Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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MORGAN , THOMAS ( 1737 - 1813 ), Unitarian minister ;

Born 2 Nov. 1737 in Llan-nonn parish, Carms. Extremely little is known about the first thirty years of his life, and what is said of him by William Williams ( Carw Coch ) in his Gweddillion Llenyddol , 68-86, is inconsistent and also counter to some known facts. At first, Morgan was a weaver [at Cwm Taf Fechan , Brecknock ] and a schoolmaster ; he had also some repute as a herbalist and country physician — later on, we are told that he was the first to practise vaccination in Glamorgan . Walter J. Evans , in Ymofynydd , 1900 , held that he was the Thomas Morgan who was at Carmarthen Academy , and in receipt of a grant, from mid-1769 till mid-1772 . But we have no record of the provenance of this Thomas Morgan (not an uncommon name), and further, the Board in those years made no grants to students over 23. Still [ Iolo Morganwg says he was at Carmarthen , and], the dates would fit; and Dr. Jenkin Jenkins , the tutor , was certainly present at Morgan 's ordination as pastor at Blaen-gwrach (in the Vale of Neath ), 1 July 1772 . That church had long turned its back on Calvinism , and was then Arian , and we know that Morgan himself had become a Unitarian by 1802 at least — he was then a member of the ‘ South Wales Unitarian Association Morgan also supervised Craigyfargod (see Winter , Charles ) at times. He kept a school at Blaen-gwrach . In 1809 he was paralyzed , and in 1810 he went to live with a relation at Pontardawe , where he d. 17 Oct. 1813 ; he was buried in the graveyard of Gellionnen Unitarian chapel .


  • D. Rhys Phillips , The Hist. of the Vale of Neath (Swansea, 1925) , 144;
  • Yr Ymofynnydd , April 1931 ;
  • The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion , 1946-7 , 127-8; and above references;
  • note by Iolo Morganwg in N.L.W., copied by Miss R. F. Roberts .


Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959