Godfrey Morgan Gentleman Rider

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 VISCOUNT TREDEGAR

GENTLEMEN RIDERS – PAST AND PRESENT

By JOHN MAUNSELL RICHARDSON, FINCH MASON & JOHNA.SEAVERNS

1909

Familiar as the name of the popular nobleman who forms the subject of this chapter must necessarily be, not only in the Principality, but throughout the length and breadth of the land as one of the staunchest friends of agriculture and all that

pertains to it the cause has ever possessed, it is probably news to the present generation, who may have only heard of him as a sportsman in connection with the Tredegar Hunt, of which he was master for so many years, that in his younger days

there were few more accomplished horsemen, both over a country and on the flat, than the subject of our memoir, and certainly none more popular; the roar of delight which went up all along the line when the purple and orange sleeves were

seen in the van at Cardiff or Abergavenny, more especially when sported by their owner, being something to remember.

 Godfrey Charles Morgan, first Viscount Tredegar, son of the first Baron Tredegar, and his wife Rosamund, only daughter of General Godfrey Basil Mundy, was born on the 28th April, 1830, at Ruperra Castle, in Glamorganshire, and on leaving Eton, joined the 17th Lancers, with which gallant regiment he served in the Crimean War, being lucky enough not only to participate in the historic charge of the Light

Brigade at Balaclava, but to emerge scatheless from the melie. It was soon after joining his regiment, in 1853, that Colonel Godfrey Morgan, as he then was, made his debut in the saddle, when he rode a horse called Fringe in a flat race at

Woolwich, his next appearance being at Newport, in Monmouthshire, in the course by the river-side, where the Newport rowing-club boathouse now stands, on which occasion he rode a grey mare named Miss Banks, belonging to Mr. Fothergill

Rowlands, in a hurdle race, coming in second to a horse called The General.

In the same year he won the principal steeplechase at Cowbridge on Mr. Briggs, belonging to his elder brother, which horse accompanied him later on to the Crimea, and was his mount in the Balaclava charge.

After the Peace, in 1855, Captain Godfrey Morgan retired from the Army, and gave himself up almost entirely to sports of the field, in which steeplechasing took a prominent place. Cardiff, Cowbridge, and Abergavenny — which last is described

by Mr. Thomas Pickernell as one of the stiffest courses he ever rode across — being his favourite battle-grounds. At Cowbridge he won the principal steeplechase, and was second in the next race on a horse called Peeping Tom, whilst the Hunt

and open steeplechases at Abergavenny fell to his share with Gadfly and General Bosquet respectively ; the first-named race being won again a second time by him on a horse named Bowles. Whilst still in the Service, Captain Godfrey Morgan steered the second in the light-weight Military Steeple-chase at Warwick ; and later on, at Melton, he won the first point-to-point steeplechase which ever took place there, on Mystery, his brother, Colonel The Hon. Fred Morgan, being second.

From 1858 to 1875, in which year he succeeded to the title, Lord Tredegar represented Brecknock in Parliament in the Conservative interest, and he still retains the Mastership of the Hunt which bears his name.

COLONEL THE HON. F. C. MORGAN

Until quite late into the seventies of the past century, none of the race meetings in South Wales, such as Cardiff, Abergavenny, and Monmouth, would have been considered perfect without the presence in their respective saddling paddocks of

the good sportsman named above ; and it would have been considered equally out of place if during the day the popular purple and orange hoops and black cap, worn by their owner, were not seen in the van more than once during the day’s

proceedings, either on horses belonging to himself or his brother, Lord Tredegar.

The third son of the first Lord Tredegar, the subject of our memoir, was born in 1834, and, his education over, joined the Rifle Brigade, in which distinguished regiment he served in the Crimean War, seeing a good deal of service during the time he was there.

After his marriage. Colonel Morgan settled down in Glamorganshire, where he lived the life of a country gentleman, for which he was so eminently fitted. For many years almost the entire management of the Tredegar Hunt, belonging to Lord Tredegar, devolved on him in the Master’s absence ; whilst there can be no doubt that it was to his own influence and the generous support of the Tredegar family that the various race meetings in the locality owed in a great measure their success. It was no uncommon thing to see the two brothers, Lord Tredegar and Colonel Fred Morgan, riding together in thesame race ; and on one of these occasions, in a friendly match

over hurdles, to decide the merits of two of their hunters,

Colonel Morgan’s horse, who was on the inside all the way, in jumping the last flight, not only cleared the corner hurdle, but the rails as well, landing handsomely amongst the crowd, and as a consequence had to retrace his steps, thereby enabling

Lord Tredegar to win at his leisure. The amusing part of the story was that the natives went away firmly convinced in their own minds that Colonel Morgan’s jump over the rails, so far from being an accident, was prompted by an amiable desire on his part not to defeat his brother.

The subject of this memoir, who died to every one’s great regret on January 8th, 1909, represented Monmouthshire in the Conservative interest for thirty years, being only deprived of his seat at the last general election, and was, from its foundation, one of the most active members of the N. H. committee.

This antiquarian book – written in 1909 can be had for £299 on internet

 But read it here for FREE. Click on link below – when open scroll down to read.

http://archive.org/stream/gentlemenridersp00rich/gentlemenridersp00rich_djvu.txt

 

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