Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Morgan Hen

MORGAN Hen (i.e. the Aged) (d. 973), regulus of Glamorgan, was the son of Owain ap Hywel ap Rhys (Cymmrodor, viii. 85, 86), his father being no doubt the Owen, king of Gwent, mentioned in the 'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' under the year 926, and his grandfather the 'Houil filius Ris,' of whom Asser speaks as 'rex Gleguising.' According to the 'Book of Llandaff' (edition of Evans and Rhys, pp. 241, 248), he was ruler of the seven cantreds of Morgannwg between Towy and Wye; other records in the book show, however, that there were contemporary kings in the Margam district (Cadwgan ab Owain, p. 224), and in Gwent (Cadell ab Arthfael, p. 223; Arthfael ab Hoe, p. 244). No doubt he was the chief prince of the region, and in that capacity attended the English court, where, until the accession of Edgar, he frequently appears as a witness to royal grants of land. He was with Athelstan in 930, 931, and 932, with Edred in 946 and 949, and with Edwy in 956 (Kemble, Codex Dipl., 1839, Nos. 352, 1103, 1107, 411, 424, 426, 451). During his reign a contention arose between him and the house of Hywel Dda as to the possession of the districts of Ewias and Ystrad Yw, a matter which we are told was settled in favour of Morgan by the overlord of the Welsh princes, King Edgar (Liber Landavensis, 1893 edition, p. 248; Gwentian 'Brut y Tywysogion' in Myvyrian Archaiology, 2nd edition, p. 690). Morgan's epithet implies that he lived to a great age, though the statement of the Gwentian Brut that he died in 1001, in his hundred and thirtieth year (p. 693), is of course to be rejected. He is probably the Morgan whose death is .recorded in one manuscript of 'Annales Cambrise' under the year 973.

Gwlad Forgan, the later Glamorgan, undoubtedly took its name from Morgan Hen. Even in the 'Book of Llandaff' the form does not appear until we reach eleventh-century grants, and, unlike Morgannwg, it always excludes Gwent, which was, it has been shown, no part of the realm of Morgan Hen.

[Liber Landavensis, 1893 edit.; Iolo MSS. Liverpool reprint; Gwentian Brut y Tywysogion in Myvyrian Archaiology; Annales Cambriae, Rolls edit.]

J. E. L.