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John Morgan of Hill Farm (1797-1864)

John Morgan was born in approximately 1797 at Mamhilad. We first see John at Hill Farm in Glascoed on the 1831 Land Tax Assessment records, where he would have been aged around 33 years.

He married Mary Arthur, who had been born in Caldicot in approx 1806, in Trostrey, Mary’s home parish on 7thDecember 1831. They had several children together, including:

John Arthur Morgan (christened on 28th February 1833 at Monkswood),

William Morgan (born 9th April 1837, christened 9th July 1837),

Thomas Morgan (christened 3rd March 1839),

Arthur Morgan(christened 22nd November 1840)

Mary Susanna Morgan (Born 29th January 1842 and christened 20th October 1842)

Anne Elizabeth Morgan (born c. 1844 - christened 3rd October 1847)

Jane Frances Morgan (christened 3rd October 1847)

John and Mary perpetuated the name Arthur in their first born son’s middle name and also named their fourth son Arthur.

There were also Arthurs living at Glascoed Fach in the 1820s (could they be relatives?).

Hill Farm was one of the larger farms in the Glascoed. It was rated at a £12 pa rental value for the 1831 Land Tax Assessment, which is one of the largest rentable values of all properties in Glascoed. It’s also interesting to note that it was owned by John Morgan and not rented (most Glascoed properties were owned by the Duke of Beaufort).

John is listed as a farmer in all censuses from 1841 to 1861. In 1851 he was a “farmer of 80 acres”. By 1861 this had changed to “farmer of 122 acres”.

He was evidently one of the better respected residents of the hamlet. This is referred to in the reports of the Glascoed riots, where he was listed as one of those involved. He was also said in the reports to be one of “the most respectable inhabitants of the hamlet” in the Usk Observer, and possibly for this reason, he was let off without charge, while 24 other inhabitants were committed to the assizes accused of destroying enclosures on Glascoed Common. The reports make for very interesting reading, including some doggerel verse which made a disparagng refrerence about “And Morgan the Baptist I regret for to tell, All now clast with the rebels of h-ll”! I assume this was about John, although it does not match with what we know of his close association with the establishment of St. Michael’s church in Glascoed. Maybe he had been known to speak up in favour of some Baptist principles?!” It may be that one of the other Morgans listed were “Morgan the baptist” in these lines could simply be one of the other Morgans, although my assumption comes from him being listed with the other two senior farming figures of the village - Roger Williams of Beech Farm and James Jenkins of Upper Trostrey.

He was also the only Glascoed resident invited to the coming of age celebration of the local MP’s daughter in 1862. John was very active (certainly in later life) in the parish church at Usk. He was appointed as the sidesman for Glascoed in 1861 and was said to have been the founder of St Michael’s, Glascoed (this is noted on his grave). He actually told the local church community at Usk that they could build the new chapel of ease on any part of his land that they saw fit, according to an article on the commissioning of the Church in the Monmouthshire Merlin (1849). The Morgans provided an ample lunch and tea following the official opening of St. Michael’s in Jan 1862, at Hill Farm.

We also see notes of John Morgan in the following articles and advertisements …

Legal action to recover property from Thomas Hickey (June 1860)

Sale of apple trees (Dec 1860)

And perhaps most interestingly an account of the discovery of a dead man’s body at Little Mill – John was the first on the scene (March 1862).

John died on 25th February 1864. He was the third person to be buried at St. Michael’s churchyard (strangely, Thomas Hickey, the person who John Morgan evicted in 1860 was the first person buried there in Feb 1863).


1841 Census.

1851 Census.

1861 Census.

Land Tax Assessments: 1831

Registers of Electors: 1832, 1841, 1843-44, 1848-49, 1852-53, 1853-54, 1855-56.

Death notices One and Two.

Burial register.

Monumental inscription.