Thomas Leo was known as Leo, and was the fifth son of William Moorhouse (1843-1917) and his wife Angiolina.  He was born at 129 Park Lane Leeds on 11th June 1884.

His Father, William, was operating a grocery business from 129 Park Lane and also producing Lemon Cheese to sell over the counter as well as to other grocers.

Lemon Cheese was so popular that William decided to set up his own business making it and other allied products.  William moved his family to 30 Alexandra Road in Burley, Leeds in 1887 and started producing Lemon Cheese full time.

In 1889 the family moved to 6 Lofthouse Place, which was a larger house and had a stable and warehouse at the back.

Leo would have been involved at an early age with the production of Lemon Cheese, Orange Marmalade and Mincemeat.  By 1893 the business was supporting William, Angiolina and three of the older sons.

Mr Laxton, a business associate of William's 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.

On the 1901 census Leo is listed as a jam boiler, his brother Joseph is a jam packer and Baldisaro is registered as a commercial bookkeeper.

Angiolina (Leo's Mother) died 22 March 1908, aged 55 years of cancer of the liver at Lofthouse Place. Leo was present at her death. She is buried at Killingbeck cemetery (Roman Catholic cemetery) on York Road in Leeds.

In the 1911 census Thomas Leo is living at 6, Lofthouse Place, with his Father and 4 of his brothers.  He is described as a "fruit preserver manager".

In 1913 William signed a partnership agreement with his sons Thomas Leo and Joseph, which created the company William Moorhouse and sons. (Their brother Disaro was not part of the partnership but he did work at the Company).


In 1914 Joseph (Leo's brother) was called up for military service and served in the Royal Army Medical Corps for most of the 1st world War. Leo was left with his father William and brother Disaro to run the company.  I am not sure why Leo was not called up for military service, it could be because he was not well, or maybe he was in a protected occupation supplying food to the population.

In a speech at the 60th anniversary of William Moorhouse & sons in 1947 Joseph pays tribute to his brothers Disaro and Leo, "both of whom played a very large part in the developing of the business in its early stages and who, in the war years of 1914 to 1918, were left to carry on the responsibilities alone, my father having died in 1917 and I being away throughout the war".

As mentioned above, William died on 15th April 1917 and was buried with Angiolina at Killingbeck.

Later in 1917 Ted (Leo's brother) married Ethel In Burnley with Leo as the best man.

Mrs Hutchinson, who worked for Moorhouses and was born next to the business in Procter's Place, recalls in a letter to Bernard Moorhouse that Mr Leo was "fair haired and wore glasses and was my hero when I was a child".

Leo moved with his two bachelor brothers Joseph and Disaro to 41a Claremont Road, Headingley. They had a housekeeper to look after them.


Leo died on 3rd July 1921 at Claremont Road, with his brother Joseph present, of cancer of the bladder with secondary growths in the pelvis and abdomen.

He was buried at Killingbeck with his parents. My father John Leo Moorhouse who was born in 1922 was named after Leo.






Biographies/Thomas Moorhouse 1884 >