The Morozovs – Russian textile manufacturers, who managed to run their business despite all imperfections of contemporary Russian legislation. Savva Vasilievich Morozov (1770-1862) became the founder of the family. Being born a bondman, he happened to achieve his goal and turn into the leading textile manufacturer of the country. The enterprising peasant opened a workshop to produce silk lace and ribbons. He was a worker and a seller at the same time: Morozov walked 100 versts (350 thousand ft) to Moscow to find chapmen ready to buy his goods. Gradually he turned to woolen and cotton fabrics. Fortune favoured him. It sounds ridiculous but the war of 1812 and the great Fire of Moscow increased his incomings: a number of factories burnt during the Fire and the City Government introduced an auspicious customs duty aimed at raising cotton trade.
17 thousand rubles, a whaling sum at that time, Morozov paid to his masters to become a free man and very soon he was recorded as a member of the first merchant class. Savva Vasilievich had never been taught reading or writing, but it didn’t prevent him from running a business.
In 1837 he acquired a piece of land not far from modern Moscow and transferred all the production facilities there. Morozov’s factories processed cheap Asian cotton and expanded with every passing year. Later he bought two plantations to grow cotton under Bukhara and Kokand, which maintained increase in production. After his death, Morozov’s sons were devised four big factories united under the name of Nikolskaya Manufactory.
In the beginning of 20th century, before the First World War, over 54 thousand people worked at Morozovs’ textile factories and the annual turnover exceeded 100 million rubles.
Here are the most famous representatives of the Morozovs’ family.
Timofey Savvich Morozov (1825 – 1889) – an active member of Moscow City Duma, the chairman of Moscow Stock Exchange Committee. His manufactory became an arena for a strike in 1885.
Sergey Timofeyevich Morozov (2862-1950) - a patron of Art, the founder of the Museum of Wares (the present Museum of Folk Art), financed a well-known “World of Art” magazine.
Savva Timofeyevich Morozov (1862-1905) – a chemist by training, a richest landlord and a strict businessman, made enormous donations to support the revolutionary movement in Russia (the bolshevist’s newspaper “Iskra” and the political magazine “Krasny Krest”). Savva Timofeyevich was admitted to be a miser, but at the same time he was a generous patron of Art, theatre, in particular. By some disputable reason he committed a suicide.
The Morozovs established numerous charities. In 1918 all enterprises owned by Morozovs were nationalized: walloping art collections were divided between the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and the Pushkin’s Museum in Moscow. The Soviet authorities sold some masterpieces abroad, but those Morozovs who emigrated proceeded with their business in other countries.
The first Morozov, Savva Vasilievich, saw to it that all his descendants were buried at one and the same place, at Rogozhskoye Cemetery in Moscow: there is a white stone cross with a dim epitaph standing next to his grave and the inscription says “Here lies the kin of Savva Vasilievich Morozov, the merchant of the First Class”. Four generations of the family are buried there.