Who was William Morris?
William Morris was an artist, poet and and influential
interior designer of the nineteenth century.
Date and Place of Birth:
24th March 1834, Elm House, Walthamstow, London,
Morris was born into a comfortably off middle
Marlborough College. Studied for Holy Orders
at Exeter College, Oxford (where he met Burne-Jones).(Renounced
the church and then studied architecture).
Chronology/Biography of William Morris:
1840: Family moves
to Woodford Hall, near Epping Forest.
1847: Death of Morris's
1848: Goes to Marlborough
1851: Visits the
Great Exhibition in London. Studies at home for his examinations.
1852: Morris finishes
his education privately with the Reverend F. B. Guy.
1853: Begins theological
studies at Oxford University.
1855: Is granted
a private income.
1856: Morris becomes
an articled Clerk to G. E. Street.
1857: Helps to paint
the frescoes at the Oxford Union.
1859: After marrying
the model Jane Burden they move into the Red House at Upton in Kent,
which he designed and furnished with help from the architect Philip
1861: Morris, Marshall
and Faulkner and Co is founded. Birth of his daughter Jenny.
Broadway Tower, Worcestershire which Morris hired.
(© Anthony Blagg)
1862: Morris's firm
exhibit at the International Exhibition. Birth of his daughter May.
1864: Issues his
first design of wallpaper called "Trellis".
1865: The family
moves to 26 Queen Square, Bloomsbury, London.
1866: Morris given
the jobs of decorating the Green Dining Room in the South Kensington
Museum and the Armoury and Tapestry Rooms at St. Jame's Palace.
1869: Morris begins
working on calligraphy and illuminating manuscripts.
1871: Travels around
Iceland. Takes on the joint
tenancy of Kelmscott Manor in Oxfordshire with Dante
Gabriel Rossetti. His wife Jane and Rossetti have an affair.
1872: Moves from
Bloomsbury to Horrington House in Chiswick.
1873: Visits Italy
and Iceland. Design of the first chintz pattern called "Tulip
1874: Morris's firm
is reconstituted as Morris and Company. End of the affair between
Rossetti and Jane.
1875: He makes his
first two designs for Wilton Carpets. Buys out his partners to form
the firm Morris and Company.
1876: Serves as
an examiner at the South Kensington School of Art.
1877: Takes up carpet
weaving. Founds the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.
Lectures in public on the decorative arts.
1878: Moves to 26
Upper Mall, Hammersmith, London.
1879: Morris becomes
Treasurer of the National Liberal League.
of Merton Abbey Works. Begins weaving tapestries.
1882: Takes on Frank
Brangwyn as an apprentice.
1883: Joins the
Social Democratic Federation.
1884: Morris becomes
the leader of the Socialist League. Lectures on textile fabrics
at the International Health Exhibition
1885: He is arrested
after an assault on a policemen but is later released as a well
known man of letters.
1887: Riots take
place in Trafalgar Square.
1888: Founding of
the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society by Walter Crane.
1889: Morris goes
to Paris to attend the International Conference of Socialists.
1890: He withdraws
form the Socialist League.
1891: The Kelmscott
Press is founded.Refuses the offer of becoming Poet Laureate.
1893: First issue
of the journal "The Studio" is published.
1895: Morris starts
to become ill.
1896: Travels in
- 1858: “The Defence
of Guenevere and Other Poems.”
“The Life and Death of Jason.”
“The Earthly Paradise.”
- 1872: “Love
is Enough, A Morality.”
“The Aeneid of Virgil.”
- 1876: “The Story
of Sigurd the Volsung and the Fall of the Niblungs.”
- 1882: “Hopes
and Fears for Art.” “Ouida.” ” In Maremma.”
“Chants for Socialists.”
- 1886: “The
Pilgrims of Hope.”
- 1887: “The
"A Dream of John Ball and a King's Lesson". "Signs
“The House of the Wollings.”
“News from Nowhere.”
- 1891: “The
Story of the Glittering Plain.”
“The Wood Beyond the World.” "How I became a Socialist".
“Child Christopher and Goldikind the Fair.”
“The Well at the World's End.”
26th April 1859: To Jane Burden a model.
Date and Place of Death:
3rd October 1896, Hammersmith, London, England.
Age at Death:
Site of Grave:
St. George’s Church, Kelmscott, Oxfordshire.
Places of Interest:
The Stained Glass Museum, Ely
Kelmscott Manor, Kelmscott near
Memorial Cottage, Kelmscott
The Red House, Near Bexley Heath. (Owned by the
William Morris Gallery,Water House, Lloyd Park,
Merton Abbey Works, Merton
Red House, Bexley Heath
St. James Palace
Victoria and Albert Museum
6 Queen's Square, Westminster
All Saint's Church, Middleton Cheney
St. Mary's Church, Bloxham
Norwich Castle Museum.
Wightwick Manor (Holds many original Morris decorations
even though he never visited himself).
Broadway Tower, at the top of Fish Hill, near
Broadway. Has a room devoted to William Morris.