Morton, George Highfield (DNB01)
MORTON, GEORGE HIGHFIELD (1826–1900), geologist, was the son of George Morton, a brewer, by his wife Elizabeth Bartenshaw, both of Liverpool. He was born in that city on 9 July 1826, went to school there, and when about sixteen years old became interested in geology. Going into business as a house decorator, he devoted every spare minute to his favourite study, exploring the country round Liverpool, and pushing his researches into North Wales and Shropshire. He formed a large and valuable collection of fossils, of which those from the Trias downwards have been acquired by the British Museum of Natural History, and the remainder by the Liverpool University College. Morton became F.G.S. in 1858, and was awarded the Lyell medal of that society in 1892. He was a member of various local societies, notably of the Geological Society of Liverpool, of which he was founder in 1859, honorary secretary for twenty-six years, and twice president. Also for several years after 1864 he was lecturer on geology at Queen's College, Liverpool. He died on 30 March 1900. His wife, whoso maiden name was Sarah N. Ascroft, died about two years before him, but one son and four daughters survived. He wrote, beginning in 1856, numerous papers on the district already mentioned, which have appeared in the publications of various societies, and, though in failing health, read his last one about a fortnight before his death ; but his chief work is the volume entitled 'Geology of the Country round Liverpool,' of which the first edition was published in 1863, a second, revised and enlarged, in 1891 with an appendix in 1897. As a geologist Morton was characterised by accuracy, thoroughness, orderliness, and caution, he cared more for the advancement of science than for his own reputation, and was a worthy representative of a class the painstaking and indefatigable local geologists to whom the science is so much indebted.
[Obituary notice, Geological Mag. 1900, p. 288; Royal Soc. Cut. of Papers ; private information, and personal knowledge.]