Catalogue Finding NumberKC804
Office record is held atKirklees, West Yorkshire Archive Service
DescriptionIncluding financial papers 1876-1896, certificates 1885-1925, mathematics exercise book 19 cent; also copy documents re Morton family 1587-1991 including wills 1678-1855, and information re family connections with Scotland and Canada
Extent0.02/1 box
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AdminHistoryThe Morton family were connected with Lindley Moor Potteries and with Salendine Nook Baptist Church. The Mortons of Salendine Nook in Lindley were said to be Presbyterians of Scottish descent who had fled from Scotland because of persecution there. They are supposed to have opened a small Presbyterian chapel at Salendine Nook soon after 1558. No record of this chapel has been found and its existence must be considered doubtful. Claims have also been made of a connection with James, Earl of Morton, Regent of Scotland 1572-1578 (executed in Edinburgh 1581), but this is very unlikely as his surname was Douglas. It has also been suggested that the Mortons were potters from the time of their arrival at Lindley, but the earliest reference to a connection between the family and potmaking dates to the 1700s. Before that period those Mortons whose occupation is known were mostly clothiers. What is certain is that there were Mortons at Lindley in the late 1500s. A John Morton of 'Lynley' was buried at Huddersfield parish church on 2 Apri 1571. A line of descent can be traced down to the present day from an Edmond Morton who was buried at Huddersfield parish church on 20 Feb 1587. The first reference to a connection between the family and Salendine Nook is in 1592 when Jennetta Morton of 'Saledennok' was buried at Huddersfield parish church on 16 Sep.
The Mortons were also connected with Salendine Nook Baptist Church. There was a Morton family tradition that the first Baptists at Salendine Nook met for worship in the dark in a barn belonging to the Mortons, during a time when Nonconformists were executed. This old barn was said to be sited in part of what became the graveyard of Salendine Nook chapel. The exact connection of the Mortons with the early history of Salendine Nook Baptist Church is hard to trace however. What is certain is that the house of Michael Morton at Quarmby was licensed as a place of Presbyterian worship in 1689. In 1713 the house of John Morton at Quarmby was licensed for dissenting worship - the denomination is not recorded. In 1691 William Mitchel, a Nonconformist preacher who was then moving towards becoming a Baptist, had a registered meeting place at Lindley. A William Harrison records hearing a Baptist sermon at 'Linlow Moor' near Huddersfield, which is presumably Lindley Moor, in a barn in 1723. From 1731 Henry Clayton of Halifax, a member of the Baptist church at Rodhill End and Stoneslack, near Todmorden, began to preach regularly at Salendine Nook, using various houses. A meeting house was built for Henry Clayton and his followers in 1738-1739 at Salendine Nook. It was on land belonging to Joseph Morton, and apparently built at his expense. John, Joshua and Joseph Morton, with two others, applied to have this building registered as a Nonconformist meeting house in 1739. John and Edmund Morton were among the first five trustees of the chapel. However when Salendine Nook Baptist Church was established as a separate entity in 1743, being formally 'dismissed' from the church at Rodhill End, none of the first members were Mortons. The Mortons did become much involved in the church though as the years went by. Their connection with the church is commemorated in the name of The Mortons housing association development built in 1985 on part of the Sunday School field.
The main business with which the Mortons were associated was pottery manufacture. The connection has been traced back to about the mid-1700s. In the early 1800s John Morton (1769-1844) and his brother Edmund (1775-1829) were earthenware manufacturers at Lindley Moor. They were succeeded by John's son, Enos (1819-1880), and Edmund's son, Joseph (1805-1872), who appear in White's Directories of 1853 and 1866 as Enos and Joseph Morton, earthenware manufacturers, of Salendine Nook. The cousins later went their separate ways in business matters and formed the two firms of Joseph Morton and Sons and Enos Morton and Sons, but both continued to use part of the Lindley Moor Potteries site. Enos Morton and Sons continued in business as earthenware manufacturers to the 1930s, and Joseph Morton and Sons continued in business until the 1980s, when Harold Morton, the last member of the family to work as a potter, died. Another firm connected with the family was that of J and E Morton, chemical manufacturers, of Milnsbridge and Lindley Moor. This was founded by a different branch of the family (although they intermarried with the potmaking branch - see family tree below). The firm was founded by the brothers Joshua (1842-1888), Edmund (1844-1923), and John Henry (1851-1885). It is first mentioned in local directories in 1881. It continued in business to the 1920s. The Morton family also had connections with Canada. John Morton, one of the sons of Joseph Morton the potter, was one of the first European settlers in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1863. And six of his sister Abigail's seven children emigrated to British Columbia from 1886 onwards. Abigail herself lived in British Columbia from 1889 to 1897 but then returned to Huddersfield.

See also Rosie Chadwick, Sacred Ground, High Tradition: Salendine Nook Baptist Church 1743-1993 (1993), John Stock, History of the Baptised Independent and Congregational Church meeting in Salendine Nook Chapel, Huddersfield (London and Huddersfield, 1874) Percy Stock, Foundations (Halifax, 1933)
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