John Bowes Morrell

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See also Jack B. Morrell, historian of science
John Bowes Morrell
Born 1873
Died 1963
Occupation author and historian

John Bowes ('J.B.') Morrell (1873–1963) was a York author and historian. He was twice Lord Mayor of York, a leading figure in the local movement to establish a university in York, and founder of the York Conservation Trust.[1] The "JBM Library" at the University of York is named after him.

He joined Rowntree's Cocoa Works when he was 17, becoming Director at 25. He was Mayor of York in 1914 and again in 1950.

He helped found the University of York and the Borthwick Institute for Archives. He bought many newspapers, including the Birmingham Gazette, Lincolnshire Chronicle, and Westminster Press.

He wrote books, especially about York which he loved; e.g. 'York Monuments', and 'Woodwork at York'. He was made an Honorary Freeman of the City of York, given honorary degrees to Universities, and declined a knighthood.

Family[edit]

JBM's father was William Wilberforce Morrell (1837–1904), a bank manager in York, and the author of 'The History of Selby' which was illustrated by his sister Jemima. His mother was Lydia Hutchinson (Morrell) (1832–1939) [1] William Wilberforce Morrell was a Wesleyan Methodist, and Lydia was a Quaker, which was a key reason behind John's activism in Liberal Politics from a young age. [1]

JBM married Bertha Spence Watson (1877–1954) in the Friends Meeting House at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1902. See here for her mother's 'Family Chronicles': "1877 ... our Darling little Bertha was given to us on the 18th of May. I recovered nicely, & the new baby, like all of her sisters in turn before her, was much made of, & considered the greatest treasure ..."

Early life[edit]

In 1884 John attended Bootham School, a Quaker establishment. It was at this school where he was to meet his future colleagues at the Rowntree's family chocolate and confectionery company, Arnold Rowntree and Seebohm Rowntree.[1]

York Conservation Trust[edit]

The York Conservation Trust (YCT) was formed as Ings Property Company Limited in 1945 by JBM and his brother Cuthbert Morrell, who had both been buying medieval properties in York for many years, which they restored and rehabilitated, together with Dr Morrell’s son Mr William Bowes Morrell. In 1976 they bequeathed all the properties in the company to the current registered charity, York Conservation Trust Limited.[2]

Buildings named after JBM[edit]

Publications[edit]

  • How York Governs Itself: Civic Government As Illustrated By the County of the City of York, 1928
  • (ed. with A. G. Watson) Whitehall at York. How York is governed by the ministers of the Crown, 1933
  • York Monuments, 1944
  • The biography of the common man of the city of York as recorded in his epitaph, 1947
  • Woodwork in York, 1949
  • “The City of our dreams” 1955

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Webb, Katherine (29 November 2011). "City of our Dreams: JB Morrell and the shaping of modern York". Lecture at the Tempest Anderson Hall, the Yorkshire Museum: 1–25. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  2. ^ A Brief History and Vision for the Future - York Conservation Trust website

External links[edit]