Walter Giby probably occupied a building on this site in 1302.
The present building may have been erected as a town house for the Brigstocke family of Blaenpant, Llandygwydd, in the late C18. The solicitor’s firm later known as ‘Evans & Morgan’ was founded in 1770 and may even have traded here from its’ establishment. In 1803-42 Lewis Evans of No. 7 was a burgess of Cardigan. On 1st February 1816 Joseph James, scrivener to Messrs. Evans & Morgan, died. In 1825 solicitor Lewis Evans held shares in the 148 ton Cardigan vessel ‘Heart of Oak’. In 1829 Louisa Davies lived here with Lewis Evans. Lewis Evans traded here in 1830-60. Thomas Morgan, solicitor, served his articles with Lewis Evans, and they went into partnership in 1834. No. 7 is marked on John Wood’s 1834 map of Cardigan as the property of Lewis Evans. ‘Evans & Morgan’ traded here until 1860. On 19th May 1835 solicitor Thomas Morgan married Jane Evans Bowen. In 1836 Lewis Evans was the town clerk. In 1836 Thomas Morgan owned shares in the 78 ton Cardigan ship ‘Olive’. On 31st December 1836 Jane Evans Morgan, daughter of Thomas & Jane Evans Morgan of No. 7, was baptised at St. Mary’s Church. On 4th January 1837 Jane Evans Morgan was buried having died at the age of 28. In 1837 Thomas Morgan may have owned shares in the 106 ton Cardigan ship ‘Erin’.
In 1841 the following persons lived here: Lewis Evans, 65, attorney; Jane Evans, 60, his wife; Thomas Morgan, 30, his business partner; and three servants – Sarah Eynon, 30; Eliza Stephens, 20; and Edward Mack, 25. In 1849-58 Thomas Morgan was the Town Clerk of Cardigan. In 1849 Lewis Evans owned shares in the 112 ton Cardigan ship ‘Prince of Wales’. On December 23rd 1850 Thomas Morgan’s father – Rev. Hector Davies Morgan, died aged 65. In 1851 the occupiers were:- Thomas Morgan, widower, 40, attorney & solicitor; Frances Morgan, widow, 63, his mother, landed proprietor; Maria Elizabeth Morgan, 34, sister, Landed Proprietor; Anna Susannah Sophia Morgan, 31, sister, Landed proprietor; Jane Evans Morgan, 14, daughter; Servants – David Davies, 47, groom; Mary Williams, 54, cook; Mary Morris, 40, house maid; Anne Dyson, 50, Lady’s maid; and Margaret Evans, 51, kitchen servant. On 18th October 1852 Jane Evans, wife of Lewis Evans, died aged 74. In April 1853 servant Margaret Evans fell downstairs after a gust of wind blew out her candle. She died of her injuries. On 11th November 1856 Anna Susannah Sophia Morgan of No. 7, daughter of the late Rev. Hector Davies Morgan, married military man Captain William Alexander Baillie of Ireland. Lewis Evans died on 19th September 1860, aged 85, and the business and property passed to Thomas Morgan.
In 1860-79 Thomas Morgan, solicitor, lived and traded here. In 1861 the following persons lived here: Thomas Morgan, 51, solicitor; Frances Morgan, 73, his mother; Maria Elizabeth Morgan, 46, sister; Frances Morgan, 24, daughter; and four servants. On June 3rd 1861 Thomas Morgan’s sister, Maria Elizabeth Morgan, died aged 46. On 5th September 1861 Jane Evans Morgan, daughter of solicitor Thomas Morgan, married Elliot Lloyd Price of St. Mary Street, gentleman. On October 27th 1867 Thomas Morgan’s mother, Frances Morgan, died in her 77th year. In 1871 Thomas Morgan, 61, lived here with 5 servants – Ann Dyson, 65, house keeper; Ann ?Jones?, 45, house maid; Eliza Bowen, 27, cook; Lizzie Jenkins, 19, kitchen maid; and David Davies, 67, butler. In 1873 Charles Evan Richardson, then 16, was articled to the firm. In 1878 Charles Evan Richardson was admitted a partner, though only 20. Charles Evan Richardson had been born in September 1857, the second son of Rev. Richardson, Vicar of Northop. He had been privately educated at Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire. Thomas Morgan died on 2nd December 1879, aged 70. In his Will he insisted that Charles Evan Richardson, his younger partner, change his name by deed poll to Charles Evan Davis Morgan-Richardson, in order to become his sole beneficiary. Needless to say, these wishes were complied with, on 9th January 1880.
C. E. D. Morgan-Richardson continued to practice here as senior partner of ‘Morgan & Richardson’s’ until 1913. In 1881 Anne Dyson, 87, housekeeper lived here with Ann Jones, 60, daughter and Jane Lewis, 42, servant. On 18th March 1884 C. E. D. Morgan-Richardson married Evelyn Beatrice Brownrigg, daughter of Sir Henry Brownrigg, baronet. On 1st March 1886 Evelyn Gwenllian Cecily Morgan-Richardson was born – daughter of C. E. D. Morgan-Richardson. On 28th February 1888 Charles Lethbridge Ernest Morgan-Richardson was born, son of C. E. D. Morgan-Richardson.
By 1891 No. 7 was non-residential. On 23rd June 1891 C. E. D. Morgan-Richardson became the head of a steering committee to build a new Intermediate School in the town. On 12th May 1892 May Rita Constance Morgan-Richardson was born – daughter of C. E. D. Morgan-Richardson. On 9th November 1897 C. E. D. Morgan-Richardson became the Mayor of Cardigan. Before the end of the year he had founded a rowing club. On 18th February 1898 improvements were under way at Netpool Gardens, at his expense. In November 1898 C. E. D. Morgan-Richardson was re-elected Mayor of Cardigan. In 1899 C. E. D. Morgan-Richardson demolished various properties he had acquired and built a new street linking Priory Street and St. Mary’s Street. He named it Morgan Street after his former partner and benefactor. In November 1899 he was re-elected Mayor again. In October 1900 C. E. D. Morgan-Richardson refused the offer of the mayoralty. No. 7 was non-residential in 1901. On 14th May 1902 C. E. D. Morgan-Richardson opened the King & Alexandra Gardens at St. Dogmaels. In 1912 C. L. E. Morgan-Richardson was admitted into the firm. On 29th September 1913 Charles Evan Davis Morgan-Richardson, died aged 56.
In 1914-43 Charles Lethbridge Ernest Morgan-Richardson was the senior solicitor of the firm. On 24th May 1940 C. L. E. Morgan-Richardson presented a copy of the town charter to the Cardigan Borough Council. The firm was still trading here in 1940-2013. On 29th December 1961 Charles Lethbridge Ernest Morgan-Richardson died aged 73. No. 7 was ‘listed’ in 1961 and remains a solicitor’s office for the firm ‘Morgan & Richardson’. Planning permission was sought for improvements in December 2001. In early 2005 a major refurbishment of the building was conducted. In August the façade was lime-washed.
The building was described by CADW in 1992:
“…Late C18 or early C19 gentry house, now offices, in coursed blue lias stone inscribed as ashlar, with slate roof and rebuilt brick end stacks. Two storeys and attic, 4-window range of 12-pane sashes with cut stone voussoirs and slate sills and no door to main front, moulded timber modillion cornice and central pediment with matching raking cornices and tripartite small-paned lunette. Façade is built against line of the slope and shallow terrace in front, blocking original basement windows, has spearhead iron railings.
West end wall has two C20 attic windows. North west rear wing, 2-storey with red brick north end stack, 2-window range. Ground floor has 6-panel door, traceried overlight and timber classical porch of 2 oddly proportioned columns, pilaster responds, triglyph frieze and cornice with similar modillion brackets to main house cornice. Two first floor windows, but only the one over the door original.
Small addition beyond, 2-storey with brick north end stack and first floor 16-pane sash, ground floor door and 18-pane fixed shop-window. Cemented window heads. Basement storey on inner front.
Rear courtyard, 3-storey, with arched large stair-light in centre of rear wall and rubble stone wings each side.
INTERIOR – Open-well stair with plain stick balusters and ramped handrail. Six-panel doors, shutters to ground floor rooms and mid C19 marble fireplaces to ground floor east and west rooms.
The best surviving of the townhouses built by gentry of Teifiside in Cardigan…”
ADDITIONAL (2005) – Renovations revealed that the St Mary’s Street frontage originally had exposed basement openings and an entry door in the second bay from the left. The building has now been rendered in lime.
NLW Minor Deposit 490-9B
Pembrokeshire Record Office: Port of Cardigan Shipping Records
Pigot’s Directory 1830; 1835; 1844
Map of Cardigan, J Wood 1834
Parish Registers of St. Mary’s, Cardigan
Census Returns 1841; 1851; 1861; 1871; 1881; 1891; 1901
Slater’s Directory 1868
Kelly’s Directory of South Wales 1875; 1884; 1895; 1914; 1926
Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser 1879-80; 1891; 1897-1900; 1902; 1913; 1940; 2005
Cardigan Observer 1897
List of Voters – Cardigan 25/07/1910
Buildings of Architectural or Historic Interest – Cardigan, CADW 1992
Caring For Cardigan 1998
The Phone Book 2003.
© Glen K Johnson 17/06/2013