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William Edward Moorhouse was the sixth son of William Moorhouse (1843-1917) and his wife Angiolina and was born on the 21st July 1887 at 30 Alexandra Road, Burley, Leeds. William Edward was known as Ted in the family.

His father William [see Biographies/William Moorhouse 1843] had started his business of producing Lemon Cheese and its allied products at this address in 1887.

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

Ted 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 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.   [see Biographies/William Moorhouse 1843]

On the 1901 census Ted is living with his parents and brothers at 6 Lofthouse Place and was attending the newly opened grammar school of St Bedes in Bradford.

He then went on to study at the University Of Manchester for his qualification in Optometry (F.B.O.A.) and at the same time he was training at the Fattorini shop in Bolton.


Thomas Fattorini (who was a cousin of Ted) had shops in Skipton and Bolton, at which they mainly sold jewellery but also barometers and glasses.  Ted's brother Charles trained to be a watchmaker at the Skipton branch.

The Fattorini Advert on the left has another interesting feature.  When Ted set up his Opticians business in 1919 his shop used almost the same glasses and eyes symbol as in this advert - but I am jumping ahead! [see Businesses Moorhouses Opticians).

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

On the 1911 census Ted is living with his Father and 4 brothers at 6 Lofthouse Place, and is described as an "Optologist".

On the 15th April 1917 Ted's father William died of cancer of the oesophagus and was buried at Killingbeck cemetery with his wife Angiolina. Ted's eldest brother Charles had predeceased his father by three months and was buried at Southport (the town he was working and living in).

Ted was called up for military service in the 1st World War and served as a Corporal with the Royal Army Medical Corps. He trained at Aldershot and was then posted to Becketts Park Military Hospital in Leeds.

In 1917 he married Ethel Mary at St Mary's Catholic Church in Burnley with his brother Leo as best Man and Ethel's sister Gladys as bridesmaid. Ethel's parents attended the wedding. Ted and Ethel lived first at 6 Leicester Place, and then 19 Bentley Grove, Leeds before moving to 6 Red Hill Road in Castleford in 1920's.

After Ted's discharge from the army in 1919 he founded Moorhouses Opticians and started testing eyes in a terraced house on Cambridge Street in Castleford and within two years he had first floor premises in Bank Chambers on Carleton Street.

In 1921 he met Albert Critchley at a meeting of the Yorkshire Optical Society and the two became friends.  Albert and Ted teamed up to form a partnership and another premises was opened in Pontefract. The business continued to grow with new premises acquired in Normanton.


In 1932 new premises at 103 Carleton Street were purchased and Moorhouse Opticians still operates from this site now!  Ted was a keen advertiser in the local press, always writing and creating the layout himself.




In 1924 the family moved house to Dene Hurst in Castleford. By this time the Ted and Ethel had three sons, Gerald, Bernard and Leo.

In the following years three more children were born; Marjorie, Clifford and David.

Marjorie, the only girl was a sickly child and she died on 23rd March 1933 at Dene Hurst of inflammation of the heart and kidney.  Ted and Ethel were devastated and when Clifford became ill shortly afterwards, Ted's brother Joe offered to have Clifford to stay at his house on Claremont Drive in Leeds so that he and his housekeeper could look after him.

Unfortunately Clifford was very ill and died on 13th June 1933 at Claremont Drive of cancer of the abdomen and small intestine. Ted was present at his death, which was only three months after the death of his daughter.

Marjorie and Clifford are buried together at Healdfield Cemetery in Castleford. Ethel was never able to talk about the two children she had lost so tragically.

To the greater glory of God
and in pious memory
of Charles, Baldisaro
and Leo Moorhouse
their brothers Joseph,
William Edward and Francis
gave this altar on
20th October 1934

Two of Ted's brother's (Leo and Disaro) had died in 1921 and 1930 respectively and the three remaining brothers thought they should honour their dead brothers at a church opposite the new Moorhouse factory.

So Joseph, together with his brothers William Edward and Francis provided the Marble altar rails (since removed) and the marble Altar at St Anthony's Catholic Church, which has an inscription on the side, in Latin. The translation is shown on the left.


In about 1934 Ted moved the family to The Mount in Rothwell.  There was no Catholic church, so Ted became involved in the building of a church down the road from their house.  The local catholic priest robed at their house before laying the foundation stone.
Ted was elected as local councillor representing the Rothwell Ward as an Independent candidate.  He served from 1938 to 1945 and was Chairman of Rothwell Council for part of that time.  He presented the Council with a Chain Of Office.

HRH The Princess Royal and Mr W E Moorhouse, Chairman of Rothwell Urban district Council, take the salute at "War Weapons Week" in 1943.


Three of Ethel and Ted's sons, Leo, Bernard and Gerald served in the military during the Second World War, and Gerald was injured during a "friendly fire" incident and had to have his leg amputated.

Details of this generation may be a later addition to the website.

In 1950 with the death of his brother Joe, who had been Managing Director and Chairman of William Moorhouse & Sons, he became Chairman, and F.G. Moorhouse (Charles' son) became Managing Director.

Ted gracefully resigned as Chairman, in 1959, to make it easier for FG (Moorhouse) as Chairman and Managing Director, to negotiate the sale of Moorhouse and Sons to Schweppes in 1959.

Ted had many hobbies including photography and family research.  He went on holiday to Italy in the 1950's, with Ethel, and they visited the last surviving members of the Porro family in Appiano Gentile [see photographs in the Porri Album].  I have used some of Ted's research on this website.

Ted was also a keen fisherman and would go fishing in Scotland, and he also played golf and was a member of the Selby golf course and later the Garforth course.

The family were keen caravans and had various caravans over the years (including a home made one, pictured on the left).

Ted also was a member of the Cantenians in Leeds and served as President to of the no. 3 Circle in 1953/53.

Ethel and Ted moved to a bungalow in Wetherby in the 1960's to be near two of their sons (Leo and David) who lived nearby.

Ted had a major stroke and was unable to talk well or walk again and he died two years later on 17th September 1969 and is buried at St. Edward's Church at Clifford.

For the two years that Ted was incapacitated, nurses and housekeepers helped Ethel keep Ted at their house and she refused to leave him even for one night.

Ethel was always very interested in all her Grandchildren and never missed a birthday.  She died on 1st March 1976 and was buried at Clifford with Ted.

My father Leo is also buried at Clifford Church and I was married there.




Biographies/William "Ted" Moorhouse >