MORGAN, James (c.1660-1717), of Ayley, Kinnersley, Herefs.
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Family and Education
b. c.1660, 5th but 4th surv. s. of Sir Thomas Morgan, 1st Bt., of Chenston Court, Vowchurch by Delarivière, da. of Richard Cholmondeley of Brame Hall, Spofforth, Yorks.; bro. of Sir John Morgan, 2nd Bt. educ. I. Temple 1680. m. bef. 20 Aug. 1687, Elizabeth, da. and h. of William Matthews of The Postles, Kington, Herefs., ?s.p.1
J.p. Herefs. ?1689-at least 1702, dep. lt. 1689-at least 1701, commr. for assessment 1689-90, capt. of militia by 1691-at least 1694.2
Under his father’s will, Morgan received not only property in Monmouthshire and Herefordshire but £1,000 in cash, and was able to land a neighbouring heiress, who he reckoned could not live ten years. Her father died just before the Revolution, and Morgan took up residence on her property, some five miles from Weobley. He subscribed £30 to the Herefordshire loan to the Prince of Orange in December 1688, and in the following month defeated Robert Price at the poll. But as 11 of his votes were doubtful, his brother thought it wise to establish an interest for him at New Radnor where the election was also in question. However, Price’s petition was withdrawn, and Morgan’s seat in the Convention was not further challenged. He was not an active Member; with his brother, he probably served on the estate bill of the Herefordshire lawyer, Younger Cooke, but Thomas Morgan is more likely to have been named to the politically important committees. Doubtless his main function was to hold a watching brief for his brother, who was frequently called away from the House by his military duties. According to Roger Morrice, there was opposition in the supply committee in December to naming Morgan as assessment commissioner, because he was a great Tory, and ‘in King James’s time declared himself forward to take off the Test and the Penal Laws, and pressed or menaced others to be of the same opinion’. In Parliament, the charge was either disbelieved or disregarded, but it may have cost Morgan his seat at Weobley at the next election. When he returned to the House as Member for Hereford in 1695, he had become estranged from the local Tories by his ungentlemanly behaviour towards John Booth over buying the fee-farm rents on the former Smallman property, and acted chiefly with the Whigs. He died on 9 Nov. 1717, aged 57, a disappointed man, for his wife survived him for many years. The marriage was presumably childless, for Ayley became merged in the Kinnersley Castle estate.3
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: Edward Rowlands
- 1. C. J. Robinson, Mansions and Manors of Herefs. 162, 164; Clay, Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. ii. 445; CSP Dom. 1675-6, p. 120; PCC 72 King, 82 Ent.
- 2. BL Loan 29/41, Sir Edward to Robert Harley, 19 June 1691.
- 3. C5/144/31; BL Loan 29/184, ff. 121, 125; 29/49, Burton to Harley, 31 Jan. 1689; HMC Portland, iii. 426; R. Morrice, Entering Bk. 3, p. 32; Robinson, 275; Harl. 6835, f. 154.