Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Morgan, Anthony
MORGAN, Sir ANTHONY (1621–1668), soldier, born in 1621, was son of Anthony Morgan, D.D., rector of Cottesbrook, Northamptonshire, fellow of Magdalen College, and principal of Alban Hall 1614-1620 (Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1500-1714, iii. 1027). The elder branches of the family were seated in Monmouthshire, where they possessed considerable influence. Anthony matriculated at Oxford from Magdalen Hall on 4 Nov. 1636, was demy of Magdalen College from 1640 until 1646, and graduated B.A. on 6 July 1641 (Bloxam, Reg. of Magd. Coll. v. 172). Upon the outbreak of the civil war he at first bore arms for the king, and was made a captain. The prospect of having his estate sequestered proved, however, little to his liking. He therefore, in March 1645, sent up his wife to inform the committee of both kingdoms that he and Sir Trevor Williams undertook to deliver Monmouthshire and Glamorganshire into the parliament's power if they received adequate support. He also hinted that he ought to be rewarded by the command of a regiment of horse. Colonel (afterwards Sir Edward) Massey [q. v.] was instructed to give him all necessary aid (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1644-1645, p.356). By January 1646 he had performed his task with such conspicuous success that Fairfax was directed to give him a command in his army until a regiment could be found for him in Wales (ib. 1645-7, p. 313), and on 3 Nov. following the order from the lords for taking off his sequestration was agreed to by the commons (Commons' Journals, iv. 713). Morgan, an able, cultured man, soon won the friendship of Fairfax. By Fairfax's recommendation he was created M.D. at Oxford on 8 May 1647 (Wood, Fasti, ed. Bliss, ii. 106). On 8 Oct. 1648 Fairfax wrote to the speaker, Lenthall, asking the commons to pass the ordinance from the lords for indemnifying Morgan for anything done by him in relation to the war, and on 27 Oct. he wrote again, strongly recommending Morgan for service in Ireland (letters in Tanner MS. lvii. 341, 391). Both his requests were granted (Commons' Journals, v. 668), and Morgan became captain in Ireton's regiment of horse (Sprigge, Anglia Rediviva, ed. 1647, p.325). Various grievances existed at the time in the regiment, and the officers, knowing that Morgan could rely on the favour of Fairfax, asked him to forward a petition to the general (his letter to Fairfax, dated from Farnham, Surrey, 16 Oct. 1648, together with the petition, is printed in ' The Moderate,' 1724 Oct. 1648). He took up his command in Ireland about 1649 (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1656-7, p. 103).
In 1651 parliament granted him leave to stay in London for a few weeks to prosecute some chancery suits upon presenting a certificate that he had taken the engagement in Ireland (Commons' Journals, vi. 606); and in 1652, upon his petition, they declared him capable of serving the Commonwealth, notwithstanding his former delinquency (ib. vii. 169). He was then major. From 1654 until 1658 he represented in parliament the counties of Kildare and Wicklow, and in 1659 those of Meath and Louth. He became a great favourite with lord-deputy Henry Cromwell, and when in town corresponded with him frequently. His letters from 1656 to 1659 are preserved in Lansdowne MS. 822. In July 1656 on being sent over specially to inform the Protector of the state of Ireland (Thurloe, State Papers, v. 213), he was knighted at Whitehall. The next year Henry Cromwell requested him to assist Sir Timothy Tyrrell in arranging for the purchase of Archbishop Ussher's library. At the Restoration Charles knighted him, 19 Nov. 1660 (Townsend, Cat. of Knights, p. 49), and appointed him commissioner of the English auxiliaries in the French army. When the Royal Society was instituted Morgan was elected an original fellow, 20 May 1663 (Thomson, Hist. of Roy. Soc. Append, iv. p. ii), and often served on the council. Pepys, who dined with him at Lord Brouncker's [see Brouncker, William, second Viscount Brouncker] in March 1668, thought him a 'very wise man ' (Diary, ed. Braybrooke, 1848, iv. 380). He died in France between 3 Sept. and 24 Nov. 1668, the dates of the making and probate of his will (registered in P. C. C. 143, Hene; cf. Probate Act Book, P. C. C., 1668). Owing to political differences he lived on bad terms with his wife Elizabeth, who, being a staunch republican, objected to her husband turning loyalist.
Contemporary with the above was Anthony Morgan (d. 1665), royalist, son of Sir William Morgan, knt., of Tredegar, Monmouthshire, by Bridget, daughter and heiress of Anthony Morgan of Heyford, Northamptonshire (Baker, Northamptonshire, i. 184). He seems identical with the Anthony Morgan who was appointed by the Spanish ambassador Cardenas, on 9 June 1640, to levy and transport the residue of the two thousand soldiers afforded to him by the king (Hist. MSS. Comm. llth Rep. pt. vii. p. 241). On 21 Oct. 1642 he was knighted by Charles at Southam, Warwickshire (Lands. MS. 870, f. 70), and two days later fought at the battle of Edgehill. By the death of his half-brother, Colonel Thomas Morgan, who was killed at the battle of Newbury 20 Sept. 1643, he became possessed of the manors of Heyford and Clasthorpe, Northamptonshire ; and had other property in Momouthshire, Warwickshire, and Westmoreland. He subsequently went abroad, but returned in 1648, when, though his estates were sequestered by the parliament by an ordinance dated 5 Jan. 1645-6, he imprisoned several of his tenants in Banbury Castle for not paying their rent to him (Cal. of Proc. of Comm. for Advance of Money, ii. 893). He tried to compound for his property in May 1650, and took the covenent and negative oath, but being represented as a 'papist delinquent,' he was unable to make terms (Cal. of Comm. for Compounding, pt. iii. p. 1898). In August 1658 he obtained leave to pay a visit to France (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1658-9, p. 579). One Anthony Morgan was ordered to be arrested and brought before Secretary Bennet on 5 June 1663, and his papers were seized (ib. 1663-4, p. 163). He died in St. Giles-in-the-Fields, London, about June 1665 (Probate Act Book, P. C. C., 1665), leaving by his wife Elizabeth (? Fromond) an only daughter, Mary. In his will (P. C. C., 64, Hyde) he describes himself as of Kilflgin, Monmouthshire .
A third Anthony Morgan (fl. 1652), royalist, born in 1627, is described as of Marshfield and Casebuchan, Monmouthshire. In 1642 he entered the service of the Earl of Worcester, for which his estate was sequestered. He begged to have the third of his estate, on the plea of never having 'intermeddled in the wars' (Cal. of Comm. for Compounding, pt. iii. p. 2123, pt. iv. p. 2807), but his name was ordered by the parliament to be inserted in the bill for sale of delinquents' estates (Commons' Journals, vii. 153).
[Authorities cited in the text.]