GOULD (afterwards MORGAN), Charles (1760-1846), of Ruperra, Glam. and Tredegar, Mon.
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Family and Education
b. 4 Feb. 1760, 1st s. of Sir Charles Gould* by Jane, da. of Thomas Morgan†. educ. Westminster 1771-4. m. 6 Apr. 1791, Mary Margaret, da. of Capt. George Stoney, RN, 4s. 4da. Took name of Morgan 16 Nov. 1792 and suc. mother to Tredegar estate of her bro. John Morgan* 1797; fa. as 2nd Bt. 6 Dec. 1806.
Ensign, 2 Ft. Gds. 1777, lt. and capt. 1781, capt. and lt.-col. 1790, ret. 1792; lt.-col. commdt. Tredegar and Ruperra vol. inf. 1798, colt. Mon. vols. 1803, lt.-col. commdt. W. Mon. militia 1808-16.
Dir. Equitable Assurance 1804, pres. 1807.
In 1792 Gould gave up his military career on inheriting the fortune of his uncle John Morgan and taking his mother’s name. He sat on that ancient family interest for Brecon and from 1796, when he was returned for both seats, for Monmouthshire.1 Like his father, he voted against Pitt during the Regency crisis but after 1790 gave a general support to each administration. In 1791 it was thought that his uncle John Morgan would decide his vote on Test Act repeal. In February 1806, when his father resigned office, the old gentleman assured Lord Grenville that neither he nor his son was ‘unfavourably disposed to the present administration’ and renewed his application for a peerage, which he never obtained.2 Morgan voted with ministers for the repeal of Pitt’s Additional Force Act, 30 Apr. 1806. On his father’s death in December 1806, he was permitted, on account of his wife’s illness, to retain for a time possession of the official residence in Downing Street.3 But when in December 1807 he received a circular from government requesting his attendance in Parliament, he complained that government had kept him in suspense about the house, which, he understood, was now required for the president of the Board of Control. After a reference to his father’s services ‘unnoticed and unmarked by any tribute of approbation’ and to his own ‘daily attendance’, he concluded that he would in future consult his own convenience. Spencer Perceval* wrote to mollify him, and the Duke of Portland informed Perceval that he had promised Morgan to further his ambition for a peerage if possible and thought
that it is the want of the peerage and not the loss of the house that influences his conduct ... and did he not flatter himself that his apparent dissatisfaction might be the means of approximating the peerage, you would not have received such an answer to your application for his attendance in Parliament.4
Morgan did not receive a peerage then, or on a further application in April 1814,5 and seems to have studied his own convenience about attendance, though when present he continued to support ministers. On 5 and 30 Mar. 1810 he voted with government on the Scheldt expedition and the Whigs listed him ‘Government’ at that time: so did the Treasury in 1813. He approved Lord Liverpool’s administration,6 though he spoke against the leather tax, 18 May 1813, and spoke and voted with the majority against the renewal of the property tax, 12 and 18 Mar. 1816. He was an opponent of Catholic relief, 2 Mar., 24 May 1813, and 9 May 1817. He voted for the suspension of habeas corpus, 23 June 1817, and against Tierney’s censure motion, 18 May 1819. He occasionally spoke on local issues, in which he was very much involved, opposing an alteration in the Brecknock Canal Act and another in the coal duties. On 1 May 1818 he presented a Birmingham petition in favour of the prevention of bank-note forgery.
Morgan became immensely wealthy, with growing assets from the industrial development of Monmouthshire: in 1820 he was reckoned to be worth £40,000 p.a.7 He was an agricultural improver and a scrupulous benefactor of the poor. He retired in 1831 and died 5 Dec. 1846.
Ref Volumes: 1790-1820
Author: R. G. Thorne
- 1. R. D. Rees, ‘Parl. Rep. S. Wales 1790-1830’ (Reading Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1962), ii. 408.
- 2. Fortescue mss, Morgan to Grenville, 21 Feb. 1806.
- 3. Ibid. Morgan to Townshend, 25 Dec. 1806.
- 4. Perceval (Holland) mss B11, B12; Portland mss PwV114 (patronage book, peerages).
- 5. NLW, Tredegar mss, 49/91, 92.
- 6. Add. 40395, f. 91.
- 7. Wraxall Mems. ed. Wheatley, v. 328-30.