Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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MORGAN , ROBERT ( 1608 - 1673 ), bishop of Bangor ,

was b. in 1608 at Bronfraith , Llandysul, Mont. , the third son of Richard Morgan , an Oxford man who had represented Montgomeryshire in the 1593 parliament. His mother was Mary , daughter of Thomas Lloyd of Gwernbuarth . After studying at home under the father of Simon Lloyd , later archdeacon of Merioneth , he entered Jesus College , Cambridge ( 6 July 1624 ), where he graduated B.A. 1628 , M.A. 1631 , B.D. 1638 , D.D. 1661 . Ordained in Dec. 1629 , by the bishop of Peterborough , he became chaplain ( 1631 ) to David Dolben , bishop of Bangor (q.v.) , who presented him to a Montgomeryshire vicarage and two sinecure rectories in Denbighshire . On Dolben 's death ( 1632 ) he returned to Cambridge ( S.Johns ) till 1637 , when he became chaplain to William Roberts ( 1585 - 1665 ), bishop of Bangor (q.v.) , and acquired an additional Denbighshire living, which, on becoming prebendary of Chester ( 1 July 1642 ), he exchanged for Anglesey livings. By buying from the Bulkeley s (qq.v.) the unexpired lease of the tithes of Llanddyfnan , Anglesey — which he later presented as an augmentation of the living — he retained this parish when he was extruded from his other preferments during the Interregnum , living with the Lloyd s of Henblas , Llangristiolus (see under Richard Lloyd , 1595 - 1659 ), whose political views he shared. He helped to draft the loyal declaration from Anglesey ( 14 July 1648 ), and in a funeral sermon on Owen Holland of Berw ( 2 Dec. 1656 ) castigated the ‘ new and phantastick revelations ’ of the Puritan preachers ( N.L.W. MS. 3069 ). After the Restoration he recovered his living of Trefdraeth , became archdeacon of Merioneth ( 24 Aug. 1660 ), and ‘ comportioner ’ of Llandinam, Mont. , took up the prebend of Penmynydd to which he had previously been nominated, and completed his Cambridge D.D. ( 1661 ). In 1666 he was consecrated bishop of Bangor in place of Robert Price , who had d. before institution. He helped to restore the cathedral fabric after the neglect of the Interregnum, and endowed it with an organ; he also preached assiduously in both Welsh and English . His sequestration of the rectory of Llandyrnog as an appurtenance of the see led to a bitter lawsuit with Thomas Jones ( 1622? - 1682 ) (q.v.) , who had retired to the living on dismissal from his chaplaincy to the future James II , and was now left in poverty; otherwise Morgan eschewed controversy, ignoring the conventicles in his diocese, the appeals of Dr. Michael Roberts (q.v.) for help in the recovery of his Fellowship at Jesus College , Oxford , and the pleas of his ‘cousin’ Sir Richard Wynn of Gwydir (q.v.) for preferment of unsuitable protégés. He d. on 1 Sept. 1673 ; the memorial inscriptions in Bangor cathedral are quoted in Browne Willis , Bangor , 1721 , 23, 27-8. He m. Anne , daughter of William Lloyd , rector of Llaneilian , and had four sons, three of them educated at Oxford , of whom one entered the diplomatic service under Sir Leoline Jenkins (q.v.) and the others obtained ecclesiastical preferment.

Sources:

  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and sources therein cited;
  • Venn , Alumni Cantabrigienses , I, iii, 212;
  • Calendar of Wynn (of Gwydir) Papers, 1515–1690, in the National Library of Wales and elsewhere (1926) , 2593 , 2660;
  • A. Ivor Pryce , The Diocese of Bangor in the sixteenth century being a digest of the registers of the bishops, A.D. 1512-1646 (1923) , 43, 46-7;
  • T. Richards , Religious Developments in Wales, 1654–1662 (1923) , 148-9, 274, 428;
  • id., Wales under the Penal Code, 1662-1687 (1925) , 61, 137, 159;
  • The National Library of Wales Journal , vi, 183.

Author:

Emeritus Professor Arthur Herbert Dodd, M.A., (1891-1975), Bangor

Published date: 1959