Friday, June 27, 2014

Visitors from Holland - an Unexpected Event

Ester and Hans Trommel from Delft were guests of Ruperra Castle Preservation Trust on Sunday 22nd June 2014. As long ago as 2003 Tony Jukes the Machen local historian had written an article about the connection between the Morgans of Ruperra and van Aldegonde family of Delft. We showed the Trommels the area of Newport where Charles Morgan of Pencarn came from before he went to fight for the Dutch and married a Dutch noblewoman.

Their baby daughter Anna was only weeks old in 1608 when her mother Elisabeth died. Charles Morgan known as Carel in Holland erected a monument to her in the Old Church in Delft. Anna Morgan later married Lewis Morgan the son of Thomas Morgan who built Ruperra Castle, but in her will she laid down that she should be buried with her mother in Delft. She was then 80 years old.

A Dutch visitor to Ruperra in 1652 saw the beautiful castle gardens and grounds. What a shock he would have had if he had visited the castle today. We took Ester and Hans up to the motte where Lodevijck Heugens stood and admired the view to the Bristol Channel. The path up to the motte must surely have been better cared for at that time, but the view was just as breathtaking.

After the visits we celebrated the Dutch Connection with 25 Friends of Ruperra Castle Preservation Trust at the Cefn Mably Arms in Michaelstone y Fedw.

Ester gave us an account of Lodevijck's impressions of Ruperra and presented Pat with an album of photographs and documents from her research. She hopes to publish a book to help save the Elisabeth's monument in Delft. We gave her a small cheque towards it.

Here are Ester and Pat Jones-Jenkins having their picture taken behind their countries' flags. The Dutch flag shows the colours of William 'the Silent' of Orange in the 16th century, under which Charles Morgan would have fought. He may of course have been in charge of a small regiment of Welshmen, raised by the Earl Pembroke to help the protestant Dutch fight off the Catholic Spanish. The Spanish Armada was threatening our shores too at the time. Before Charles died in 1643 he had become Governor of Bergan op Zoom, where there is a monument to him in the Church, and a bell was rung every hour in his honour at his death.

I'm sure that a visit to Holland will be quite different for us in the future.


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