Morley was the younger son of Samuel Morley, a woollen manufacturer and Liberal MP. Elected to parliament for Nottingham at a by election in 1880, Morley served as Chief Whip during Gladstone’s Third Administration and continued in the post in opposition from 1886-92. With the return of the Liberals to government in 1892 Morley joined the cabinet as Postmaster General holding the post during both the Gladstone and Rosebery ministries. The heavy Liberal defeat in the 1895 general election saw Morley lose his seat. He never returned to parliament and died aged 66 in 1916.