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Monmouthshire Merlin
- Monday January 23rd 1891 -


Mrs. Elizabeth Morgan, of Foundry-row, Cwmbran, has just died at the age of 105. Her date of birth has been fully attested. Messrs Tovey Brothers, of Dock Street, Newport have been entrusted with the funeral arrangements, and the breast-plate of the deceased bears the age as given. Deceased's husband, who singular to state, was born in the same year, and is also 105 years of age, still lives, but is very feeble. Three of the children were alive when the Battle of Waterloo was fought on the 18th June, 1815. For many years past the Patent Nut and Bolt Company have allowed Mr. and Mrs. Morgan to live in one of their houses rent free, and have gratuitously supplied them with firing. The neighbours, too, have been remarkably kind to them, the wife of a shopkeeper having daily sent in a hot dinner for the aged couple for many years. A daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Morgan, who is 80 years of age, is in America.


South Wales Weekly Argus
- Monday January 30th 1893 -


Mr. Thomas Morgan, living with Mr William Larramy, of Cwmbran, died on Sunday at the age of 106. A few years ago deceased's wife died, aged 102, and only the other day a son of the centenarian died at Middlesbrough at the age of 77. He lived with Mrs. Larramy (a daughter of his) whose age is 65. Mr. Morgan was possessed of all his faculties up to the last, and he would often speak of things which occurred nearly a century ago. He was not a total abstainer, but always moderate in his habits. He had resided at Cwmbran nearly all his life, and was married at Caerleon Church. He was chiefly engaged in outdoor work. Deceased was an Oddfellow.


South Wales Weekly Argus
- Newport Saturday February 4th 1893 -
Birth Marriages and Deaths (on front page):

Morgan. - January 29th, at The Square, Upper Cwmbran, Thomas Morgan, aged 107 years.


Article in same paper:


When, after the sunshine and storms of centuries, the brave old oak on the village green at last falls to the ground, the men and women who as children played beneath its branches regard its end with an almost personal regret, and recall the many incidents in their lives with which it has been connected. As lads the men have climbed its branches; in the autumn-tide the boys and girls gathered the acorns which lay amongst the rustling leaves; in its shade on moonlight nights the youths and maidens have whispered words of love; beneath it the old folk sat while the insects hummed through the air on hot summer afternoons. All village festivities centred near the old tree; in all experiences of joy and sorrow it seemed to have a place. Its life, stretching back so far beyond that of any dweller in the village, seemed sacred; and when at length it fell it caused both wonder and regret. Like the old oak has THOMAS MORGAN fallen. But few men live to see their hundredth birthday, but he has passed the century by eight years, and we think of his life and death with the wonder that extreme old age arouses in us all. Names that to us seem little more than a memory were in his youth common in men's mouths; even that now seem almost as far away as the struggles between Charles the First and the Parliament, the defeat of the Armada, or the Wars of the Roses, were the familiar episodes of his early days. If his age was really 108, as has been stated in some quarters, the year of his birth, 1785, saw the introduction of Pitt's Parliamentary Reform Bill, and his effort to establish Free Trade between Ireland and England. A year later WARREN HASTINGS was upon his trial, with EDMUND BURKE thundering forth in passionate eloquence against the wrongs which the people of India had suffered. It is wonderful to think that the peasant of Llantrissant, who is but now dead, was alive when the conversation which was the inception of the anti-slavery crusade took pace "in the open air at the root of an old tree, just above the steep descent into the Vale of Keston," between WILBERFORCE and the younger PITT; it seems almost incredible that he should have been alive when the sparks were kindled that burst out in the fire-flames of a French Revolution. What changes have been seen in our own land since Thomas Morgan first saw the light. The glorious naval victories at Camperdown, Cape St. Vincent, and in the Bay of Aboukir must have been the subjects of conversation in his early days, if the news reached so far as the out of the way village where he lived; later he must have heard of the battle of Trafalgar and the death of NELSON, of WELLINGTON, and the Peninsular War, of "That world-earthquake, Waterloo," of the wars in Afghanistan in 1842 and 1846, of the Crimean War, of the Indian Mutiny. He must have remembered the Irish revolt of '98; he was himself concerned in the Chartist rising, and to his death bore the scar of a wound then received. During his life-time Administration has followed Administration, beginning with the younger PITT, and ending with a greater than PITT - WILLIAM EWART GLADSTONE. SIR WILLIAM HERSCHELL was at work on his great telescope when THOMAS MORGAN was born, and the peasant of Llantrissant was two years old when the astronomer, with its aid, commenced a series of discoveries which have been unrivalled. The period of this old man's life embraces literary epochs which have no equal save in the Elizabethan days of the giants - when SHAKESPEARE, SPENCER, BACON, BEN JOHNSON, and KIT MARLOWE were gems in the literary crown of the age. But BYRON, SHELLEY, BROWNING and TENNYSON among the poets; and GEORGE ELIOT, THACKERAY, SCOTT, and DICKENS among the novelists, together with a host of other great writers, made the past century for ever memorable as a time of literary productiveness. Steam engines, railways, telegraphs, telephones, and electric lighting have all had birth, and advanced to a certain stage of perfection during the lifetime of this one man; and as we think of the progress which has been made in every direction during that period it is not difficult to answer those pessimistic souls who profess to find in the story of the world, as they read it, the signs of decadence, and the prophecy of retrogression. In one man's life we have seen slavery abolished; benevolence and philanthropy directed by wisdom and supported by unselfishness; the brotherhood of man recognised (if only partially); the rights of labour admitted; the condition of the worker improved; the spiritual life of the nation quickened; social salvation striven for; and - though evil be great - moral, intellectual, and physical good enlarging its bounds. If in one man's life such progress has been made, what may not be possible during the next century? - for men have put their hands to the plough, and will not look back. Everywhere there are signs of improvement and progress:
God's in His heaven:
All's right with the world.
That is the lesson that the death of this obscure peasant teaches us.


Glimpses of Welsh Life and Character
By Marie Trevelyan
Published by John Hogg, London, 1893.


Mr. Thomas Morgan and Elizabeth his wife, who lived at Cwmbran, were centenarians. The husband was born at Llantrisant, Glamorganshire, on May 4,1786; the wife first saw daylight at Caerleon-on-Usk, on January 17, 1786. The latter died in 1891, at the age of 105, and the former died early in 1893, at the age of 106. Had he lived till May, he would have completed his 107th birthday. This aged couple were married at Caerleon on May 4, 1809, and had experienced a married life of 82 years. Of their fifteen children, three were born before the battle of Waterloo. The eldest daughter, who lives in America, is 82, and 17 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren are still living. Up to within a short time before her death, Mrs. Morgan was able to walk out, but Mr. Morgan acutely felt the loss of his wife, to whom he was deeply attached, and never recovered from the effects of the bereavement. They were both staunch Nonconformists, and had led a happy and serene wedded life.