WOGAN, John (1588/9-?1644), of Wiston, Pemb.
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Family and Education
b. 1588/9, 1st s. of Sir William Wogan of Wiston and Sybil, da. of Sir Hugh Owen of Bodeon, Anglesey and Orielton, Pemb. educ. Jesus, Oxf. 1607, aged 19. m. ?c.1608, Jane (d.1666), da. of Sir Thomas Colclough of Tintern, co. Wexford, 5s. (1 d.v.p.) 5da. suc. fa. 1625.1 sig. Jhon Wogan.
Capt. militia ft. Pemb. 1621-at least 1623,2 dep. lt. by 1625-at least 1642,3 j.p. 1625-d.,4 commr. Forced Loan 1627,5 wreck inquiry 1631,6 exacted fees, Pemb., Carm., Card. 1635;7 sheriff, Pemb. 1635-6.8
A branch of the Wogan family was settled at Wiston, four miles north-east of Haverfordwest, by the mid-fourteenth century at the latest.9 By the time Wogan was born the squire of Wiston owned five Pembrokeshire manors, including that of Wiston itself,10 thus ensuring the family a prominent position in Pembrokeshire society. Two John Wogans, both of them heads of the family, represented the county in Parliament during the sixteenth century. However, Wogan’s own father, who came into the Wiston estate in 1580, seems never to have sought election himself. Knighted on the accession of James I, he held office locally as a magistrate and deputy lieutenant and may have been the William Wogan who served as steward of the royal Household in the Marches in 1596.11
Like many members of the Welsh gentry, John Wogan was educated at Jesus College, Oxford. The date of his marriage to the daughter of a southern Irish squire is conjectural, but he is unlikely to have remained single for long after he matriculated, as his eldest son was of marriageable age in 1621.12 In 1613 Wogan and two of his younger brothers set about harassing their neighbour, George Barlow of Slebech, having been directed to do so by their father. Initially the brothers contented themselves with trespassing on Barlow’s property and shooting his game in the hope of provoking a fight, but when these tactics failed they waylaid their victim in the main street in Pembroke in September 1615, wounding a servant and prompting Barlow to commence a suit in Star Chamber.13 The cause of the Wogans’ hatred of Barlow is uncertain, but it may be guessed at, for as well being a Catholic recusant Barlow had recently purchased several manors near the Wogan estates, thus challenging the Wogans’ local dominance and perhaps also preventing them from expanding their own holdings.14
Wogan was too young to stand at the 1604 general election, but he represented his native shire at Westminster in 1614, and in every Parliament thereafter until his death except that of 1624. In that year the seat was snatched from his grasp by Sir James Perrot, and although he complained to the committee for privileges he received scant sympathy, partly because his petition was not received within six weeks of the opening of Parliament but also because the committee disapproved of the tactics he had employed during the election campaign.15 He exacted his revenge in 1625, when Perrot again made a bid for the knighthood of the shire. The rumour was spread that Perrot had died, and Perrot’s supporters were allegedly threatened with impressment or beaten up. On election day itself many Perrot supporters were said to have been prevented from reaching the hustings; those who did get through found themselves ‘interrupted and refused’. However, when Perrot complained to the privileges committee he initially omitted to provide proof. The matter was still awaiting a resolution when the Parliament was dissolved.16
On 24 Mar. 1626 the Commons granted Wogan a stay of legal proceedings in which he was involved, but otherwise he made no known impact on the parliaments in which he sat.17 On the outbreak of Civil War he and his cousin (Sir) Hugh Owen* briefly held Pembrokeshire’s key towns for the Parliamentarian cause. He apparently died sometime in 1644, although the Commons did not seek to replace him until 5 Dec. 1645, when it issued a new writ.18 No will has been discovered, nor is it known where he was buried. He was succeeded by his second son, Rowland, a parliamentary colonel. Another son, the regicide Thomas Wogan, was recruiter Member for Cardigan in 1646.