GOULD (afterwards MORGAN), Sir Charles (1726-1806), of Tredegar, Mon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



23 Apr. 1778 - June 1787
20 June 1787 - 1806

Family and Education

b. 25 Apr. 1726, 1st s. of King Gould of Westminster, dep. judge adv.-gen., by Elizabeth, da. of Charles Shaw of Besthorpe, Norf. educ. Westminster 1735; Christ Church, Oxf. 1743; L. Inn 1743, called 1750. m. 18 Feb. 1758, Jane. da. of Thomas Morgan of Tredegar, sis. and h. of John Morgan*, 3s. 2da. suc. fa. 1756; kntd. 5 May 1779; suc. bro.-in-law John Morgan 27 June 1792 and took name of Morgan by royal lic. 16 Nov. 1792; cr. Bt. 15 Nov. 1792.

Offices Held

Dep. judge adv.-gen. 1754-69; judge adv.-gen. 1769-Feb. 1806; chancellor, diocese of Salisbury 1772-99; chamberlain, Brecon circuit 1779-d.; PC 22 Sept. 1802.

Member, board of agriculture 1793-d.; pres. Equitable Assurance 1774-d.


As heir through his wife of the Morgans of Tredegar, Gould represented Breconshire, which was their preserve. Generally inclined to support administration, he had voted with his brother-in-law against Pitt over the Regency. By 1790 he was back on the government side, though his defection was not forgotten by Pitt, who did not seek his advice as a rule. He appears to have displayed little interest in national politics and rarely spoke in the House except on his business as judge advocate, but was always attentive to local interests and the needs of his constituents’.1 In 1791 he was listed hostile to the repeal of the Test Act in Scotland.

Having in 1792 obtained possession of the Morgan estates, which commanded three seats in the House of Commons, Gould was transmogrified into Sir Charles Morgan, Bt., and stood in awe of his wealth. The Oracle newspaper cryptically reported on 3 July 1795: ‘Whoever looks for the chateau of Sir Charles G. M-g-n, one of the richest men in England, may repair to a room on the second floor of a little lodging house at Islington!’. On 3 June 1801 The Times reported that he would be made a peer. In 1806 he estimated his net income, apart from that of his son, at £11,000 a year. Yet he retained his office of judge advocate-general until then, despite an increase in court martial business as a result of the French wars and the union with Ireland, which he was not always competent to handle. Among his critics was the King.2 On 7 June 1804 he symptomatically called on the House to provide for its deputy serjeant-at-arms John Clementson, who was retiring after 35 years’ service. His own long service, his restraint in not asking for an increase in salary, his attachment to government, his wealth and his parliamentary interest, were the grounds on which he based his claim to a peerage in August 1804.3 Repeated applications to Pitt’s successor Lord Grenville brought only disappointment and vexation, and eventually he resigned his office without a quid pro quo, February 1806.4

Morgan left Parliament at the dissolution and died on 6 Dec. 1806.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. R. D. Rees, ‘Parl. Rep. S. Wales 1790-1830’ (Reading Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1962), ii. 404.
  • 2. Rose Diaries, ii. 160; cf. Heron, Notes (1851), 38.
  • 3. PRO 30/8/161, ff. 60, 62.
  • 4. Fortescue mss, Morgan to Grenville 8, 19, 21, 22, 25 Feb., 18 Mar., 28 May, 29 Oct., 3 Nov. 1806.