FOGG, Sir Thomas (d.1407), of Repton in Ashford and Canterbury, Kent.
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Family and Education
m. bef. May 1365, Joan (d. 8 July 1420), da. of Sir Stephen Valoignes† of Repton, wid. of William Costede of ‘Costede’, Kent, 3s. (1 d.v.p.). Kntd. bef. Oct. 1360.
Capt. of Hennebout, Brittany 15 Dec. 1362-May 1367.
Ambassador to Scotland 19 Aug.-25 Sept. 1371.
Capt. of Calais castle 2 Dec. 1376-12 July 1377.1
Commr. of array, Kent Feb. 1379, Mar. 1380, Mar., May 1381, Apr. 1385, May 1386, Aug. 1388, Mar. 1392, Dec. 1399, Jan. 1400, July 1402; to survey defences, I. of Thanet Feb. 1380; oyer and terminer, Kent Mar. 1381; to put down insurrection Sept., Dec. 1381, Mar., Dec. 1382; of inquiry Oct. 1381 (names of the principal insurgents), Feb. 1391 (trespasses), Feb. 1392 (shipwrecked goods); to administer the oath in support of the Lords Appellant Mar. 1388; of sewers, I. of Thanet Oct. 1388; to examine the condition of old Rochester bridge, Sept. 1393; determine an appeal in the constable’s ct. Jan. 1395.
J.p. Kent 29 Feb. 1384-Nov. 1399.
Tax collector, Kent Dec. 1384.
The family of Fogg is reputed to have come to Kent from Lancashire during the reign of Edward I and to have acquired Repton through the marriage of a certain Sir Francis Fogg to Joan, daughter and coheir of Sir Warentius de Valoignes†. However, no trace of Sir Francis, or indeed of any other member of the family, has been found in contemporary records before the earliest appearance of Sir Thomas himself, and the discovery that he, too, married a Joan de Valoignes, throws serious doubt, to say the least, on the tradition.2 What seems more likely is that Sir Thomas himself was the first member of his family to settle in the south-east. Certainly, all his landed holdings there appear to have come to him either through his marriage to Joan (whose dower from her previous husband included the Kentish manor of ‘Costede’ as well as land in Lincolnshire), or else to have been purchased with the substantial profits deriving from his activities as a soldier of fortune across the Channel. Thus, in the 1370s and 1380s he accumulated land in Chartham, Harbledown and Boughton under Blean; by 1394 he and his wife were in possession of a number of messuages, some 1,750 acres of land and £7 10s. rent in Ashford, Cheriton and elsewhere; and ten years later he was patron of Cheriton rectory. The legacy he left to his grandson included no fewer than five manors (among them Cheriton, Queen Court and Danes Court), together with their considerable appurtenances.3
Fogg’s standing in Kent owed much to his early career as a captain of war in France. His military service began in the retinue of Henry, duke of Lancaster, the King’s lieutenant in Brittany from 1356. Having taken the strongholds of Cundy and St. Germans in the duke’s name, he showed great reluctance to surrender them when ordered to do so by Edward III in March 1359, in compliance with a change in royal policy. Nevertheless, he returned to France that autumn as a leader of a large and disreputable company in the King’s army (later a number of his men sought royal pardons for murders committed in England prior to embarkation), and evidently displayed considerable military prowess on the campaign, for in October 1360, after the treaty of Brétigny had been concluded, he was ordered to deliver up to John II of France no fewer than five fortresses and other territory occupied by the English under his command. At home, a month later, he was given an acquittance for £800 delivered into the royal chamber in part payment of the King’s share in ransoms and of the revenues of castles which he had held in Edward’s name in Normandy and elsewhere; and no doubt in connexion with the same campaign Sir Richard Stafford entered into recognizances with him in 500 marks. It would appear that Fogg then joined one of the free companies which were on the rampage in France at that time, for in the following year he was taken prisoner and held to ransom. In the winter of 1361 he petitioned the King for help after a number of pieces of gold he had taken to the Tower of London, to be exchanged for the sum of 1,700 marks with which to buy his release, were seized by the sheriff of London. Undaunted by this experience, in December 1362 he agreed to serve John IV, duke of Brittany, as captain of Hennebout, where he was to remain in charge of the garrison for nearly five years. During that same period he may also have seen action with the Black Prince, for some time before the end of 1363 he lent the prince 400 marks as an advance on his crossing to Acquitaine. (The prince ordered his receiver-general to pay it back in instalments of 100 marks a year, but this order was cancelled after six months because no one had come to sue it out.) Fogg was a witness to a public instrument reporting the debates between John IV and Charles de Blois regarding the succession to the duchy of Brittany, heard before Prince Edward at Poitiers in February 1364; and at Niort in September 1365 he witnessed the prince’s letter declaring the terms of his alliance with Duke John.4 There are no details of Fogg’s whereabouts between 1367 and 1370, but in the latter year, certainly, he took out royal letters of protection for another period of service in France. In 1371 Edward III sent him on a diplomatic mission to Scotland, to reform breaches of the truce then existing between the two countries. It is uncertain for how long before this he had been a retainer of the King’s fourth son, John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, but when on 13 June 1372 the duke formally retained him for life, he made mention of Fogg’s good service in the past and indicated by the size of the annuity granted (100 marks) that he ranked high in his esteem. The annuity was initially to be paid from Lancaster’s estates in Huntingdonshire, although this source was changed to Pevensey (Sussex) in the following March. No doubt it was Fogg’s military expertise that the duke was paying for; and it seems likely that Sir Thomas crossed the Channel later in 1373 to take part in Lancaster’s gruelling march across France to Bordeaux, for in 1375 arrears of his annuity were ordered to be paid notwithstanding the fact that he had spent considerable time out of the country. In October that year Fogg was named as one of Edward III’s procurators touching the receipt of money from John de Chastillon, count of Porceau, and others.5
Not long afterwards Fogg was with the distinguished soldier Sir Matthew Gournay when they and several others of their company were ambushed and taken prisoner by the French. Apparently released on bail to return to England to raise money for their ransoms, Fogg enlisted the help of the Commons in the Good Parliament of 1376 (to which he was elected for Kent) when presenting a petition to Edward III for assistance. In June he was a mainpernor, on pain of imprisonment, for the safe conduct to Westminster of Thomas Caterton, a prisoner in Queenborough castle, and for his appearance before the Parliament on charges of treason as having accepted bribes to surrender St. Sauveur to the enemy. His own plight was clearly exacerbated by the antagonism of William of Wykeham, bishop of Winchester, to his lord, the duke of Lancaster; for when, four months later, the duke in his turn brought Wykeham to trial before a great council, the bishop’s conduct with regard to the ransoming of Fogg and the rest was among the charges of malversation levied against him, it being then also alleged that such inestimable damage had thereby been done to the King and kingdom as to bring about renewed warfare in France. In December that same year, while John of Gaunt was still in power, Fogg obtained appointment to the important post of captain of Calais, but this he retained for only a very short while after Richard II’s accession and the pardon and rehabilitation of Bishop Wykeham in the following summer.6
From 1379 Fogg began to be fairly extensively employed by the Crown in the administration of Kent, most notably regarding such duties as made use of his experience as a military commander, for example, in commissions of array. John of Gaunt, too, continued to have need of his services, especially after his appointment as lieutenant of the marches towards Scotland; and in October 1380, having full confidence in Fogg’s ‘sage discrecion et loialtee’, the duke named him as one of three ‘gardeins et surveours’ of the army assigned to go with his deputies, the earls of Warwick and Suffolk, to Lilliolt Cross, Roxburgh, on the 22nd. It is therefore open to question whether Fogg actually attended the Parliament summoned to Northampton in the following month, to which he had been elected. Fogg’s association with the hated John of Gaunt, and perhaps his own local unpopularity, too, made his property in Kent a target for hostility during the Peasants’ Revolt in 1381: on successive days, 10 and 11 June, his residence in Canterbury and his manor-house just outside the town were ransacked, and his goods and chattels stolen. But he himself, perhaps still in the north of England with Lancaster, escaped unharmed, and in the following autumn and winter he took part in the repressive measures directed against the rebels. In 1386 he accompanied John of Gaunt to Spain, where he served as one of the duke’s captains for the Anglo-Portuguese invasion of northern Castile in the spring of 1387. Receiving no payment for himself and his retinue for much of this period, by the following summer he was owed £1,675, a debt which the duke eventually, at Coimbra, paid by an assignment on the revenues of the duchy of Lancaster.7 After disbanding his men, Fogg returned home leaving Lancaster in Gascony. Following his election to his eighth Parliament, the Merciless Parliament of 1388, at the end of the first session he was among those authorized to administer in their counties oaths of loyalty to the government of the Lords Appellant (of whom John of Gaunt’s son and heir, Henry of Bolingbroke, was one). However, he was not necessarily on good terms with other Lancastrian retainers, for in October that year he stood surety, under a pain of 500 marks, for Sir Ivo Fitzwaryn*, thereby supporting him in his longstanding dispute with Bishop Erghum of Salisbury, Lancaster’s chancellor. There is no record of any confirmation of Fogg’s annuity following the seizure of the duchy of Lancaster estates by Richard II after the death of John of Gaunt in February 1399, but Bolingbroke, anxious on his return from exile in July to increase support in his bid for the throne, not only retained Sir Thomas as his bachelor on 24 Sept., with a fee of 100 marks a year, but also, after his accession as King, confirmed to him, in May 1400, his late father’s retainder of the same amount. Subsequently, however, the King’s Council, in an attempt to curb Henry’s lavish expenditure, repealed the letters patent of confirmation, causing Fogg to write to Archbishop Arundel of Canterbury requesting his intervention with the King against such unjust treatment, for, as he complained, his service to his lord of Lancaster (John of Gaunt) had cost him personally 10,000 marks. Furthermore, by July 1405, the annuity Henry himself had granted him had fallen into arrears. It was but small compensation to receive, as a ‘King’s knight’, a grant of two tons of wine a year to be taken from the royal prise at Sandwich. Fogg was sent summonses to attend great councils in 1401 and 1403, as one of a small party coming from Kent.8
By now long in years, Fogg died on 13 July 1407. He was buried in the nave of Canterbury cathedral, of which he was a benefactor, having in his lifetime contributed £20 towards the building of the new chapter house, and, in his will, dated the previous 21 Apr., left ten marks to the fabric of the church. He had also been a benefactor of Harbledown hospital, to which he had given some land.9 Fogg’s wife survived him. She, too, had assisted the cathedral, for in 1370 she had subscribed £5 13s.4d.