Fergus Morton, Baron Morton of Henryton
Background and education
Born in Glasgow, he was a younger son of George Morton. He was educated at the Kelvinside Academy and went then to St John's College, Cambridge, winning a scholarship in classics. Morton graduated first class in the law tripos with a Bachelor of Laws in 1910 and a Master of Arts three years thereafter.
In 1940, he was nominated an honorary fellow by his former college and in 1951 received Honorary Doctorates of Law by the University of Cambridge as well as the University of Glasgow. Cambridge's Senat elected Morton a Deputy High Steward in 1954. Two years later, the University of St Andrews and in 1957 the University of Sydney conferred additional doctorates upon him. Both the American Bar Association and the Canadian Bar Association made Morton honorary members. He became also an honorary member of the Faculty of Advocates.
Morton was called to the bar in 1912. With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, he was commissioned as lieutenant into the Highland Light Infantry. He was promoted to captain in the following year and in July 1918, he was decorated with the Military Cross. After the war, Morton was attached to the War Office until 1919, when he resumed his legal career at the chancery bar.
In 1929 he became a King's Counsel and three years later Lincoln's Inn made him a bencher. Morton was admitted as judge to the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice in 1938, receiving the customary knighthood. From 1941, he chaired the Black List Committee for the following five years. He was appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal in 1944 and on this occasion was sworn of the Privy Council. Three years thereafter the number of the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary was increased to nine and one of the new seats was assigned to Morton. He obtained the traditional life peerage, taking the title Baron Morton of Henryton, of Henryton, in the County of Ayr.
Morton joined the Council of Legal Education in 1949, which he left after four years. In 1950 he sat in the Committee on the Law of Intestate Succession (named the Morton Committee) and in the subsequent year he became chairman of the Royal Commission on Marriage and Divorce (named the Morton Commission). Lincoln's Inn selected him its Treasurer in 1953. He retired as Lord of Appeal in 1959.
Notable Judicial Decisions
- Canada Steamship Lines Ltd. v. R.,  AC 192 (P.C.).
- "Peerage - Monteagle to Mottistone". Leigh Rayment. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
- Dod (1954), p. 168
- Dod (1949), p. 158
- Who's Who (1963), p. 2171
- "Honorary awards". University of Sydney. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
- Cretney (2003), p. 801
- "No. 30817". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 July 1918. p. 8969.
- "No. 33473". The London Gazette. 1 March 1929. p. 1447.
- "No. 37938". The London Gazette. 22 April 1947. p. 1775.
- Cretney (2003), p. 482
- "Working Paper No. 5". Law Reform Commission of Ireland. Archived from the original on 29 September 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
- Stevens (1978), p. 374
- Who's Who 1963. London: Adam & Charles Black Ltd. 1963.
- Charles Roger Dod and Robert Philip Dod (1949). Dod's Parliamentary Companion 1949. Dod's Parliamentary Companion Ltd.
- Stevens, Richard Booking (1978). Law and Politics: The House of Lords as a Judicial Bbody, 1800–1976. University of North Carolina Press.
- Cretney, Stephen Michael (2003). Family Law in the Twentieth Century: A History. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-826899-8.
- Charles Roger Dod and Robert Philip Dod (1954). Dod's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage of Great Britain and Ireland 1954. London: Business Dictionaries Ltd.