Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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MORGAN , EVAN FREDERIC ( 1893 - 1949 ), 2nd VISCOUNT TREDEGAR , poet, artist, soldier, and statesman .

Born 13 July 1893 at 33 Cadogan Terrace , London , only son of Courtenay Evan Morgan , 3rd Baron Tredegar and 1st Viscount of the 1926 creation and Lady Katherine A. Blanche Carnegie , daughter of the ninth Earl Southesk . His sister, Gwyneth Erica (born 5 January 1895) died in unexplained circumstances in December 1924: her body was found in the Thames and an open verdict was recorded at the ensuing inquest in May 1925. The Honourable Evan Morgan , as he was known for the greater part of his life, was educated at Eton and Christ Church , Oxford . He was one of the founder vice-presidents of the Oxford Celtic Society . Following the tradition of his family he took a commission in the army , 27 June 1915 , choosing, as might be expected, the Welsh Guards , but his health did not allow him to follow a military career. He was for a time private secretary to the Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Labour , and to Sir George Riddell when he was representing the British Press at the Paris Peace Conference . After the war he acted as a liaison officer for Wales for the British Legion and was a patron of hospitals and philanthropic movements . He served as almoner for Wales of the Order of St. John . Soon after the War he was received into the Roman Catholic church and became a Knight of the Sovereign Order of Malta and of the Grand Cross of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre . He served Popes Benedict XV and Pius XI as Privy Chamberlain of Sword and Cape . For a time he was attached to the British embassy at Copenhagen . He was a Conservative and Unionist in politics, and he unsuccessfully contested the Limehouse constituency in Stepney in 1929 . He was adopted Unionist candidate for the Cardiff Central constituency in 1931 , but he withdrew in favour of the National Labour candidate. Though he was of a family that drew much of its wealth from the coal industry he was in favour of abolishing royalties on minerals.

He was an able and talented man. He painted much in his youth and exhibited his works at the Paris Salon . He was a knowledgeable collector of works of art , particularly of the period of the Renaissance in Italy . He published one novel, Trial by ordeal , 1921 ; and a number of volumes of poems, Fragments , 1916 ; At Dawn, poems profane and religious , 1924 ; The eel and other poems , 1926 ; The city of canals and other poems , 1929 ; Gold and ochre , 1917 ; Psyche: an unfinished fragment , 1920 ; and A sequence of Seven Sonnets , 1920 . He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature , where he read a paper on aspects of Christian mysticism in 1928 . In 1935 he established the Tredegar Lecture for the Society in memory of his father, and he delivered the first lecture taking as his subject ‘ John Donne - lover and priest ’. He was twice married: (1) in 1928 to the Honourable Lois Sturt (d. 1937 ), dau. of the 2nd Baron Allington , and (2) in 1939 the Princess Olga Dolgorouky , a marriage which was annulled in 1943 . He d. at Honeywood , Horsham , 27 Apr. 1949 and the viscountcy lapsed with him. He was succeeded in the barony by his uncle, the Honourable Frederick George Morgan , 5th Baron Tredegar ( 1873 - 1954 ), and by family agreement in the estate by his cousin, the Honourable (Frederick Charles) John Morgan , the 6th and last Baron Tredegar . The estate was dispersed but the last-named secured the preservation of the family archives by depositing them at the National Library of Wales on the understanding that they were to become the property of the Library should he, as he did, die without an heir.

Sources:

  • Who's who? ;
  • The Complete Peerage , 1910–40 , xiii;
  • N.L.W. and B.L. catalogues;
  • information from William Dennis;
  • personal knowledge.

Author:

Evan David Jones, F.S.A., (1903-87), Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001