MORGAN, Meredith (-d.1638), of Suffolk House, Westminster and Aberhafesp, Mont.
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Family and Education
o.s. of Morgan ap Meredith of Aberhafesp and Ellen verch Howel Goch of Maesmawr, Llandinam, Mont. m. by 1622, Elizabeth, da. of Matthew Price of Park, Mont. (d.12 Feb. 1647), 4s., 2da. d. 25 Jan. 1638.1 sig. Meredith Morgan.
Sec. to Thomas Howard, 1st earl of Suffolk by 1611-18.2
Morgan has been identified by his signature, the hand of Suffolk’s secretary being an exact match with that of the Montgomeryshire gentleman. His family traced their pedigree back to Seysyllt, prince of Merioneth, but Morgan’s inheritance comprised no more than a dozen farms in the uppermost reaches of the Severn valley. By 1611 he was employed as secretary to the earl of Suffolk, whose uncle Henry Howard, earl of Northampton had acquired the nearby lordship of Clun, Shropshire in 1604. The Howards’ political influence at Court reached its height in 1614, while Morgan’s return for Berwick at the general election that year is explained by the recent match between Suffolk’s eldest son, Theophilus Howard, Lord Walden*, and the heiress of the king’s Scottish favourite, George Home, earl of Dunbar: the latter’s extensive estates in Berwick, Norhamshire and the Cheviot Hills, which had escheated to the Crown upon his death in 1611, were granted to Lord Walden in January 1614.7
Morgan left no trace on the surviving records of the Addled Parliament, and his only subsequent connection with the Borders was as procurer of a passport for two of the sons of Lancelot Carnaby of Halton, Northumberland in February 1615. During Suffolk’s tenure as lord chamberlain, Morgan handled the finances of several Court masques, while in 1612-13 he and Arnold Herbert*, another of Suffolk’s secretaries, received a Crown grant of the lordship of Oswestry, Shropshire and other lands on behalf of their master.8 Morgan doubtless left Suffolk’s service shortly after the latter’s disgrace in July 1618, and appears only once more in government records in 1625, when he surrendered a reversion of the office of examiner to the Council in the Marches to Sampson Eure*.
Morgan spent the rest of his life in his native shire, where he prospered by local standards: in 1625 he purchased 320 acres of former Crown land in Ceri, Montgomeryshire from Arnold Herbert; while at his death he had £600 out on loan to relatives and neighbours.9 In 1627 Morgan served as one of the collectors of the Montgomeryshire Forced Loan; the county paid only 61 per cent of its quota, a disappointing performance, while Morgan’s share only reached the Exchequer in January 1628, just as the levy was being abandoned.10 In the early 1630s he played a leading role in a consortium purchasing the Crown interest in the lordship of Arwystli, Montgomeryshire, perhaps partly because of his existing contacts with the Westminster scrivener Thomas Powell, who named Morgan an executor of his will in 1634.11 Morgan settled his own estates in December 1636, just after the end of his term as sheriff of Montgomeryshire, providing for each of his six children. Still engaged in litigation as late as August 1637, he drafted a codicil to his will at the turn of the year, and died on 25 Jan. 1638, his wife obtaining probate on 19 April. His descendants continued to live in Aberhafesp for the rest of the century, but none sat in Parliament.12
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Author: Simon Healy
- 1. Dwnn, Vis. Wales ed. S.R. Meyrick, i. 299-300; PROB 11/176, ff. 300-2; 11/201, ff. 143-4; C142/570/150; NLW, CPD 612, f. 20v (Aberhafesp par. reg.).
- 2. CSP Dom. 1611-18, p. 103; HMC Downshire, vi. 342.
- 3. C202/22/21, 23; E179/222/396.
- 4. JPs in Wales and Monm. ed. Phillips, 138-42.
- 5. C193/12/2; E401/1388.
- 6. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 263.
- 7. S.J. Watts, Border to Middle Shire, 138-9, 154, 183-4.
- 8. APC, 1615-16, p. 53; CSP Dom. 1611-18, pp. 103, 115, 213, 254; C66/1967/5, 66/2001/16.
- 9. CSP Dom. 1611-18, p. 379; 1625-6, pp. 154, 514; E112/276/13.
- 10. E401/1914; S. Healy, ‘Oh, what a lovely war?’, Canadian Jnl. of Hist. xxxvii. 455, 463.
- 11. PROB 11/176, ff. 301-2; C2/Jas.I/P23/36; E112/276/13, 38; C2/Chas.I/P26/37; C8/39/55; CSP Dom. 1636-7, p. 483.
- 12. PROB 11/176, ff. 300-2; E112/276/42; C142/570/150.