MORGAN, Sir John, 2nd Bt. (c.1650-93), of Kinnersley Castle, Herefs.
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Family and Education
b. c.1650, 1st s. of Sir Thomas Morgan, 1st Bt., of Chenston Court, Herefs., and bro. of James Morgan. educ. Lincoln, Oxf. 1667. m. 10 Apr. 1677, Hester, da. and coh. of James Price of Pilleth, Rad., 1s. 4da. suc. fa. 13 Apr. 1679.1
Ensign, Guernsey garrison 1671; capt. of ft. 1672-4, (Dutch army) 1674-9; lt.-col. regt. of Henry Cornewall (later 9 Ft.) 1685-7; capt. Carne’s Ft. Oct. 1688-9; gov. Chester 1689-d.; col. of ft. 1692-d.2
J.p. Rad. 1678-Apr. 1688, Herefs. 1680-Mar. 1688, Mon. to 1681, Herefs. and Rad. Oct. 1688-?d.; commr. for assessment, Herefs., Mon. and Rad. 1679-80, 1689-90; capital burgess, New Radnor by 1681; alderman, Hereford 1682-?Oct. 1688; dep. lt. Herefs. and Rad. 1683-Feb. 1688, Oct. 1688-d.
Morgan’s father became a professional soldier of European reputation, first in the Thirty Years’ War, then with the parliamentary forces in the Civil War. When George Monck marched on London in 1660, he was left in charge of Scotland, and his services to the Restoration were rewarded with a baronetcy and the governorship of Jersey. He owned some property in Herefordshire by 1667, and in 1675 he bought Kinnersley from James Pytts.3
Morgan, like so many of his name, embraced a military career. On the conclusion of peace with Holland in 1674 he transported 30 soldiers to Amsterdam and took service under William of Orange. His wife brought him an interest in Radnorshire, for which one of her family had sat as a Royalist in the Long Parliament, and he defeated a brother of (Sir) Edward Harley at New Radnor in 1681. He leaves no trace on the records of the Oxford Parliament, but probably opposed exclusion, for later in the year he was connected with loyal addresses from both Radnorshire and Herefordshire. With such prominent local Tories as (Sir) John Barneby and Herbert Aubrey he endeavoured to persuade the Hon James Scudamore to divide his interest from the Harleys.4
Morgan was returned unopposed for Herefordshire in 1685, but was again totally inactive. He was one of the justices who put Sir Edward Harley under restriction on Monmouth’s landing. But his opposition to the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws was so notorious that in February 1687 James II ordered the Duke of Beaufort (Henry Somerset) to speak with him, ‘for if he will not comply, of which I do not doubt, he shall no longer be in my pay’. Beaufort reported that he was ‘of the same mind as when spoke to before by the King, but to the test in the affirmative’. Morgan was forced to resign his commission, and was soon afterwards removed from his local posts.5
Morgan took up arms for William of Orange in 1688, and occupied Leominster with Lord Herbert of Chirbury (Hon. Henry Herbert). His loan of £100 was among the largest and promptest made to the new regime from Herefordshire. At the general election of 1689, he was again returned unopposed, though his relations with his colleague Harley were uneasy in the extreme. Not only were the two interests competing on both sides of the border, but the local Whigs were jealous of Morgan’s influence with the new government. Nevertheless, Morgan either followed Harley’s lead in the early divisions of the Convention, including that on the transfer of the crown, or abstained. He was not active, however, his only committee being for a local estate bill. In May he was appointed governor of Chester, and obtained leave from the House on being ordered to repair to his post forthwith to search for Jacobite spies. He was on leave at Christmas, when he informed the Government of false and seditious reports spread abroad in Herefordshire. He continued to sit for the county as a government supporter till his early death on 10 Jan. 1693; his son also represented Herefordshire as a Tory from 1713 till his death.6
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: Edward Rowlands
- 1. Bradney, Mon. i. 254; HMC Ormonde, n.s. v. 57; C. J. Robinson, Mansions and Manors of Herefs. 275; C6/354/24.
- 2. CSP Dom. 1672-3, p. 263; BL Loan 29/80, James Morgan to Sir Edward Harley, 27 Oct. 1692; W. R. Williams, Parl. Hist. Herefs. 57.
- 3. Add. 23088, f. 50; Robinson, Castles of Herefs. 91.
- 4. CSP Dom. 1673-4, p. 451; 1680-1, p. 556; BL Loan 29/183, f. 87.
- 5. HMC Portland, iii. 385; HMC 12th Rep. IX, 90; Ellis Corresp. i. 302; HMC Downshire, i. 242.
- 6. Univ. Intell. 11 Dec. 1688; BL Loan 29/184, f. 120; HMC Le Fleming, 227; HMC Portland, iii. 421-2; CSP Dom. 1689-90, pp. 124, 369.