William Moorhouse was the fifth son of Thomas Moorhouse (1809-1845) and
Martha and was born on 8th April 1843, when the family was renting Hesliker
farm [now called Heslaker on modern maps] from The Tempest Estate.
After the death of his Father, Thomas in 1845, the family moved to The
Bull Inn at Broughton, which they rented from The Tempest Estate.
On the 1851
census William was living at The Bull with his Mother and is described
as a scholar.
By 1861 William has moved to Skipton
and is living with William Stockdale and his family. Mr Stockdale had
taken over his father-in-law's grocery shop on Sheep Street and was employing William and another young man
William moved to Leeds sometime during
the 1860's and went to work for a grocer
called Ellison (probably a relative of his Mother Martha), who
had a grocery and provision business on the Lowerhead Row in Leeds. William
is recorded as living on the Lowerhead Row on the 1871
census working as
It was while working, as an apprentice for Mr
Ellison that William would visit farms on the outskirts of Leeds to
solicit orders for groceries. On a visit to a farm in Swillington
he was invited to take tea with the family and introduced to a
delicacy called "Lemon Cheese" that he had never heard of before. The
farmer's wife explained that it was made from new laid eggs, fresh
butter, sugar and lemons. William was so impressed with the Lemon Cheese
that the farmer's wife provided him with the recipe.
This incident happened sometime between 1870 and 1875.
On 24th June 1873 William Married
Angiolina Porri at St Stephen's Church
in Skipton. William's brother James was one of the witnesses. His
Mother, Martha, died in December 1873 falling from a dog-cart.
William and Angiolina's first son James Ellison was born on 21 January
1874 at 43 Lowerhead Row in Leeds. The couple moved house to 4
Newton Terrace and their second son, Charles Innocent was born on 8th September
1875. Angiolina took her new baby and first son James to see her widowed
sister Mary Jane Fattorini in Skipton James was taken ill and died on
24th October 1875 of pneumonia at Caroline Square (home of Mary Jane
Fattorini) age 1 year and 9 months. He was buried At St. Stephen's Church
in Skipton. William and Angiolina's third son Baldisaro was born on 22
February 1877 whilst they were still living at Newton Terrace.
The family moved house to 129 Park Lane and William
started his own grocery business there, at which address he also made
Lemon Cheese to sell over the counter. It was a very popular product
and he started to makes supplies for other grocers. Two more sons were
born while the family was living at Park Lane, Joseph on 11th May 1881
and Thomas Leo on 11th June 1884.
The production of Lemon Cheese had grown so much that William decided
to close his grocery business in about 1887 and he moved to 30 Alexandra
Road in Burley where his last two sons William Edward (21 July 1887) and
Francis (19th August 1889) were born.
He started the Moorhouse Business by making Lemon Cheese and the allied
products of Orange Marmalade and Mincemeat. The demand for the products
from the Moorhouse company grew and in 1889 they moved to 6,
Lofthouse Place, Carlton Hill which was a larger house with stables and warehouse
at the back.
By 1893 the business was supporting William, Angiolina and three of
the older sons. Mr Laxton, a business associate of Williams recalled
visiting the house in about 1895 and seeing Angiolina cutting out by
hand from greaseproof paper the discs, which in those days were placed
on the surface of the jars of Lemon Cheese to prevent evaporation and
crystallization after packing. There were also two or three hired hands
to help production.
At the First Grocers' Exhibition held in Leeds, William had a stand displaying
his products and he won a Diploma of Merit for the high quality of his
Lemon Cheese. Additional premises were taken in Camp Road and after two
years they took a larger premises at Proctors Place off Meanwood Road.
Angiolina died 22 March 1908, at Lofthouse Place, of cancer of the liver.
She was aged 55 years. She is buried at Killingbeck cemetery (Roman Catholic
cemetery) on York Road in Leeds.
||On the 1911
census William is living at 6 Lofthouse Place
with 5 of his sons and a housekeeper.
In 1913 William signed a partnership
agreement with his sons Thomas Leo and Joseph that created the company
William Moorhouse and sons.
William died on 15th April 1917 of cancer of the oesophagus,
and was buried
with Angiolina at Killingbeck cemetery. In his Will he divided his
assets between his five surviving sons and the widow and children of
his eldest son Charles who had predeceased him that year.
The will specified that Baldisaro's money should be
put in trust for him. This was probably due to the fact that Baldisaro
was very small and maybe William was worried that he wouldn't be
able to look after himself and also that his life expectancy was poor.