Both Morris and Burne-Jones had come to Oxford with the intention of taking holy orders, but as they felt their way they both came to the conclusion that there was more to be done in the direction of social reform than of ecclesiastical work, and that their energies would be best employed outside the priesthood.
Rossetti, Philip Webb, Burne-Jones, Madox Brown, Faulkner and Marshall, and in January 1862 started business under the title of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co., with offices at 8 Red Lion Square.
In 1867 a Melanesian mission station was established at St Barnabas, and in 1882 a church was erected to the memory of Bishop Patteson, with windows designed by Burne-Jones and executed by William Morris.
He at once made friends, who stood him in good stead all his life, foremost among whom were Edward Burne-Jones, who was a freshman of his year, and a little Birmingham group at Pembroke.
It has windows by La Farge, William Morris, Burne-Jones and others.
It is still used where hand printing prevails, and it was this form of press which was employed by William Morris at his famous, but short-lived, Kelmscott Press, the upright frame or staple, of iron; the feet of this staple rested upon two pieces of substantial timber dovetailed into a cross, which formed a base or foundation for the in the production of many sumptuous books, the most celebrated of which was the Chaucer, a large folio volume, illustrated by Sir Edward Burne-Jones.