Morgan, John (d.1504) (DNB00)

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MORGAN or YONG, JOHN (d. 1504), bishop of St. Davids, was the son of Morgan ab Siancyn, a cadet of the Morgan family of Tredegar and Machen in Monmouthshire, There was at least one daughter, Margaret, who was married to Lord St. John of Bletsoe, and there were also four sons besides Morgan or Yong, namely Trahaiarn, who settled at Kidwelly in Carmarthenshire, John, Morgan, and Evan. The surname Yong or Young sometimes applied to the bishop was probably adopted in order to distinguish him from the brother, also named John. He was educated at Oxford and became a doctor of laws. In a life of Sir Rhys ap Thomas, printed in 'The Cambrian Register,' he is reckoned among the counsellors of young Sir Rhys, and is described as a ' learned, grave, and reverend prelate ' (i. 75). His brother, Trahaiarn Morgan of Kidwelly, 'a man deeplie read in the common lawes of the realme,' was also one of Sir Rhys's counsellors, and both appear to have incited Sir Rhys to throw in his lot with the cause of Henry of Richmond. Their brother Evan had already shared Richmond's exile, and was probably with him when he landed at Milford (Gairdner, Richard III, pp. 274-280). Morgan is also said to have offered to absolve Sir Rhys of his oath of allegiance to Richard III, and his friendship with Sir Rhys continued into old age. A few weeks after his accession Henry VII presented Morgan to the parish church of Hanslap in the diocese of Lincoln, and made him dean of St. George's, Windsor. He held the vicarage of Aldham in Essex from 7 June 1490 to 27 April 1492, and the prebendal stall of Rugmere in St. Paul's Cathedral from 5 Feb. 1492 till 1496 (Newcourt, Repertorium, i. 208). He was also clerk of the king's hanaper, and from 1493 to 1496 archdeacon of Carmarthen. Several of these preferments he held until he was made bishop of St. David's in 1496, the temporalities being restored to him, according to Wood, on 23 Nov. 1496. He died in the priory at Carmarthen about the end of April or the beginning of May 1504, and was buried in his own cathedral of St. David's. In his will, dated 24 April 1504, and proved 19 May following, he instructed that a chapel should be erected over his grave, but his executors erected instead a tomb of freestone, with an effigy of Morgan at length in pontificalibus; this is now much mutilated.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ii. 693-4; Dwnn's Heraldic Visitations, i. 218; Cambrian Register, i. 75, 88, 104-5, 142; Gairdner's Richard III, pp 274-80; Williams's Eminent Welshmen, p. 339.]

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