MORGAN, GEORGE OSBORNE (1826-1897), politician

Name: George Osborne Morgan
Date of birth: 1826
Date of death: 1897
Spouse: Emily Morgan (née Reiss)
Parent: Fanny Morgan (née Nonnen)
Parent: Morgan Morgan
Gender: Male
Occupation: politician
Area of activity: Politics, Government and Political Movements
Author: Edward Morgan Humphreys

Son of the Rev. Morgan Morgan, vicar of Conway from 1838 to 1870 (and a son of David Morgan, Llanfihangel-Geneu'r-Glyn and his wife Avarina Richards, a member of Ffos-y-bleiddiaid family (see under Vaughan Lloyd), and Fanny Nonnen daughter of John Nonnen, Gothenburg, Sweden. He was born 8 May 1826 at Gothenburg, where his father was a chaplain. Educated at Friars school, Bangor, Shrewsbury school, and Oxford, he graduated in 1848. He won the Craven scholarship and the Newdigate prize, and was elected Fellow of University College, 1850-7. He was called to the Bar (Lincoln's Inn) 6 June 1853, and practised as equity draughtsman and conveyancer; he took silk in 1869.

He was a Liberal candidate for Caernarvonshire in 1859 but withdrew to avoid splitting the Liberal vote. In 1868 he was returned as one of the members for Denbighshire, his colleague being Sir Watkin Williams Wynn. After the redistribution of 1885 he elected to stand for east Denbighshire, where the Wynn influence had been paramount for nearly two centuries, and won the seat against Sir Watkin's candidature; he held the seat at the elections of 1886 and 1892. In Parliament he took a prominent part in Welsh affairs; in 1869 he seconded Henry Richard's resolution on the Welsh evictions after the election of 1868, and in 1870 he introduced the burials bill, permitting any Christian service in a parish churchyard, a direct result of what had happened at the funeral of Henry Rees in the previous year. Osborne Morgan introduced this bill in ten successive sessions until, in 1880, it was passed. In 1870 he also introduced the places of worship (acquisition of land) bill, which became law in 1873. He was a strong supporter of the Welsh Sunday closing bill and of disestablishment, and took a keen interest in Welsh education, supporting Stuart Rendel's motion in favour of placing Aberystwyth College on the same footing as Bangor and Cardiff and advocating the establishment of the hostel for women students at Bangor. An Osborne Morgan scholarship was founded at Bangor as a memorial. He was twice in office in Gladstone's ministry, the first time in 1880 as Judge-Advocate-General, when he carried the abolition of flogging in the army, and again, 1886, as parliamentary under-secretary for the colonies. In the latter capacity he took an interest in the fortunes of the Welsh settlement in Patagonia.

He wrote for the Contemporary, Fortnightly, and Nineteenth Century, and translated Virgil's Eclogues. He was made a baronet in 1892. He died 25 August 1897, and was buried at Llantysilio, Llangollen. He married, 1856, Emily, daughter of Leopold Reiss, Eccles; they had no children.

JOHN EDWARD MORGAN M.D. (1828 - 1892), professor of medicine

One of George Osborne Morgan's brothers who died 4 May 1892, was professor of medicine (1873) at Owens College, Manchester.


The other brother, born 1 July 1830 at Gothenburg, went from Shrewsbury school to Jesus College, Cambridge, and was a Wrangler, and a Fellow of his college, in which he held almost every office, eventually (1885) becoming master. When he died, 2 September 1912, he had been at Jesus for sixty-three continuous years. ' Black Morgan ' was a vigorous and muscular figure, a great oarsman and mountaineer - he and his friend, Leslie Stephen, were the first to climb the Jungfrau-Joch (1862).

In academic politics he was a liberal, and in 1871 promoted the movement to allow Fellows to marry, at the same time limiting to seven years the ordinary tenure of a Fellowship. He published little; his Church and Dissent in Wales, 1895, may be mentioned. He was married, and had a son (killed in war in 1915) and four daughters.



Published date: 1959

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