Saturday, February 04, 2012

History of the Morgans (12): Thomas Morgan (d. 1603)

The sinking of Miles Morgan's ship Red Lion of Newport, with the loss of all hands, heralded another period of uncertainty for the Morgans of Tredegar. Since Miles was declared an 'outlaw' on his death, his estate was due to be sequestrated. Once again, the Morgans seemed to have lost Tredegar, and once again they managed to bounce back. A resilient bunch.

Technically the Tredegar Estate should have passed directly to the childless Miles' brother-in-law, Thomas (the son of the Roman Catholic, Rowland Morgan), who lived at Machen. The sequestration muddied the waters considerably, as did the fact that nobody seems to have done anything about said sequestration. After the declaration there seems to have been much thumb twiddling and whistling, but very little sequestrating. This might well have given Thomas valuable time in which to plan his response.

Fortunately for the Morgans, Thomas was the ideal person to head the family at a time of legal strife. He had spent ten years, (1567-1577) at The Middle Temple. At this period The Middle Temple was attended not just by those who wished to pursue a legal career, but also by the sons of the nobility and gentry, who wished to gain a polished education. It was an academic establishment which, understandably, focussed heavily on legal training. These legal studies would serve Thomas Morgan of Machen well in the struggle that was to come.

Whether hatched by Thomas or not (the likelihood is that it was) a remarkable 'conspiracy of ignorance' was launched when the gears of sequestration finally started to grind into motion. Tredegar, and all its contents, had to be valued. The problem was, nobody seemed to remember anything that was in the House. The authorities must have thought that they had found the right man to assist them in Phillip Madock of Mendellgyffe; after all, Master Madock had earlier prepared an inventory of the mansion. Alas, it would seem Madock was becoming rather forgetful. He had a poor memory regarding the contents of Tredegar House but, ever helpful, although he couldn't remember how many silver cups there were at Tredegar, he "thought there was a salt."

The eventual result of all this was that Thomas Morgan eventually succeeded to the Tredegar Estate. A document of 1584 states that he 'repossessed land of the deceased outlaw, Miles Morgan, on the payment of £5565'. His Middle Temple education had served him well.

Thomas went on to serve as Sheriff of the county in 1582, and as Member of Parliament for Monmouthshire in 1588-89. He married Elizabeth Bodenham of Hereford (the second Morgan-Bodenham match-up) and they had issue, thus securing the line. Thomas's brother Henry was set up at Llanrumney. It has been suggested that from this Henry's line descended the famous Sir Henry Morgan of the next century.

Thomas died in 1603. Presumably leaving behind a very detailed inventory of his possessions to his eldest son. And almost certainly "a salt."

Click to view previous chapters in this series:
11. Miles Morgan d. 1578
10. William Morgan d. 1569
9. John Morgan d. 1513
8. Sir Morgan ap John d. c1504
7. Sir John Morgan d. c1492
6. Ieuan ap Llywelyn ap Morgan
5. Llywelyn ap Morgan (lost Tredegar in 1402)
4. Morgan ap Llywelyn d. c1384
3. Ifor Hael of Gwern y Cleppa
2. Llywelyn ap Ifor and Angharad
1. Sir Morgan ap Maredudd d. c1331

11 comments:

Mark L said...

Super stuff! I'm from Hereford so am fascinated by the Morgan-Bodenham family links. Why two marriages in that century, do you think?

Paul Busby said...

Thanks for the comment Mark. These inter-family marriage arrangements were not uncommon between aristocratic families in this period. The Morgans had a matrimonial deal with the Mansel family of Margam in the 17th century, whereby a Morgan son would marry a Mansel daughter, and a Mansel son would marry a Morgan daughter.

It didn't quite go according to plan, as we will see.

house cleaner in salt lake said...

The history tells a lot of good past. We can learn in any past happenings.

Chris said...

Hi Paul, how delightful to have a blog about Tredegar House. My first husband was from Crosskeys area and ended his days in Newport. I never did visit Tredegar House myself but he might have. I was born and raised in Cardiff and then emigrated to Canada in 1970. Lovely to meet you. I keep in contact with my sister-in-law and she lives in Newport. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

carpet cleaning chandler said...

A very interesting topic. I should research more about it.

Traylor Morgan said...

Thank you for this wonderful site
it is a beautiful home .
The Morgan Family love what your doing . I'am One of the last direct decendents with out a male offspring at My end it will be Last Morgan .
My brother Joel A. Morgan died leaving a son Jerremy W Morgan and he has a son As Blood decendent. Now there should be Llywelyn's . not sure about that side of the Family , i have only found one contact . Thank You
From Traylor Michell Morgan

Traylor Morgan said...

I Have With The Help of my nephew Jerremy W. Morgan Have Searched the Family back to the Irish Kings Dating Back 940 B.C. to Eochu Feidlech then Looked
up that name took it to 210 B.C.
Fionn Macfionnloch Henna .
So We have Gone this far Thinking of the D N A Long Line Just to see where it go's Traylor Morgan

Annette said...

I'm reading The Welsh by Terry Breverton for review. In Breverton's book he gives much information on the Morgan family.
I'm also a descendant of William Morgan 1594-1671, I believe it was his grandson Charles Morgan 1680-1766 that began the lineage for my side of the Morgan family.
I'm so glad to have found your blog.
Thank you.
Annette of http://impressionsinink.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I too am related to the Morgan's,apparently my great great great great( not sure how many greats!) uncle was captain Henry Morgan. I've only just found this out so I'm unsure of the ins and outs but my sister and mum have researched it

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Thai Food is also very testy. You can get here all Food Recipes in this site.

Chinese Food Recipes