John Morgan was educated at Oxford and became a doctor of laws , probably before the ruin of the Lancastrian cause at Tewkesbury in 1471 . His career before Henry VII 's accession presents difficulties. The absence of his name from any official records before 1485 and his rapid promotion after that date have led to the suggestion that he ‘must have been in exile with Henry [ Tudor ] and in his employment as chaplain or clerk perhaps both’ ( A. F. Pollard , Bull. Inst. Hist. Research , xv, 156-8). Alternatively, if an old but not altogether reliable biography of Sir Rhys ap Thomas (q.v.) may be believed, he must have been active in Wales before 1485 . This work ( Camb. Reg. i, 49-144) seems to suggest that he was responsible, with his brother, for winning over Rhys ap Thomas to Henry 's cause (ibid., 84-5, 88-90, 93, 96, 104-5). The difficulty is that in all these references he is described as the bishop of S. Davids , a position which he did not attain until 1496 .
That he was one of Henry 's most trusted supporters is shown by his rapid promotion after Bosworth . On 9 Oct. 1485 he became clerk of the parliament , in Nov. he appeared as a receiver of petitions , and later became a master in Chancery . Ecclesiastical preferment included the church of Hanslape, Bucks. , the deanery of Windsor , and the deanery of S. Mary 's, Leics. , to which he was presented 6 Oct., 18 Oct., and Dec. 1485 , respectively. He was archdeacon of Carmarthen from July 1488 to Feb. 1494 , prebendary of Rugmere in S. Pauls in 1493 , and rector of Great Haseley, Oxon.
On becoming bishop of S. Davids in 1496 Morgan gave up all his other preferments and his secular offices. During his episcopate, for part of which his register has survived, he increased the number of cathedral choristers from four to six and appropriated to them the churches of Llanwnnen , Silian , and Llan-y-cefn . He built the episcopal throne in the choir at S. Davids , and, in his will, dated 25 April , and proved 29 May 1504 , directed that a chapel be built over his grave in the cathedral. No such chapel was built, but Morgan 's carved stone tomb may still be seen.
Sir Glanmor Williams, M.A., Swansea
Peter Clement Bartrum, Berkhamsted, Herts
Published date: 1959