Morley, George
1772-1843; e.m. 1792

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WM minister, born at Calverton, Notts. on 17 February 1772. He married Elizabeth Williams of Gresford and for their wedding trip they took a post chaise to visit Mary Fletcher at Madeley. He was a friend of Thomas Coke and took a particular interest in overseas missions. He organized the first 'Auxiliary Missionary Society' in Leeds (1813) to raise funds for the missions and in 1821 was appointed General Treasurer of the WMMS, becoming resident Secretary at Hatton Gardens three years later and corresponding with missionaries on foreign stations. He was President of the Conference in 1830 and in 1831 was appointed Governor of Woodhouse Grove School. He died in Leeds on 10 September 1843.

His son, George Morley, junr., was on the staff of the Leeds School of Medicine and a member of its Council from 1835 until his retirement in 1862. He served as secretary of the Council 1839-1844 and was President of the School 1849-1850.


'The new Governor's personal appearance was most prepossessing. He was of large dimensions. A rich English bloom overspread his fine open countenance. His broad, round, smooth forehead, and fully developed bumps of benevolence and veneration, laid bare by incipient baldness, beseemed the pioneer in a great missionary movement. He was the acknowledged "founder of the Wesleyan-Methodist Missionary Society", and took the leading part in its organisation. He was in his sixtieth year, yet seemed in robust and ruddy health, though his silken locks were snowy white. His voice was as clear as a bell. His port and presence were those of "a fine old English gentleman". His nose and the upper part of his face were strikingly like the busts of Socrates… Like that grandest of the Greeks, he heartily enjoyed pleasantry at his own expense, and delighted in the companionship of the young. The Socratic element in his character and mental structure was apparent in the sententiousness of his utterances, in the truth and quickness of his moral instincts, and in his method of instruction by direct and pointed question and personal appeal. For range and accuracy of general information I have scarcely ever met his match… His interest in all matters, literary, political and scientific, was keen and insatiable. His conversational resources seemed exhaustless… The eagerness with which, in advanced life, he read new books was as wonderful as his easy mastery of their contents…

'Mr. Morley's generosity, his indulgence, his cheerfulness, his catholicity, it is beyond my power to portray.'

Benjamin Gregory, Autobiographical Recollections (1903) pp.102-3

  • Robert A. West, Sketches of Wesleyan Preachers (1849) pp.345-48
  • Benjamin Gregory, Autobiographical Reminiscences (1903) pp.102-15
  • Methodist Recorder, Winter Number, 1893, pp.59-63
  • S.T. Anning and W.K.J. Walls, History of the Leeds School of Medicine 1831-1981 (Leeds, 1982)