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Sir Charles Morgan is listed as the son of an English nobleman in most sources, but he was actually Welsh. Morgan was born in 1575 and spent most of his time in Dutch service with moderate success. Sir Charles Morgan had to surrender his command to General Ambrosia Spínola at Bergen-op-Zoom soon after in 1623. The following year the Earls of Oxford and Southampton raised a new force of 6,000 Englishmen for the Dutch army which got off to a poor start as both leaders died of disease within months of arriving. Thereafter the remaining regiments at Breda, under the command of Sir Horace Vere and Sir Charles Morgan, surrendered once more to General Spínola. In 1627 he was sent from the Netherlands with an English troop to support King Christian IV's lower Saxon army. A major component of the new Danish-Norwegian army was to be the 7,000 troops from Britain to be mustered under the terms of The Hague agreement. The first English company of 500 men arrived 3 days before the battle of Lutter, and they were too late to take part. However, by March 1627, larger English regiments arrived, albeit still under-strength. Indeed, of the 6,000 Englishmen promised by Charles at the start of 1627, less than 3,000 made it to Danish territory by March and Christian IV noted their arrival with contempt. Despite the numbers rising to almost 5,000 by April, Christian became incensed by the low turnout and declared that 'they are so few they are almost unprofitable' and argued that he had to reconsider his military strategy as a consequence. The British officers in Danish service, captains Cuningsbie and Douglas were ordered by the English Privy Council to take orders from Robert Anstruther [SSNE 1472] in Stade in General Charles Morgan's absence. On 16 April 1627, Anstruther directed these soldiers to move to Bremen and his advice was such that the English Privy Council ordered an open warrant for soldiers to take advice from Anstruther while Morgan was absent. Discontent among the soldiers promted Anstruther to write to the English Council requesting payment for Morgan's troops to avoid further complaints from Christian IV. On 9 January 1627/28 Anstruther eventually paid Morgan 3000 which the English Privy Council ordered to be reimbursed by the City of London to Philip Burlemachi and given by him to the Hamburg merchant Marcus Calandrini. James Fallon estimates that the English lost nearly 1,000 men in 3 months, a decrease from 4,707 to 3,766 and this further displeased Christian. Christian was particularly enraged when Morgan surrendered the garrison and town of Stade to General Tilly in 1628 and promised to take no further part in the war for six months! The English force did not form part of the Danish army proper and only General Morgan himself received a Danish royal appointment. The rest of the officers and men did not swear fealty to Christian IV and were mustered and paid by their own commissioners. After Morgan surrendered to Tilly in April 1628 he tried to build a new army of 2,000 men in The Netherlands which he hoped to have ready for Danish service by November 1628. When Morgan eventually received orders to reform his regiment in August 1628 he was himself instructed to receive his orders from Anstruther directly. Some of Morgan's soldiers made it to Christian IV's army, but after the Treaty of Lubeck in 1629, Morgan returned to the Dutch Republic. He served on there until his death in 1643, and became governor of Bergen-op-Zoom.


A portrait of Morgan exists in the Netherlands:


Sources: TNA, Public Records Office, London SP75/7, f.228. Anstruther to Charles I, 2 November 1626; Public Records Office, London SP75/7, f.230. Anstruther to Conway, 2 November 1626; Acts of the Privy Council of England (45 vols., London, 1890-1964), June 1628-April 1629, pp.211, 248 and passim; Dictionary of National Biography, XIII, 910; Acts of the Privy Council of England, 1623-1625, pp.249-250 and 258. Vol. January 1627-August 1627, pp.65, 145, 198, 227, 421, 476. Vol. September 1627-June 1628, p.225. Vol. July 1628-April 1629, pp.93-94; Calendars of State Papers, Domestic Series - First Series (13 vols. London: 1856-1992), 1623-1625, pp.217,248, 251, 267, 281 and 295; E. A. Beller, 'The Military Expedition of Sir Charles Morgan to Germany, 1627-9' in English Historical Review, (1928) XLIII, p.539; G. Lind, Danish Data Archive 1573; J.C.W. Hirsch and K. Hirsch, (eds.), 'Fortegnelse over Dansk og Norske officerer med flere fra 1648 til 1814', (12 vols. Copenhagen, compiled 1888-1907), VII, vol.3; Parliamentary Archives, HL/PO/JO/10/1/145. Certificate from Sir Charles Morgan, colonel of a regiment of foot […] and Governor of Bergen-op-Zoom, 8 March 1643. Jack Abernethy, ‘Scottish Participation in an Anglo-Dutch Army in Danish Service: Reassessing the “English” Expedition of Sir Charles Morgan, 1627-1629,’ Northern Studies, 53 (2022), pp. 42-59. 


This entry updated by Mr Jack Abernethy.

Service record

Arrived 1623-01-01, as COLONEL
Departed 1627-02-28, as GENERAL
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1627-03-01, as COLONEL
Departed 1628-04-30, as GENERAL
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1628-05-01, as GENERAL
Departed 1628-11-01, as GENERAL
Capacity RECRUITER, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1628-11-01, as GENERAL
Departed 1629-07-31, as GENERAL
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1629-08-01, as GENERAL
Departed 1643-03-31, as GENERAL, GOVERNOR
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY