Sherry is a Spanish fortified wine. It derives its name from the Andalucian town of Jerez de la Frontera, as mispronounced by the English, who have had a taste for “sherris sack” (= Jerez sec) at least back to the days of Falstaff; there is a strong tradition of British involvement in the production, distribution and sale of sherry. One of the biggest names in sherry is that of the firm of Osborne, established in the late 18th century (http://www.osborne.es/), and based at El Puerto de Santa Maria, between Jerez and Cadiz. In the course of the firm’s subsequent expansion, an Osborne daughter married the son of the sherry firm of Morgan, resulting in Osborne’s takeover of the relatively small but flourishing house of Morgan (more about this here: http://www.josemanuelferrandez.com/london/london.html ). One of the Morgan descendants was later ordained into the Catholic priesthood, and is known to us as Father Francis Xavier Morgan.
Father Francis tends unfairly to be recollected mainly as the priest who kept Edith and Ronald apart, but of course there was far more to him than that (as some of us learnt from José Manuel Ferrández Bru at the Return of the Ring ). After the death of Mabel Tolkien, he became the Tolkien boys’ guardian, caring for them almost like a father; among many other things he supplemented the very small income Mabel had left with his own ampler resources, which derived mainly from his income as a part of the Osborne family. This was especially important as regards education; if it had not been for this, Ronald almost certainly would not have been able to attend Oxford - with consequences that do not bear thinking about.
In recent decades the English appetite for sherry seems to have declined; however, it is still easily available, so the wine-bibbers among us should at least occasionally raise a glass of fino or Bristol Cream to the memory of Father Francis, to whose sherry money we are all indebted.