MORGAN, Edward I (1560-1634), of Llantarnam and Pentrebach, Mon.
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Family and Education
b. 1560, 1st s. of William Morgan II of Llantarnam by Elizabeth, da. of Sir Rhys Mansell of Margam, Glam. m. (1) Elizabeth, da. of Hugh Smith† of Long Ashton, Som., 4s.; (2) Margery, da. of Hugh Hassel, 3s. 2da. suc. fa. 1582.
J.p. Mon. from c.1582, sheriff 1582-3, 1601-2.
Connected through his mother with the wealthy Mansells of Margam, and brother-in-law to Sir William Herbert of St. Julian’s (his fellow MP for Monmouthshire 1584), Edward aimed still higher and married his son into the princely house of Raglan. Though of suspect religion and with recusant connexions, Morgan served as j.p., sheriff and knight of the shire, in which latter capacity he could have served on the subsidy committee 24 Feb. 1585. He contributed his quota (with three other Monmouthshire gentry), towards resisting the Spanish landing at Kinsale in 1601. In the second year of the next reign he was convicted of recusancy, and after the Gunpowder Plot refused the new oath of allegiance. The penalty was the loss of two-thirds of his revenues; but in 1607 he compounded at £20 a month, and five years later, when pressure was off, he was pardoned and told that the oath would not be tendered to him again.
The protection of the Earl of Worcester relieved him of some of the other penalties of recusancy. In 1613-16 he was exempt for three periods of six months each from the ban on travel imposed on his co-religionists. This enabled him to take steps in the Exchequer against tenants and neighbours who since his first conviction had been taking advantage of his legal insecurity to encroach on his manors and challenge his manorial rights. It also made possible periodic visits to Bath for his health. Morgan seems to have been left in peace for the rest of his life, nor did his descendants sit in Parliament again till 1680, though the estate remained, despite all pains and penalties, a rich and important one, capable of sustaining a baronetcy in 1642 and fines for ‘delinquency’ amounting to over £900 a year after the war. Allegiance to the ancestral faith was maintained till his great-grandson’s time; the family died out in the early eighteenth century.
Bradney, Mon. iii. 230-1; Cath. Rec. Soc.xiii. 111; xxii. 95; S. Wales and Mon. Rec. Soc. iv. 108; APC, xxxii. 280; Lansd. 43, anon. jnl. f. 171; Exchequer, ed. T.I.J. Jones (Univ. Wales Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law ser. xv), 244, 257; CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 352; 1611-18, p. 137; 1628-9, p. 527; APC, 1613-14, pp. 44, 484; 1615-16, p. 438.