Papers of Morris Motors Ltd.

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Minutes and Directors' records, 1926-1965; Supplementary directors' meetings minutes, 1937-1945; Investment Committee minutes, 1934-1940; Registers of seals, 1926-1951; comparative accounts, 1926-1933; annual balance sheets and accounts, 1936-1968; branch quarterly balance sheets; Morris overseas subsidiaries accounts, 1956, 1959; papers relating to shares, 1927-1936; salaries ledgers, 1940-1970; files of Messrs. Herbert and Gowers and Company, solicitors to the company, (formerly Andrew Walsh and Son), 1940-1952; memorandum and articles of association, 1926, 1927, 1930, 1949; British Motor Corporation superannuation fund, 1958; returns (other than annual) to Registrar of Companies, 1926-1973.

Administrative / Biographical History

Morris Motors Ltd. was formed in 1926 as an amalgamation of the following companies: Morris Motors Limited (formed in 1919), Osberton Radiators Limited, Morris Engines Limited (formerly Hotchkiss of Coventry) and Hollick & Pratt Limited, until then all separately and privately owned by W.R. Morris.

The formation of the new company was marked by the first public issue of (cumulative preference) shares in a Morris enterprise. However, W.R. Morris retained all the ordinary shares in the new company and so remained in sole control of its affairs.

In 1929, the company name was changed to Morris Motors Limited. In due course, the company also took over a number of other companies previously owned privately by W.R. Morris, thus: 1935, Wolseley and MG; 1936, Morris Commercial Cars, Morris Industries Exports (later Nuffield Exports) and S.U. Carburettors; 1938, Riley; 1940, Mechanizations and Aero (formerly Wolseley Aero Engines; later Nuffield Mechanizations). In addition, a number of subsidiary companies were established. From 1937, Morris Motors Limited became the main holding company for all of the Morris and associated companies (previously there had been a holding company, Morris Industries Limited). In 1952, Morris Motors Limited merged with The Austin Motor Company Limited to form The British Motor Corporation Limited (BMC); afterwards the status of Morris Motors Limited as such was that of an operating subsidiary of BMC, and the company ultimately became dormant.

Reference: Anders Ditlev Clausager, BMIHT Archivist.


This collection forms part of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Archive (MSS.226).

The Modern Records Centre uses a classification scheme. For further details of the scheme, see It is compatible with ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description (2000).

Conditions Governing Access

A 30 year closure period applies to these papers.

Acquisition Information

This collection was deposited in the Centre by the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust in 1988.

Other Finding Aids

A paper catalogue to file level is available in the Centre's searchroom, at the National Register of Archives in London and in Chadwyck-Healey's National Inventory of Documentary Sources. A catalogue to file level is available in electronic format on the Access to Archives (A2A) website at:

Authority records exist for Morris Motors Ltd. (GB 152 AAR2310); Morris Motors Limited (GB 152 AAR2309); British Motor Corporation Limited (GB 0152 AAR2295); Morris Industries Exports Ltd. (GB 152 AAR2313); Nuffield Exports Ltd. (GB 152 AAR2313); Wolseley Aero Engines Ltd (GB 152 AAR2322); Nuffield Mechanizations Ltd., (GB 152 AAR2318); Nuffield Mechanizations and Aero Ltd., (GB 152 AAR2319); Mechanizations and Aero Ltd., (GB 152 AAR2320); Nuffield Mechanizations Ltd., (GB 152 AAR2321).

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for publication of deposited material or the result of research based on it should be made to the Trust. The Trust reserves all rights to commercial exploitation and commercial publication. Please contact the Centre's staff for further details.

Appraisal Information

This collection has been weeded for duplicates.

Custodial History

The records were in three of ten deed boxes discovered in early 1988 in the Poplars building at the Cowley Body Plant when that building was being demolished.


Further deposits are not expected.

Related Material

The Modern Records Centre also holds the papers of other companies which form part of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Archive. These include papers of the British Motor Corporation MSS.226/BM and Nuffield Exports Ltd., MSS.226/NE.

Technical materials are retained by the BMIHT. Technical enquiries should be made direct to the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust, Archives and Information Service, Gaydon, Warwickshire.