Born on 26 June 1763 in London, the son of the painter H. R. Morland to whom he was first apprenticed for seven years in 1777. He visited Calais and St-Omer in 1785 by which time he was painting sentimental genre scenes, somewhat in the manner of Boilly. In 1786 he married Anne, the sister of William Ward who engraved sixty-nine of Morland's pictures and who married Morland's sister.
In the 1790s he turned to rustic genre, but his later years were clouded by reckless self-indulgence. He died of a brain fever in London on 29 October 1804.