MORGAN, William II (by 1525-82), of Llantarnam, Mon.
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Family and Education
?Collector of subsidy, Newport 1544; commr. relief, Mon. 1550, piracy 1565, 1577, musters 1570, victuals 1574, tanneries 1574; j.p. 1555-d.; sheriff 1567-8, 1572-3.2
Morgan made a fortunate marriage and subsequently thrice represented his county in Parliament. He voted against a government measure in 1555, was nevertheless elected to Mary’s last Parliament, missed the first two Elizabethan Parliaments, was elected to that of 1571 without leaving any trace in its records, and was defeated in 1572 through the partiality of the sheriff.3
He was famous for the hospitality he dispensed at his mansion near Caerleon, built largely of material from Llantarnam abbey. In 1566 he completed the purchase of large neighbouring estates by buying Caerleon park from the 1st Earl of Pembroke. He and his family built and endowed Caerleon free school, and Morgan’s widow founded an almshouse.
Morgan had a long career as a local official, but he appears not to have been an entirely satisfactory piracy commissioner. In December 1576 he and a relative, Rowland Morgan, failed to seize a pirate ship at Newport, and according to Dr. Lewis, judge of the Admiralty court, refused to help those officials who were trying to take action against the pirates. Both Morgans had to appear before the Council in London to answer these charges.4
Morgan’s religious position is not clear. He could hardly have avoided taking the oath of supremacy if it had been tendered to him, but his name was on a list of Catholics drawn up by Bishop Blethyn in 1577, and his son and heir was an open recusant. He made his will in November 1581, and died 29 Mar. 1582. The widow was to have a £100 annuity as well as a house and lands, and the sole executor, Morgan’s son Edward, was to have the help of three overseers, including Sir Edward Mansell. The will was proved in April 1582 and the inquisition post mortem valued the landed property at over £155 p.a.5
Ref Volumes: 1558-1603
- 1. Clark, Limbus, 322; Cal. Penrice and Margam Abbey Mss, ed. Birch, iv. 5.
- 2. Lansd. 35, f. 79; 146, f. 20.
- 3. Guildford Mus. Loseley 1331/2; St. Ch. 5/M13/5, M31/39.
- 4. T. Churchyard, Worthiness of Wales, passim; Birch, loc. cit.; Bradney, Mon. iii(2), pp. 227-8, 264; CPR, 1557-8, pp. 218, 415; 1558-60, p. 188; 1563-6, p. 362; G. B. Morgan, Mems. Morgan Fam. ii. 112-18; Flenley, Cal. Reg. Council, Marches of Wales, 108-9, 124-6; APC, vii. 285; ix. 268, 333, 339; xiii. 115; Lansd. 145, f. 20; CSP Dom. 1547-80, pp. 532, 543.
- 5. J. H. Canning, ‘Mon. in Penal Days’ (Newport Lib. ms); E. E. Havill, ‘Parl. Rep. Mon.’ (Univ. Coll. Cardiff MA thesis, 1949), pp. 18 seq.; PCC 14 Tirwhite; C142/196/16; G. B. Morgan, i. 23-4, 27.