Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 149,919 pages of information and 235,419 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Frank Edward Morriss

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Frank Edward Morriss (1865-1940) was a pioneer of British Steam Cars and played an active role in the London to Brighton run.

1865 Q2. Born at Redditch the son of Edward J. Morriss, a Sail Needle Maker and his wife Elizabeth

1881 Living at Besley Road, Ipsley, Worcs: Elizabeth Morriss (age 49 born Redditch), a Tailoress and Widow. With her children Frank E. Morriss (age 15 born Redditch), a Telegraph Messenger; Charles A. (age 13); Harold L. (age 8), and Howard J. (age 6). [1]

1889 Q1. Married at King's Lynn

1891 Living at 3 Millfleet Terrace, South Lynn (age 25 born Redditch), a Clerk (post Office). With his wife Elizabeth (age 25 born King's Lynn) and their daughter Mabel Aileen (age 1 born King's Lynn).[2]

1901 Frank E. Morriss living at London Road, King's Lynn (age 35 born Redditch), a Motor Cycle Engineer and Employer. With his wife Elizabeth (age 34 born Lynn) and their children Mabel A. (age 11 born Lynn), Bertrand W. (age 9 born Lynn), Gladys E. (age 6 born Lynn) and Winifred H. (age 4 born Lynn). Also a visitor Sidney Latzer (age 23 born Birmingham), a Motor Engineer. One servant. [3]

1901 June. Details of new machinery at his works.[4]

1901 November. Frank Morriss, Motor Engineering Works, Lynn. Advertising for Turners.[5]

1902 January. Takes legal action against the Edinburgh Auto-Car Co for supplying a Daimler 20th April 1901 that did not match its description [6]

1902 November. Drove his first produced car, a 10-hp Sandringham up Gas House Hill in Norwich.[7]

1902-1905 Produced automobiles heavily based on Daimler.

1903 'MORRISS, FRANK. It is almost impossible to refer to automobilism in the Eastern Counties without the name of Mr. Frank Morriss being brought into prominence, for, without doubt, he is the pioneer of the industry in that district, and the one who has done so much to popularise the autocar throughout the Eastern Counties. He was born at Redditch, Worcestershire, in 1865, and commenced his business life in the service of the General Post Office, but, as his natural bent of mind was always towards things mechanical, this sphere of life did not suit him, consequently he resigned his position in order to devote himself to things. more congenial to himself. As far back as 1892 or 1893 Mr. Morriss was busily engaged in making a model of a steam motor or engine, which he proposed placing into a carriage, but, in common with all inventors, he met with so many difficulties at that time in obtaining suitable material that progress was exceedingly slow, and the engine and vehicle was never really finished before the passing of the Light Locomotives Act. Mr. Morriss now regrets that he did not have this most interesting vehicle photographed in its unfinished state at the passing of the Act, so that he might have had a permanent record, as all his attention has since been devoted to the petrol type of autocar. With the passing of this Act, Mr. Frank Morriss was one of the few Englishmen to at once grasp the huge possibilities of the successful future for the autocar industry in England, and he at once entered into it with such determined energy that he is now one of the best known men in autocar circles, and looked upon as one of the keenest and most successful pioneers of this most rapidly rising industry. His success has been in proportion to his immense energy, and his works at King's Lynn are one of the best equipped and most up-to-date in the kingdom, and contain something like sixty of the very finest automatic and semi-automatic American machine tools in the country, giving employment for nearly 100 hands, whilst, with further building operations now in progress, his staff will shortly be increased to beyond this number. The many sound and practical productions, of the "Sandringham" motor works are, however, the outcome of this success, such as the patent gear sleeve now so universally well-known and used on Daimler and Panhard gears, whilst his latest speciality is in supplying clients with cylinders and pistons for converting their old 6-horse motors into 10-horse, or the old 12-horse into 20-horse, as the case may be. Mr. Morriss (who has had charge of the royal autocars from the date of his Majesty's conversion to the royal sport) has just recently received the royal warrant appointing him motor engineer to his Majesty the King, which has been granted to him in recognition of the extremely close attention he has given to his Majesty's cars; an attention which has always resulted in their running most successfully.'[8]

1904 'MORRISS, Frank, Motor-Engineer to H.M. the King, Sandringham Motor Works, King's Lynn. Cars: Sandringham cars, of which he is the manufacturer. Total distance travelled since becoming a motorist: Equal to three times round the world. Has had the charge of the Royal motor-cars since His Majesty's conversion to motoring, and was appointed motor engineer to the King in the early part of 1903'. [9]

1909 Auction sale of machine tools from the Works of Frank Morriss Ltd, King's Lynn. [10]

1911 Living at 169 Queens Road, Finsbury Park, Stoke Newington, London N. (age 46), an Automobile Engineer (own account). With his wife (married 22 years with 5 children) Elizabeth (age 45 born Lynn) and their children Mabel Aileen (age 21), Bertrand Westwood (age19), Gladys Edith (age 16), Winifred Hilda (age14) and Ronald Frank (age 12). Also a visitor and one servant. [11]

1911 Formerly of King's Lynn and now with W. Turner Smith of Stoewer Brothers [12]

1916 Advert for Scripps-Booth cars. Frank Edward Morriss, 54 Piccadilly. [13]

1920 Announcement of engagement of his daughter Gladys. Address given as 18 Alexandra Villas, Finsbury Park [14]

1924 Bankrupt. Frank Edward Morriss, of 54-55 Piccadilly, in the county of London, manufacturer. [15]

1925 Executor of will. ' of Laura Eliza Modern, of Rose Cottage, Bouts Farm, Inkberrow, in the county of Worcester, Widow, deceased (who died on the 29th March, 1925, and whose will was proved in the Principal Registry of the Probate Division of His Majesty's High Court of Justice on the 29th April, 1925, by Frank Edward Morriss and Howard Lyon Smith, the executors...' [16]

1935 A Frank Morriss listed of Hayle, Cornwall [17]

1938 In court as a witness having been defrauded by William Postles. Frank Edward Morriss, Alexandra Villas, Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park, a retired motor engineer. [18]

1940 Q4. Died age 75.

Probable connection with H. E. and F. Morriss


1922 Improvements in or relating to lubricating devices. Frank Edward Morriss Jul, 31 1922: GB184241

1923 Improvements in or relating to lubricating devices, pumps, syringes or the like. Frank Edward Morriss Jan, 4 1923: GB190866

1924 Improvements in, and relating to, weather screens for motor road vehicles and the like. Frank Edward Morriss Aug, 25 1924: GB220688

1927 Improvements in and relating to vehicle lamp brackets. Frank Edward Morriss Aug, 11 1927: GB275365

1930 Improvements in door and like latches. Frank Edward Morriss Jun, 12 1930: GB330494

1930 Improvements in foldable wall chests. Frank Edward Morriss Jun, 12 1930: GB330495

1930 Improvements in collapsible building structures. Frank Edward Morriss Jun, 13 1930: GB330609

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1881 Census
  2. 1891 Census
  3. 1901 Census
  4. The Autocar 1901/06/08
  5. Lincolnshire Echo - Thursday 14 November 1901
  6. Edinburgh Evening News - Wednesday 22 January 1902
  7. The Autocar 1902/11/22
  8. Motoring Annual and Motorist’s Year Book 1903
  9. Motoring Annual and Motorist’s Year Book 1904
  10. The Times, Wednesday, Feb 03, 1909
  11. 1911 Census
  12. Commercial Motor 5th October 1911
  13. The Times, Monday, Feb 14, 1916
  14. The Times, Friday, Jun 11, 1920
  15. Edinburgh Gazette 31st October 1924
  16. [1] London Gazette 20th October 1925
  17. Cornishman - Thursday 19 December 1935
  18. The Times, Tuesday, Jan 11, 1938
  • Motoring Annual and Motorist’s Year Book 1903