Dictionary of Welsh Biography

A new website has been created for The Dictionary of Welsh Biography. It will be launched at the beginning of November 2018 and will include new content, functions and design. Head over to biography.wales now to see what's new!

This website will eventually be replaced by biography.wales. In the meantime, we would like to hear from our users so you're welcome to send us any questions or feedback that you may have.

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

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.


  • 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.


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

Published date: 1959