MORGAN, William III (c.1525-1602), of Chilworth, Surr.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1525, o.s. of Richard Morgan of Chilworth by Joan, or Jane, da. of Robert Wintershall of Wintershall, nr. Bramley. m. (1)1 Elizabeth, da. of John Thetcher of Presthawes, Westham, Suss., 1s. 4da.; (2)2 Katherine, da. of Sir Roger Lewknor, wid. of John Mills of Grentham. Suss., 1da.; (3) by 1585 Julian(a).3

Offices Held

Commr. musters, Surr. by 1573, j.p. from c.1582-7, rest. by 1592; commr. recusancy 1590s.


Morgan’s grandfather, Henry Morgan of Pencoed, moved to Surrey on his marriage to a Gunter heiress. Their main property was the manor of Chilworth, near Guildford, and they also held Tyting manor in the same parish, Utworth manor at Cranleigh, and Puttenham manor, near Loseley. Morgan’s return for Haslemere in 1586 may have been at least approved of and perhaps arranged by (Sir) William More I. His prominence as a commander of the local musters suggests that Morgan may have had some experience as a professional soldier in his youth. Many of the surviving references to him are concerned with land transactions. In about 1578, for example, he and Richard Hill acquired the manor of Abinger. He bought a share in Paddington Bray, another manor in Abinger parish, at about the same date, and also, at one time, owned a part of Westbrook, near Godalming. These and other properties resulted in a high subsidy assessment of £36 in 1593. Among many routine duties as a local justice, two or three of some interest can be found. On one occasion he and several of his colleagues were ordered by the Privy Council to restrain an Italian from building near Guildford a ‘glass house’ or factory for producing glass, the inhabitants of Guildford and Godalming being afraid that the woods were ‘like to be consumed to the hurt of those towns and the whole country thereabouts’. Why he was dropped from the commission of the peace in 1587 is not known, but he was soon restored and was thenceforth also active as a recusancy commissioner. Once he was asked to search the house of old Lady Montagu, widow of the first Viscount, the investigation to be conducted ‘with regard to the quality of the lady’.4

Morgan died intestate 10 Dec. 1602. He was buried in St. Martha’s church, high on the North Downs above his home. A monument, with 24 lines of bad verse carved upon it, was erected to his memory. His inquisition post mortem, taken at Dorking in August 1603, shows that he had made precise provision for the disposal of his property at the time of his only son’s marriage in 1585. The son, John, who was knighted by Lord Admiral Howard at Cadiz in 1596, received some lands as a marriage settlement and was to inherit the rest on the death of his father’s third wife. Letters of administration were granted in 1603.5

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: M.R.P.


  • 1. The first two marriages may have been in the reverse order.
  • 2. The first two marriages may have been in the reverse order.
  • 3. Vis. Surr. (Harl. Soc. xliii), 33-4; Manning and Bray, Surr. ii. 118, where the first wife is given as Elizabeth Hager, not Thetcher.
  • 4. Lansd. 35, f. 135; 121, f. 68; E163/14/8; Hatfield ms 278; VCH Surr. iii. 36, 88, 104, 105, 131, 133; Manning and Bray, ii. 19, 117, 137-8, 142; Surr. Arch. Colls. xix. 82; HMC 7th Rep. 642b; APC, xxiv. 328-9; HMC Hatfield, xi. 170; Surr. Musters (Surr. Rec. Soc.), 174, 179, 180, 211, 215, 218, 299, 311, 314, 321, 323; HMC Foljambe, 82.
  • 5. Surr. Arch. Colls. xlvi. 31 n; Manning and Bray, ii. 120; Wards 7/28/165.