Harry Morley was born in Leicester where he studied at the Alderman Newton's School and then studied architecture at the Leicestershire School of Art.
In 1901 he began studying in the architectural practice of Professor Beresford Pite and went on to study architecture at the Royal College of Art, where Pite taught. In 1905 Morley won travelling scholarships from both the RCA and the Royal Institute of British Architects. These awards allowed him to spend long periods of time in Italy and France and to concentrate on painting rather than architecture.
Morley decided to continue his training at the Academie Julian in Paris throughout 1906. Following a visit to Sicily, he mounted an exhibition 'London and Continental' in his London studio.