MORGAN, Sir Thomas (by 1509-65), of Pencoed, Mon.
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Family and Education
b. by 1509, 1st s. of Sir William Morgan of Pencoed, and bro. of Giles Morgan. m. by 1543, Cecily, da. of (Sir) George Herbert of Swansea, Glam., 5s. inc. Sir William† 1da.; 2da. illegit. suc. fa. 1542. Kntd. 30 Sept. 1544.1
Gent. pens. 1540-4; chief steward of lordship of Machen, Newport and Wentlwg 1542; j.p. Mon. 1543-d. commr. subsidy 1545, goods of churches and fraternities 1553; sheriff 1547-8, 1558-9.2
The Morgan family of Pencoed claimed descent from Cadifor Fawr, lord of Cilsant. After a spell in the royal household Thomas Morgan’s father entered the service of Princess Mary, where he rose to be vice-chamberlain of her establishment at Ludlow. In 1530 Thomas Morgan was a co-defendant with his father in a case heard before the council in the marches, where the vicar of Llanvihangel Roggiett alleged that Morgan had removed the tithe corn and one of Morgan’s brothers had tried to oust him from the vicarage. These charges Sir William Morgan met by declaring that he and his sons had been acting on the instructions of the bishop of Llandaff, but the case went against them.3
Thomas Morgan followed his father into the royal service, becoming one of the first members of the gentlemen pensioners, and replaced Sir William in local management on his death. In 1544 Morgan served in the French campaign, being knighted at the fall of Boulogne. His combination of local standing and court connexion made him a natural choice as a knight of the shire in the Parliament of 1547 and immediately after his election he was pricked sheriff; his brother Giles was returned on the same occasion for Monmouth Boroughs. This was, however, to be the only Parliament in which either of them sat, and after it little appears to be known about them. In 1555 Morgan was named a feoffee for Giles and between 1556 and 1558 he was sued by Dr. John Smith, collector of tithes for Cardinal Pole in the diocese of Llandaff, over the tithes of the benefice of Caldicot.4
Morgan had made his will on 28 June 1544, presumably on the eve of his departure for the French war. He left 500 marks from the manor of Langstone for the advancement of his daughter Florence’s marriage, and £40 to each of his bastard daughters Jane and Mary for their marriage. He named Edward Lewis and Walter ap Robert executors and his mother and wife overseers; among the witnesses was his brother Giles. Morgan died on 5 June 1565, and the will was proved a year later. Shortly after his knighting he had been assessed at Pencoed on lands worth £140 a year, a figure raised in his inquisition to £188, but as he died in debt to the crown to the tune of £2,000 the lands were extended to meet this liability.5
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: P. S. Edwards
- 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Bradney, Mon. iv(2), 213; G. T. Clark, Limbus Patrum Morganiae, 320-1; PCC 16 Crymes; G. B. Morgan, Hist. and Gen. Mems. Morgan Fam. ii. 169-72; LP Hen. VIII, xix.
- 2. LP Hen. VIII, xv, xvii-xx; CPR, 1547-8, p. 86; 1553, p. 418; 1560-3, p. 444; 1563-6, pp. 28, 41; E179/148/3; SP11/5/6.
- 3. Clark, 310; DWB (Morgan fam. of Tredegar); LP Hen. VIII, ii-iv, xiii; St.Ch.2/21/194.
- 4. LP Hen. VIII, xv, xix; CPR, 1555-7, p. 95; C1/1469/51.
- 5. PCC 16 Crymes; Morgan, 170-1; C142/143/73; Wards 9/317 (8 Eliz., no. 75); Augmentations (Univ. Wales Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law ser. xiii), 264.