|AdminHistory||Some sources claim Wales as Maurice Morgan(n)'s birthplace, while others cite London. Little is known about his early life; his papers having been destroyed after he died. Available records suggest that by 1756, he was established in London. That year, he was appointed to the sinecure post of Deputy Weigher and Teller at the Royal Mint (1). |
Much of his career was spent as a colonial administrator; Shakespearean scholar and literary critic and published author-cum-pamphleteer on many topical issues. His most famous publication was 'An Essay on The Dramatic Character of Sir John Falstaff', first published in 1777, with several reproductions since (2). Morgan(n) critiqued different facets of the Shakespearean hero, including absolving him of accusations of cowardice.
Morgan(n) the colonial administrator held many high-profile appointments and was active in government circles. As Special Envoy of the Privy Council to Canada, his advocacy of the toleration of Catholicism in Quebec was a contributory factor in the (British North America) Quebec Act of 1774 (3). The Oath of Allegiance omitted specific reference to the Protestant faith, and left Quebec's French-speaking majority free to practice Catholicism (4).
Morgan(n) closely witnessed political developments in North America. He opposed the slave trade, arguing that it risked causing 'terror and destruction' in America (5). After arriving in New York, he acted as Secretary to the Governor. He actively pursued the reunification of the American colonies and Britain. Eventually, the Prime Minister Lord Shelburne concluded negotiations with commissioners in Paris, in a way that precipitated the independence of the former colonies (6).
Following his return to England, Morgan(n) retired from active duty with Shelburne in 1786. He continued to write and publish his views until his death in 1802.
Sources of information:
1. P/MIS/328 Memorandum appointing Maurice Morgan as Deputy Weigher and Teller at the Royal Mint (1756) THLHLA
2. 'Morgan(n), Maurice (c. 1725-1802): Shakespearean commentator and political writer' in Dictionary of Welsh Biography
3/4. 'Quebec Act 1774' in parliament.uk
5. 'Plan For The Abolition of Slavery' (Maurice Morgann 1772) in secret-bases.co.uk
6. 'Maurice Morgann' in Volume V, Dictionary of Canadian Biography; secret-bases.co.uk