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British Industrial History

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Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan

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Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan (1881-1959) known as H.F.S. was an English sports car manufacturer and founder of the Morgan Motor Co‎ and its Chairman from 1937 until his death in 1959.

1881 Henry 'Harry' Morgan was born in Morton Jeffries Rectory, Stoke Lacy, Herefordshire where his father, Prebendary H. George Morgan, was the local curate, and his wife Florence

1891 Living at 8 Granville Terrace, Ramsgate. Henry G. Morgan (age 38 born Camberwell), a Curate in Holy Orders. With his wife Florence (age 38 born Greenwich) and their children Henry F. Morgan (age 9 born Morton Jeffreys, Herefordshire), Sarah W. (age 8 born Tunbridge Wells) and Florence E. (age 4 born Stone Lacy, Worcestershire). Seven servants. [1]

He attended Marlborough School but suffered from poor health possibly caused by malnutrition and was withdrawn by his parents and sent to Italy to recover.

On returning he went to the Crystal Palace School of Engineering in Sydenham London and then joined the Great Western Railway company as an apprentice. It was during this period that he survived a brake failure while driving a hired 3½ hp Benz on a 1 in 6 gradient between Bromyard and Hereford. Paternal joy over his survival may have been slightly tempered by the resulting £28 repair bill received by his father.

In 1902 with the help of a gift from his godfather he bought his first car, a Star.

He left the GWR in late 1904 and with his friend Leslie Bacon opened a motor sales and servicing garage in Malvern Link in May 1905 with agencies for Darracq and Wolseley cars. As well as this, he ran early bus services between Malvern Link and Malvern Wells, and later to Gloucester.

In 1908 he bought a Peugeot twin cylinder engine intending to build himself a motor cycle but changed his mind and used it to power his first car which he made in 1909 with help from William Stephenson-Peach, the father of friends, and the engineering master at Malvern College where he was allowed use of the well equipped workshop. The car was a well-engineered single-seat three-wheeler with independent front suspension, unusual at the time.

With financial help from his father, the car was put into production at premises in Malvern Link adjacent to Chestnut Lodge, the house his father had bought him, and three single-seaters exhibited at the 1910 Motor Show. In spite of great interest being shown, only a few orders were taken, and he decided that a two-seater was needed to meet the market demands. This was built in 1911, and an agency was taken up by the Harrods department store in London. The Morgan became the only car ever to appear in a shop window at Harrods.

1911 He is listed as a visitor at 80 Cornwall Gardens, Kensington (age 29 born Hereford), a Motor Engineer. In the home of Arthur Sackvill Trevor Griffith, M.P. and his wife.[2]

1912 June. Married Hilda Ruth Day in 1912.

As a way of boosting sales a policy of involvement in Motor Sport, often with HFS driving, was established and sales grew steadily up to the outbreak of World War I. Although some car manufacture continued, the factory was turned over mainly to munitions, and the factory was extended.

1919 Their son Peter Morgan, would in turn become chairman of the company

Post-war the company prospered, and in 1921 HFS was able to buy a Rolls-Royce car, with body built by Morgan, and in 1925 moved to a larger house, Fern Lodge.

1959 Died

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1891 Census
  2. 1911 Census