Kenneth O. Morgan

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Kenneth Owen Morgan, Baron Morgan (born 16 May 1934) is a Welsh historian and author, known especially for his writings on Modern British history and politics and on Welsh history. He is also a regular reviewer and broadcaster on radio and television.


He was a lecturer and senior lecturer at the University College of Swansea, from 1958 to 1966 and held an ACLS Fellowship at Columbia University, New York in 1962 - 3, also teaching there in 1965. He was a Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford, from 1966 to 1989 and served as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales from 1989 to 1995. In this capacity, he served as a Welsh Supernumerary Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford from 1991 to 1992. In 1983 he was elected Fellow of the British Academy and in 1992 he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Queen's College, Oxford, and in 2002 of Oriel College, Oxford.

He was principal of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth in the 1990s. He became a Druid of the Gorsedd of Bards in 2008 and in 2009 received the gold medal from the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion for lifetime achievement. He is also a Founding Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.


Morgan is a member of the Labour Party, and on 12 June 2000 he was made a life peer as Baron Morgan, of Aberdyfi in the County of Gwynedd.[1] He has served on the Lords Select Committee on the Constitution.[2]


He was married to the historian and criminologist Dr Jane Morgan, who died in 1992; they had two children together, David and Katherine. In 2009 he married Dr. Elizabeth Gibson, senior lecturer in Law at the universities of Tours and Bordeaux. They have four grandchildren.


He is the author of many acclaimed works, such as The People's Peace, his notable history of postwar Britain, and has completed biographies of many famous politicians, including David Lloyd George, Keir Hardie, James Callaghan and Michael Foot. He is the editor of the best-selling The Oxford Illustrated History of Britain, to which he contributed the two final chapters (1914–2000 and 2000–10), and which has sold close on a million copies. He also edited the Welsh History Review from 1961 to 2003. Wales in British Politics 1868 - 1922 dealt with the enlarged franchise, the campaign for Disestablishment, Home Rule legislation (mainly with regard to Ireland) and contrasting attitudes to an imminent World War. Freedom or Sacrilege dealt with contrasting stances on the issue of Welsh Church Disestablishment but where he came down in favour of the freedom obtained under the latter.


  • David Lloyd George, Welsh Radical as World Statesman (1963)
  • Wales in British Politics, 1868-1922 (1963, rev ed 1992)
  • Freedom or Sacrilege (1966)
  • The Age of Lloyd George (1971)
  • (ed.) Lloyd George, Family Letters (1973)
  • Lloyd George (1974)
  • Keir Hardie, Radical and Socialist (1975)
  • Consensus and Disunity (1979)
  • (jointly) Portrait of a Progressive (1980)
  • David Lloyd George (1981)
  • Rebirth of a Nation: Wales 1880-1980 (1981)
  • Labour in Power, 1945-1951 (1984)
  • (joint ed.) Welsh Society and Nationhood (1984)
  • (ed.) The Oxford Illustrated History of Britain (1984, many rev eds down to 2009, almost lm.copies sold)
  • Labour People (1987, rev ed 1992)
  • (ed.) The Oxford History of Britain (1987, rev ed 2010)
  • The Red Dragon and the Red Flag (1989)
  • Britain and Europe (1995)
  • The People's Peace: Britain since 1945 (1989, rev ed 2001)
  • Modern Wales, Politics, Places and People (1995)
  • (ed.) The Young Oxford of Britain and Ireland (1996)
  • Callaghan: A Life (1997)
  • (ed.) Crime, Police and Protest in Modern British Society (1999)
  • The Great Reform Act of 1832 (2001)
  • The Twentieth Century (2001)
  • Universities and the State (2002)
  • Michael Foot: A Life (2007)
  • Ages of Reform (2011)
  • (ed.) 'David Lloyd George 1863 - 2013' (2013)
  • Revolution to Devolution: Reflections on Welsh Democracy (2014)

Offices held[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Gareth Owen
Principal, then Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales Aberystwyth
Succeeded by
Derec Llwyd Morgan

References and sources[edit]

  1. ^ The London Gazette: no. 55876. p. 6507. 15 June 2000.
  2. ^ "Kenneth O. Morgan". King's College London. Retrieved 23 March 2014.