Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Morgan, Charles (1575-1642)

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MORGAN, Sir CHARLES (1575?–1642), soldier, son of Edward Morgan of Penearn, was born in 1574 or 1575. In 1596 he was captain in Sir John Wingfield's regiment at Cadiz, and afterwards saw much service in the Netherlands under the Veres. Having distinguished himself he was knighted at Whitehall, before the coronation of James I, on 23 July 1603 (Metcalfe, Book of Knights, p. 147). In 1622 he commanded the English troops at the siege of Bergen until it was raised by Spinola, and in 1625 was at Breda when it was captured by the same general. In 1627 he was appointed commander of the four regiments sent to serve under the king of Denmark in Lower Saxony. They were in reality skeletons of those despatched to defend the Netherlands in 1624. At the siege of Groenlo his able lieutenant-colonel, Sir John Prowde, was killed (cf. Poems of William Browne, ed. Goodwin, ii. 288). Though recruits were sent out from time to time, they proved, from lack of training, worse than useless. On 23 July Morgan reported from his post near Bremen that his men were mutinous from want of pay, and would probably refuse to fight if the enemy attacked them. Edward Clarke (d. 1630) [q. v.] arrived with bills of exchange for a month's pay just in time to prevent Morgan's regiment from breaking up, but the fourteen hundred recruits brought by Clarke soon deserted. The bills proving valueless, Morgan borrowed three thousand dollars on his own credit, and wrote to Secretary Carleton on 7 Sept. in despair. 'What service,' he asked, 'can the king expect or draw from these unwilling men?' Soon afterwards the margrave of Baden was defeated at Heiligenhafen. Morgan effected a masterly retreat across the Elbe (Cal. State Papers, Dom. Ser. 1627–8, p. 389), and with his little force four thousand men in all was entrusted with the keeping of Stade, one of the fortresses by which the mouth of the river was guarded. Here he was left to shift for himself. With the help of Sir Robert Anstruther, the Danish amambassador, he raised sufficient money to procure a fresh supply of shoes and stockings. He continued to defend Stade bravely, and made some successful sallies (ib. p.587), but with his garrison reduced by want and disease to sixteen hundred, he knew that surrender was inevitable unless reinforcements arrived from England. On 18 March 1628 he wrote to Buckingham complaining that 'he and his troops seem to be forgotten of all the world,' and praying for relief (ib. 1628-9, p.25). At length, on 27 April, he was obliged to surrender Stade to Tilly, but was allowed to march out with all the honours of war.

In June 1628 Morgan, who had returned to England, was ordered to gather together the remains of the garrison of Stade, and to carry them back to the king of Denmark. His instructions are contained in Add. MS. 4474 and Egerton MS. 2553, f. 63 b. Before his departure he had an audience of the king at Southwick, near Portsmouth, and bluntly told him that soldiers could not be expected to do their duty unless properly paid, fed, and clothed (ib. pp. 237, 253). A warrant for 2,000l. for his regiment was issued (Egerton MS. 2553, f. 40), and promises of regular payment were made. After the surrender of Krempe to the imperialists in the autumn, Morgan was ordered to remain at Glückstadt till the winter was over, and reinforcements could be sent. In August 1637 he was helping to besiege Breda (ib. 1637, p. 388), and subsequently became governor of Bergen, where he died and was buried in 1642. He was sixty-seven years old.

Morgan married Eliza, daughter of Philip von Marnix, lord of Ste. Aldegonde; she was buried in the old church at Delft before May 1634. His daughter and heiress Ann married Sir Lewis Morgan of Rhiwperra, and was naturalised by Act of Parliament 18 Feb. 1650-1. She subsequently married Walter Strickland of Flamborough, and died a widow at Chelsea in 1688, having expressed a wish to be buried with her mother at Delft (Clark, Limbus Patrum Morgania, pp. 319, 327).

Morgan is celebrated by William Crosse [q. v.] in his poem called 'Belgiaes Troubles and Triumphs,' 1625 (p.49).

[Gardiner's Hist, of Engl. vol. vi.; Clark's Limbus Patrum Morganiae; authorities cited.]

G. G.

MORGAN, Sir CHARLES (1726–1806), judge advocate-general. [See Gould.]