MORGAN family, of Tredegar Park, Monmouth

This family claims descent from CADIFOR FAWR, lord of Cil-sant, who died in 1089. His third son, Bledri, who died in 1120, was on good terms with the Norman conquerors, who may have granted him lands in Monmouthshire, because he appears, along with other residents of that district, as a witness to a grant of the church of Bassaleg to Glastonbury in the early 12th century.

Sixth in line of descent from Bledri was LLYWELYN AB IFOR, lord of S. Clears and Gwynfe, who married Angharad, the daughter and sole heir of Sir Morgan ap Maredydd, said to be descended from the Welsh lords of Caerleon and, in her right, acquired the estates of Tredegar and Cyfoeth Feredydd.

Of this union there were three children, MORGAN of Tredegar and S. Clears, Ifor Hael, the ancestor of the branch of the family at Gwern-y-Clepa, and PHILIP, the founder of the family of Lewis of S. Pierre. Thomas Wakeman in his notes on the pedigree of the Tredegar family among the Tredegar papers deposited at the National Library of Wales, states that Morgan was alive in 1375, as he is a witness to a deed in that year, but was dead in 1387, because his son, LLYWELYN AP MORGAN, served on the jury of the I.P.M. of Hugh Stafford, late lord of Gwynllwg, thus proving that he was of full age and in full possession of his estates. PHILIP, the second son of Morgan ap Llywelyn, became the ancestor of the branch of Morgan of Langstone of which family the Morgan family of Llantarnam are an offshoot. Llywelyn ap Morgan was succeeded by his son, JEVAN, who was in turn succeeded by his son, Sir JOHN MORGAN, known as 'Y Marchog Tew.' Sir John is the subject of a cywydd moliant by the bard Gwilym Tew written c. 1460, in which mention is made of Sir John's journey to Jerusalem, where he was created a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre. Sir John, who was a strong supporter of the Lancastrian cause, brought military assistance to Henry VII soon after he landed at Milford. He was one of the receivers of petitions in the first Parliament of Henry VII, by whom he was knighted, made steward of Machen, sheriff of Gwynllwg and Newport, and constable of Newport (see Howel T. Evans : Wales and the Wars of the Roses). His will is dated 26 October 1491, and he probably died in 1492. Sir John Morgan had ten children, of whom the eldest was Sir MORGAN JOHN, who was knighted after the battle of Blackheath in 1497 and died in 1504. His second son, THOMAS, an esquire of the body to Henry VII, was the ancestor of the branch at Machen, which later became the senior branch of the family. Sir Morgan John's eldest son, JOHN MORGAN, probably died in 1513, as his will is dated 4 April in that year. His eldest son, WILLIAM MORGAN, was high sheriff of Monmouthshire in 1565 and died without issue in 1569 (will dated 8 August 1568 and proved 27 June 1569). By this will he named MILES MORGAN, the son of his illegitimate brother JOHN, as his heir. Miles Morgan in 1571 married Catherine, the daughter of ROWLAND MORGAN (living in 1580) of Machen, the eldest son of Thomas, the second son of Sir John Morgan. In 1578 Miles Morgan joined his friend, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, on an ill-fated colonizing expedition to America, in which he was given command of the Red Lyon, the third largest vessel in the fleet. This ship was lost at sea and Miles Morgan was drowned. In 1577 Miles Morgan, who was without issue, had conveyed the freehold estates, which he had inherited from William Morgan, his uncle, to his wife's father and brother, Rowland Morgan and Thomas Morgan of Machen. In his will, which he made before setting out on his expedition with Gilbert, he made his brother-in-law, the said THOMAS MORGAN (died 1603), his heir. Three younger brothers of Rowland Morgan, REYNOLD, JOHN, and EDMUND, became respectively the ancestors of offshoots of the family at Llanvedw, Bassaleg, and Penllwyn-sarth. The second son of Rowland Morgan, HENRY, became the ancestor of the branch at Llanrhymney. Thomas Morgan of Machen and Tredegar was sheriff of Monmouthshire in 1581 and Member of Parliament for the county in 1588-9. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir WILLIAM MORGAN (1560 - 1653) of Tredegar. He was knighted in 1603, became sheriff of Monmouthshire in 1612, and Member of Parliament for the same county, 1624-5. He received Charles I at Tredegar, 16-17 July 1645. He was twice married, (1) to Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Winter of Lidney; (2) to Bridget, the daughter of Anthony Morgan of Heyford, Northamptonshire, the widow of Anthony Morgan of Llanfihangel Crucorney. Sir William's eldest son by his first marriage was THOMAS MORGAN (died 1664) of Machen. He also was twice married, (1) to Rachel, daughter of Robert Hopton; (2) to Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Windham of Sandhills. Elizabeth, his only child by his first wife, was married to Sir Trevor Williams of Llangibby, Thomas Morgan was elected in April 1640 to represent Monmouthshire in the Short Parliament (see Tredegar Papers, 59/9. W. R. Williams states incorrectly that the person elected was William Morgan). At the outbreak of the Civil War he was a supporter of the king, but after the battle of Naseby he and his son-in-law, Sir Trevor Williams, were accused of being among the 'hinderers' of the royal cause in Monmouthshire and were arrested at Abergavenny by order of the king, 11 September 1645. It has been suggested that the causes of this disaffection were the adherence of some of the Monmouthshire gentry to the house of Pembroke and their consequent opposition to the increasing influence of the rival house of Somerset combined with their distrust of Roman Catholicism. In 1654 he was elected Member of Parliament for Monmouthshire.

WILLIAM MORGAN, the third son of Sir William Morgan, who was Member of Parliament for Monmouth, 1628-9, became the ancestor of the branch at Rhymney. Sir William's only child by his second wife, Sir ANTHONY MORGAN (died 1665) of Kilfigin was a prominent Royalist who fought at Edgehill. He was unable to compound for his property in May 1650, because he was a papist delinquent (see D.N.B.). Thomas Morgan was succeeded by his eldest son by his second wife, WILLIAM MORGAN (died 1680). He was Member of Parliament for Monmouthshire in 1659-61. In 1661 he married his first cousin, Blanche, daughter of William Morgan (died 1649) of Y Dderw in Llys-wen, Brecknock, and Elizabeth, the youngest daughter by his first wife of Sir William Morgan. William Morgan, Blanche's father, known as the 'judge,' came from an Ystradfellte family and was the son of Morgan Llywelyn, gent. He was admitted to the Middle Temple in 1615. He was recorder of Brecon from 1637 till his death in 1649, the king's Attorney for South Wales, 1639-49, and Member of Parliament for Brecknock, 1640-49. He built up a lucrative practice at the Bar, which enabled him to purchase extensive estates in Brecknock. As his son, William, had died in 1658, these estates passed with his daughter Blanche to her husband, and consequently gained for the house of Tredegar their dominant political influence in the county and borough of Brecknock. William Morgan was succeeded by his eldest son, THOMAS MORGAN (1664 - 1700), who died without issue, the property passing to his brother, JOHN MORGAN (1670 - 1719/20), the fourth son of William Morgan. He was appointed custos rotulorum for Monmouthshire in 1700 and lord lieutenant of Brecknock and Monmouthshire in 1715. He was a strong supporter of the Whigs and represented Monmouthshire in parliament from 1701 till his death. On the death of his uncle, John Morgan, in 1715 he became lord of the manor and lordship of Gwynllwg. This John Morgan, known as 'the merchant', was the fourth son of Thomas Morgan of Machen and Tredegar by Elizabeth, his second wife. He amassed a large fortune in London and purchased Rhiwpera, where he retired to live. He was high sheriff of Monmouthshire in 1697 and Member of Parliament for the borough, 1701-5. In 1710 he purchased, for £9,000 the lordship and manor of Gwynllwg, which had to be sold by a decree of Chancery for the payment of the debts of the late earl of Pembroke. He made his nephew his heir. John Morgan was succeeded by his eldest son Sir WILLIAM MORGAN (1700 - 1731). He was Member of Parliament for Monmouthshire, 1722-31, and created a Knight of the Bath on the revival of that order in 1725. He was succeeded by his eldest son WILLIAM MORGAN (1725 - 1763) who was Member of Parliament for Monmouthshire from 1747 till his death. He was unmarried and, as his other brothers had predeceased him, the succession devolved upon his uncle, THOMAS MORGAN (1702 - 1769) of Rhiwpera, known as the 'general.' He was Member of Parliament for the borough of Brecon, 1723-34, for Monmouthshire, 1734-47, and for Brecknock, 1747-69. He held the office of Judge-Advocate General, 1741-68. He was succeeded by his eldest son, THOMAS MORGAN, the younger, of Rhiwpera (1727 - 1771), who was Member of Parliament for the borough of Brecon, 1754-63, and for Monmouthshire from 1763 till his death. He was unmarried and was succeeded in his estates by his brother, CHARLES MORGAN of Dderw (1736 - 1787), who was Member of Parliament for the borough of Brecon, 1763-69, and Brecknock, 1769 till his death. He was without issue and so was succeeded by his brother, JOHN MORGAN of Dderw (1741/2 - 1792). He was Member of Parliament for the borough of Brecon, 1769-71, and was returned for Monmouthshire in 1771, when the peace of the county was disturbed by the unusual event of a contested election, in which a 'nabob,' Valentine Morris of Piercefield, dared to challenge the supremacy of the house of Morgan. He suffered no further opposition and continued to represent the county till he died, 25 June 1792. On his death the male line became extinct and his elder sister, JANE, became the last heir of Tredegar. She was married to Sir CHARLES GOULD (1726 - 1806), the elder son of king Gould of Westminster, the deputy judge advocate, who died in 1756. Sir Charles Gould was appointed Judge-Advocate General in 1771, was made chancellor of Salisbury in 1772 and chamberlain of Brecknock, Radnor, and Glamorgan. He was Member of Parliament for the borough of Brecon, 1778-87, and represented the county from 1787 till his death. He was knighted in 1779 and made a baronet, 15 November 1792. On the following day he assumed the surname and arms of Morgan (see D.N.B.). He was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir CHARLES MORGAN, bart. (1760 - 1846). He was Member of Parliament for the borough of Brecon, 1787-96, and for Monmouthshire, 1796-1831. In 1818 he unsuccessfully contested Brecknock against colonel Thomas Wood. He was famed for his liberality and did much to promote agriculture in Breconshire and Monmouthshire.

Among his children by his first wife were CHARLES MORGAN ROBINSON MORGAN (1792 - 1875), the first baron Tredegar, CHARLES AUGUSTUS SAMUEL MORGAN (1800 - 1875), the rector of Machen and chancellor of Llandaff cathedral, and Charles Octavius Swinnerton Morgan. C. M. R. Morgan was Member of Parliament for the borough of Brecon, 1812-18, 1830-2, and 1835-47. He succeeded his father as third bart., 5 December 1846 and was raised to the peerage, 16 April 1859. The sons of the first lord Tredegar were CHARLES RODNEY MORGAN (1828 - 1854), who was Member of Parliament for the borough of Brecon, 1852-4, GODFREY CHARLES MORGAN (1831 - 1913), the 2nd baron, and FREDERICK COURTENAY MORGAN of Rhiwpera castle (1834 - 1909).

The two younger sons served in the Crimean War and the 2nd lord Tredegar, then a captain in the 17th Lancers, took part in the famous cavalry charge at Balaclava. He was Member of Parliament for Brecknock from 1858 till he succeeded to the title in 1875. He was created viscount TREDEGAR, 28 December 1905.

He died unmarried, 11 March 1913, when the viscounty became extinct, but the barony devolved on his nephew, COURTENAY CHARLES EVAN MORGAN (1867 - 1934), the eldest son of F. C. Morgan, as 3rd baron. He was created viscount TREDEGAR, 4 August 1926. He was succeeded by his only son, EVAN FREDERICK MORGAN (1893 - 1949), as 4th baron and 2nd viscount.


Published date: 1959

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