. He was therefore able to change opinions of those in society at the time, through both his art and writing. So there we go – William Morris early years. There’s so much more we could have discussed, so much to his life and childhood, it can’t all fit in one blog!

Related Articles

Post Title

The Kelmscott Press

In 1891, William Morris rented a cottage near Kelmscott House and set up three printing presses. These formed the Kelmscott Press where Morris and the...

Post Title

William Morris in 2019

William Morris, born in 1834, remains a famous British textile designer, artist writer, poet and social activist; amongst other things. He remains one of the...

Post Title

The Parish of St Martin-on-the-Hill Scarborough

The Parish of St Martin-on-the-Hill Scarborough is a beautiful church that stands on the South Cliff. The Catholic Church was a new to the area,...

A William Morris fabric stack 😍 What would you make from our licensed William Morris floral fabrics? 🪡🧵
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #fabrics #fabric #fabricdestashuk #fabricstack #upholsteryfabric #curtainfabric
We hope you’re having a lovely Easter 🐣 Choccy treats galore with some beautiful Morris florals, what more could we want! 🌷🤍
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabrics #williammorrisfabric #floraldesign #tablescapestyling #upholsteryfabric #curtainfabric #preraphaelite #floral
Morris fan? There’s 15% off our entire collection of licensed William Morris fabrics and products, this Easter weekend only! 🐣 Use code: EASTER15 at checkout, on our website only, until Monday at midnight 🌙 Enjoy this Easter treat from us! 🤍
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisdesign #onlinefabric #onlinefabrics #preraphaelite #upholsteryfabric #curtainfabric #floraldesign
We love all the beautiful spring florals this time of year 🌷 We’ve also not been able to resist starting early on the Easter treats! 🐣
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisdesign #williammorrisfabrics #willowbough #tablescape #tablescapes #eastertablesetting #upholsteryfabric #upholsteryfabrics #curtainfabrics #eastertableideas
Introducing Daisy, our latest William Morris licensed design 🌿 Daisy was the second wallpaper William Morris designed, but the first to be produced in 1864, so it remains a special design to every Morris fan ✨ It must have been a favourite of Morris himself, as embroideries of Daisy were used to decorate at the stunning Red House, Morris's home in Bexleyheath. 
We hope you love Daisy as much as we do! Available now on our website, in a limited range of products, fabric is coming soon! ☺️
-
-
-
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #fabric#onlinefabricstore #preraphaelite #williammorrisdesign#upholsteryfabric #curtainfabric #daisy
A fabric stack of William Morris floral dreams 🤍
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #fabrics #floralfabrics #onlinefabrics #onlinefabricshop #upholsteryfabric #upholsteryfabrics #curtainfabric #curtainfabrics #strawberrythief #fabricstack
Spring floral ready with our William Morris Willow Bough table setting 🌿 Do your weekend plans also revolve around tea/coffee and baked goods? 🤍
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #willowbough #springfloral #preraphaelite #spring #florals #floralfabric #tablescape #onlinefabric #onlinefabricstore #curtainfabric #upholsteryfabric
Monday done right, laying the table with our beautiful licensed William Morris Willow Bough green tablecloth, completed with a @bettys treat 🥰 
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisdesign #willowbough #tablescape #tablescapes #tablescapestyling #bettys #preraphaelite #preraphaelites #tablecloth #floraltable #onlinefabric #onlinefabrics
A little fabric stack of our William Morris florals, waiting to be crafted into a project 🪡 Can you name them all from the little peak? 🌿 
All our fabrics are printed in the UK and are licensed William Morris designs, printed both size and colour wise to our own specification ✨ If you’d like a sample, just send us a message 📬
•
•
•
#williammorris #morris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #fabricstash #fabricstack #morrisfabric #preraphaelite #floralfabric #upholsteryfabric #curtainfabric #onlinefabricshop #onlinefabricshopping
Showcasing our licensed William Morris Lily fabric, it’s so light and bright it’s making us excited for Spring! 🌿
Designed by William Morris in 1874, it incorporates the willow background with lilies and wild flowers ✨ The design must have been well loved by Morris himself- it was the wallpaper he used to decorate his bedroom at Kelmscott Manor, his home in Lechlade, Gloucestershire 🌿
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #fabrics #floralfabric #lily #onlinefabricstore #onlinefabrics #onlinefabric #independentbusiness #preraphaelite
Thrilled with our reupholstered chair, brought back to life with our heavyweight William Morris Willow Bough Green 🌿 It’s amazing what a pop of colour and a floral will do to a room 🤍 If you fancy learning how we did this upcycle, we’ll write a blog on it ☺️ 
& if you’re in the UK and would like a sample of any of our fabrics, please let us know 📮
•
•
•
#williammorris #morris #williammorrisfabric #morrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #willowbough #reupholstery #reupholstered #upholsteryfabric #upcycledfurniture
The different weights of fabric 🧵 We have four weights of fabrics; cotton, heavyweight, drill and pvc, all work well for different projects. For a free sample, please feel free to message us and we’ll get them sent out to you 📮
✨ For our 100% cotton, it’s great for quilting, dress making and more, our lightest weight of cotton
✨ Our heavyweight cotton is perfect for curtains and light upholstery, a heavier fabric than our 100% cotton 
✨ Our drill cotton fabric is our heaviest weave fabric, suitable for light upholstery 
✨ Our PVC is our pvc/oilcloth coated cotton fabric, brilliant as a table covering, it’s sold by the half metre and as it won’t fray, is great to put straight on the table 🌿

The cotton, heavyweight and drill cotton are all 152cm wide and the pvc fabric is 140cm wide. All are sold by the half metre 📏
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #fabrics #morrisfabric #goldenlily #onlinefabric #upholsteryfabric #curtainfabrics #quiltingfabric
In January when the Christmas sparkles come down, we’ve got to bring out even more Morris florals to make sure the house still feels sparkly and beautiful ✨ if you’re also looking to revamp any of the home and looking for a licensed William Morris design for a pop of colour, get in touch for any samples so you can choose which works in your home 🤍
•
•
•
#williammorris #morris #strawberrythief #preraphaelite #onlinefabric #onlinefabricstore #fabrics #williammorrisfabric
Our blue Strawberry Thief oven gloves are back in stock, just in time for Christmas! 🎄 will you be gifting some Morris floral magic this year? Or hope to be receiving some! 🎁 Our matching sets of kitchenware and tableware are very popular this time of year, remember if you’re sending direct to your loved one, you can select for the items to be gift wrapped at checkout on our website! 🌟
•
•
•
#williammorris #strawberrythief #williammorrisdesign #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisdesigns #ovengloves #christmasgiftsideas #kitchenware #tablescape
Our Black Friday sale is now live! 🥂 On our website only, use code, BLACKFRIDAY10 all weekend for 10% off your order ☺️ Ends Sunday at midnight 🌙
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #preraphaelite #willowbough #tablescape #placemats #floraldesign
Dreaming of the sunshine 💭 This is our smallest size of tote bag, in our licensed William Morris Strawberry Thief, on this bike ride we were pretty happy that it was filled to the brim with snacks to eat on the beach ☀️ On Wintery nights we love to look back on the sunshine! ☁️
•
•
•
#strawberrythief #williammorris #preraphaelite #morris #williammorrisdesign #totebag #summerdreaming #williammorrisfabric #coronado
We're so thrilled our new website is now live! 🌿Just in time for Christmas shopping, it's much easier to use, and still full of beautiful licensed William Morris designs on every page! We hope you like the change, especially where lots of you are featured on the new 'inspiration' page! 🌟 We absolutely love that it showcases everyones tablescapes and craft projects, just click on them to see the design and who posted the photo so you can see more of their content ☺️ If you're happy for us to use your photos, just send us a message, we'd love it to be a page we can keep adding to throughout the seasons 🪴
Special thank you to @adigi_agency for creating our website, we love it! 🤍
•
•
•
#williammorris #morris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #onlinefabrics #countrykitchendecor #christmasgiftsideas #newwebsitelaunch