Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum is enjoyed by millions of people around the world and what most people who drink the stuff may not know, is that he was a real person.
Sir Henry Morgan is the man who is the inspiration behind the much loved rum and for once, this story is local history for me.
I’m from a city in South Wales called Newport and it’s here where we have the impressive Tredegar House. The house was occupied by the Morgan Family of Tredegar, with Thomas Henry being the Lord of the estate, known as “Lord Tredegar”
Sir Henry Morgan was a cousin of Thomas Morgan and while there is no evidence to suggest Sir Henry ever visited the mansion or even Newport for that matter, the connection between the two men can be made by Sir Henry mentioning Thomas in his will.
Another connection we can make is through William Morgan, who also lived at Tredegar House.
When writing a letter on behalf of Sir Henry, refers to him as a relation and a nearby neighbour.
Although on the Captain Morgan’s bottle, we see him as a pirate, Sir Henry was in fact a Welsh privateer the pirate thing may come from the fact that he was often mistaken for a pirate due to his brutal and illegitimate actions.
It’s believed he was born just outside of Newport in an area of Cardiff, now known as Llanrumney,
He received his knighthood from King Charles II. He had made a name for himself by plundering and raising colonies along the Spanish Main in the late 17th century and in 1664, he was made Governor of Jamaica.