Part One - The Founding Fathers
We are very fortunate to have hundreds of documents, photographs and catalogues in our archives, dating back to the 1800's. As part of our 150th year anniversary, we are proud to share some of our heritage and share the Morlands journey with you.
In 1825, 45 years before moving to the Morlands factory in Glastonbury, Cyrus Clark started the business of fell-mongering, wool stapling and sheepskin rug making in his workshop in Street, Somerset. His brother, James, joined him in 1828 and soon afterwards started shoe-making. Both branches of the business expanded side-by-side until in 1869.
Lack of space for further expansion, particularly for shoe making, and the need to gain fresh capital gave James the idea to form a separate company and carry on rug-making elsewhere. Six thousand pounds in cash was needed, and, for a time, he had difficulty in finding this large sum of money.
It was at time in the history of the firm that John Morland, a young Croydon Quaker, made his fortunate appearance. Fortunate because he had the requisite amount of money and a desire to buy a business. A partnership, Clark, Son & Morland, was then formed, with John Morland holding half a share of the capital. The new business moved to 'Jacobs' tannery in Northover, Glastonbury where John Morland was responsible for the day-to-day running of the works.
He became known as "The Old Gentleman" and was still chairman at the time of his death in 1934, aged 96. His son, John Coleby Morland, who managed the business for nearly fifty years, was mainly responsible for building up a strong and prosperous firm. He passed on the management to his son-in-law, Harry Scott Stokes, who took charge in 1938, followed by Humprey Morland a grandson of 'The Old Gentleman" up until 1969.