William Morison 1663-1739

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William MORISON of Prestongrange 1663-1739

Morison's bookplate (British Museum Franks Collection *491)

Biographical Note

The eldest surviving son of Sir Alexander Morison, a member of the Scottish Parliament, William Morison served as a commissioner of militia during the Revolution and entered the Scottish parliament in 1690. He had a place on the Union commission in 1706 and became a member of the Scottish privy council in 1707. He sat in the British Parliament from 1707 to 1710 and from 1713 to 1715.

As a teenager he had (with parental consent) been involved in a clandestine marriage to a 12-year-old girl for which he incurred a substantial fine. He also lost money in the Darien affair. Although from a wealthy business family, he seems to have had little success in business himself and became increasingly burdened by debt, being imprisoned in the Fleet in 1733 with his estates sequestered.


Used an engraved bookplate:

Franks *491 Morison, The Honble. William, of Prestoungrainge, Esqr. (Arms. Morison with Lindsay on an escutcheon.)

The extent and disposition of his library is not known.


  • Gambier Howe, E. R. J. Franks bequest: catalogue of British and American book plates bequeathed to the ... British Museum. London, 1903.
  • History of Parliament