Jacques de Morgan was born into an educated, aristocratic family, and his heritage did much to shape his personality.

Family origins

Jacques de Morgan was born on 3 June 1857 in Huisseau-sur-Cosson, near Blois, central France. His mother, Louise de Calonne d'Avesne, was an aristocrat, and his father, Eugène de Morgan,  hailed from a noble family of Legitimists: supporters of the claim of the comte de Chambord to the French throne. Over the course of the 19th century, the family’s fortune had dwindled, however, and throughout his life Morgan had to work for a living.

His father was fascinated by the natural sciences and archaeology. On walks through the local countryside, he taught his sons, Henri and Jacques, to observe and understand their surroundings.

A strong personality

This dual heritage was central to shaping Jacques de Morgan’s personality. Despite his straitened circumstances, he continued to feel a deep attachment to the nobility, and he could be both proud and impatient. He had a sharp mind, however, and excelled in subjects that interested him, and which had a profound impact on his life choices.