Here is the story of my ancestors, who they were, where they lived and what they did. Although I believe it to be a reasonably accurate account I cannot guarantee that everybody is correctly represented and I expect that there are quite a few people I have omitted. Please feel free to contact me if you have an interest in any of the information presented.

This site is dedicated to the memory of my predecessors and everything they cherished. May the generations that follow enjoy and gain inspiration from the achievements of the past.


d-7 Apr 1845
d-14 Apr 1844
b-28 Feb 1807
d-1 May 1865
b-25 Sep 1806
d-23 Dec 1871
d-4 Dec 1871
Sarah Ann
d-11 Apr 1905
Eliza A
Mary Ann

Born in Morley on 25 September 1806, the youngest son of David Scott and Elizabeth Haigh, Alexander was not to become a cordwainer (boot and shoe manufacturer) like his father.

Alexander married Mary Scholefield on 28 April 1829 and in 1830 their son Thomas was born followed by Sarah Ann (1831 - 1905 (see photograph at the top of the page)), Eliza A (1836), Mary Ann (1836 - 1837) and Mary (1838). The first census return of 1841 lists the family as living at Gillroyds, Morley, West Yorkshire. This is the area off Wide Lane where the Gillroyd Mill was built in 1834 so it seems likely that Alexander was employed at the mill.

Morley was expanding rapidly with the growth of cloth production and textile mills were appearing all over the district and in 1849 Alexander erected the Valley Mills, a steam powered mill which stood between the railway line and Valley Road, on the triangle of land which is opposite Morley train station. Together with his son Thomas they formed the company of A Scott & Son. In the 1851 census Alexander is still listed as living at Gillroyds with occupation given as Book Keeper with Thomas listed as Woollen Manufacturer employing 4 men.

Valley Mills

'Not many yards beyond the Gas Works are the extensive factories of Messrs A Scott & Son, appropriately called VALLEY MILLS, for on this spot, twenty years ago, were fields of waving corn; the brook ran meandering along the valley; on a summer's evening the air was filled with pleasant sounds, and rural scenery met the eye at every turn.

Where stretch'd the fields and meadows wide,
With rural grass and daisies pied,
And sinuous brooks between;
Now the strong engine toils and pants,
And legions of industrious ants,
Diversify the scene.

And to the passing ear will come
A deep, continuous, busy hum;-
Incessant sounds arise:
And loud amid the ceaseless din,
Where wheels unintermitted spin,
The ringing shuttle flies.

The present owners, with a well directed foresight, saw the advantages to be derived from turning this very eligible site to more practical purposes. Eight years ago, they erected a mill and commenced with the most improved machinery, the manufacture of superfine union cloth. Success attended the enterprise; another mill was built; the "superfines" were rewarded with medals at International and other Exhibitions; the firm reaped more substantial benefits, and from a comparatively humble position in life, the head of this firm has risen to a position of affluence and to be chairman of our local government, and guardian of our poor, and carries with him into public life the same energy, resolution, and business talent, that characterize him in the management of his own affairs.'
(From 'Rambles about Morley' by William Smith Jun, published 1866)

In the 1861 census the family is listed as living at Middlethorpe with Alexander as Woollen Manufacturer employing 36 men, 27 boys and 104 women.

In 1862 the enterprise was awarded medals in London for superiority of production. This success was repeated in Paris in 1867.

Valley Mills

As mentioned in William Smith's description, Alexander was becoming a man of some importance within the growing village of Morley. In 1865 he became chairman of the Local Board which had been formed in 1862 to manage the town's affairs. Alexander laid the first stone for the new Local Board Offices in Queen Street in 1866. Built on the site of three single story cottages dated 1730 that had acted as Morley's poorhouse, the new offices took a year to build and cost £700. In 1880 the building was remodelled and the gale damaged tower removed. After undergoing various usages it is now a private residence.

Local Board Offices

Alexander suffered a heart attack and died on 24 December 1871 at home in Queen Street, Morley and the following is the complete transcript of the report and fitting tribute that appeared in the Morley Observer following his death.

It is with considerable regret that we have to record the sudden departure from our midst of a townsman of universal respect, and a gentleman, who, by his enterprising spirit and thorough business qualifications has contributed very largely to the success of the manufacturing interests of this district. A gloom was cast over the whole town on Sunday morning last by the sad intelligence that MR ALEXANDER SCOTT had died during the night. He was retiring to rest about half-past twelve o'clock, and before reaching his bed-room door he fell, and expired in a short time. The death of his son, after a long illness, which took place a few weeks ago, and to whom he was most affectionately attached, has had a painful and depressing influence; and now the loss of both are events which command the sympathies of a large number of people beyond the family circle.

MR SCOTT had been a useful and intelligent public man, though quite and unobtrusive in his manner. In 1858 he was one of the Surveyors of the Highways; in 1863 an Overseer of the Poor; and for two or three years he also represented the poor of the township at the Dewsbury Board of Guardians. At the Local Board election in 1864 MR SCOTT was returned head of the poll; on the 28th day of June, 1865, he was chosen to be the Chairman of the Board; and in the following year he was again re-elected to that honourable position. MR SCOTT presided over our Local Authority during two eventful years, in which the Waterworks scheme was both originated and completed. He also laid the foundation stone of the new Local Board Offices, and afterwards provided a sumptuous entertainment for all the members and officials. MR SCOTT was not one of those whom fortune favoured in early life. He was a self-made man. The Valley Mills are noble monuments of his persevering industry; while the Commissioners of three exhibitions - London, Paris and Wakefield - have awarded him medals for his skill in the superior production of those manufactured goods which are peculiar to the town, and in which he took such a pride. The interment of MR SCOTT took place at noon on Wednesday at the Wesleyan Chapel. A large number of friends and inhabitants followed his remains to the grave; and the solemn service was very feelingly conducted by the REV WILLIAM TYSON and the REV E J BRAILSFORD, the ministers of the circuit.
The Morley Observer, December 1871