MORGAN, William (by 1525-82), of Caerleon, Llantarnam and Pentrebach, Mon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1525, s. of John Morgan (d.1524/25) of Caerleon. m. 1549, Elizabeth, da. of Sir Rhys Mansell of Margam, Glam., 2s. inc. Edward 1da.1

Offices Held

?Subsidy collector, 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


William Morgan was a nephew of Sir William Morgan of Pencoed (d.1542) and cousin to Sir Thomas Morgan and Giles Morgan. His father had been a man of some note who served in the French war of 1513, was for a time at Calais and became constable of Newport castle in 1522.3

Of Morgan’s early career all that has been discovered is his probable service as a subsidy collector at Newport under Henry VIII and as a commissioner there for the relief in 1550. Wider public activity followed his purchase in May 1554 of the site and house of the Cistercian abbey at Llantarnam, which he adapted as a residence. Three years later he and a man from Gloucestershire, bought for £1,600 the reversion of the nearby manor of Magna Porta, in Llantarnam, with various small outliers in other counties, and in 1558 with a Londoner he paid £98 for the manor of Edlogan in Panteg, and items elsewhere.4

It was thus as a rising figure in the shire that Morgan was chosen one of its knights in the last two Marian Parliaments. The only bearer of his surname to sit in either of them, he must have been the ‘Mr. Morgayne’ who in 1555 followed the lead of Sir Anthony Kingston by voting against one of the government’s bills; in this he appears to have parted company with his fellow-knight and relative William Herbert IV. Morgan delivered the writ for the election two years later when, despite Herbert’s claim that both men were re-elected, Francis Somerset (q.v) and Morgan were returned. Morgan perhaps availed himself of the opportunity as bearer of the writ to ensure his own election in the event of Somerset’s nomination. However, relations between Morgan and Herbert were not harmed by the dispute over the election. For the remaining 24 years of his life Morgan was active in local affairs, becoming sheriff twice and serving once more in Parliament. He died on 29 Mar. 1582.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: P. S. Edwards


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from father’s death. Bradney, Mon. iii(2), 231, 264; G. T. Clark, Limbus Patrum Morganiae, 322; W. de Gray Birch, Cat. Penrice and Margam Abbey, iv(1), 5; LP Hen. VIII, iv.
  • 2. E179/148/18; CPR, 1553, p. 360; 1554-5, p. 72; 1560-3, p. 444; 1563-6, pp. 28, 41; APC, vii. 285; R. Flenley, Cal. Reg. Council, Marches of Wales, 69, 109, 126, 137.
  • 3. G. B. Morgan, Hist. and Gen. Mems. Morgan Fam. 6-14.
  • 4. CPR, 1553-4, p. 370; 1557-8, pp. 218, 415; Bradney, iii(2), 227.
  • 5. Guildford mus. Loseley 1331/2; E159/338, Easter 48; C142/196/16.