WOGAN, Lewis (bef.1676-1714), of Hean Castle, St. Issells, Pemb.
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Family and Education
b. bef. 1676, 1st s. of Lewis Wogan of Kilrhue, Pemb. by his 1st w. Anne, da. of John Barlow of Slebech, Pemb., wid. of Nicholas Lewis of Hean Castle. m. by 1698, Martha (d. bef. 1714), da. and coh. of David Williams of Hean Castle, 2s. 3da. suc. fa. c.1695.1
Mayor, Tenby 1710.2
Wogan, a great-nephew of the regicide Thomas Wogan†, was heir to the Wiston branch of the family, but Wiston Castle, their ancient seat, had already been leased out in his father’s lifetime and was now ‘uninhabited and much out of repair’. Wogan succeeded to an encumbered estate and to a burdensome Chancery suit for payment of some £1,200 of his mother’s marriage portion. ‘Very much in debt, and very poor’, he lived apart from his wife and family, who were confined to a ‘mean house . . . hardly sufficient to contain’ them. In these desperate circumstances he attached himself to the widow of his distant relation Sir William Wogan*, who had in his will shown some concern for Lewis, expressing the wish that his personalty of £6,000 be ‘laid out in land’ to be settled on a nephew, William Wogan, with a remainder to Lewis and his issue. According to Lady Wogan, whose testimony in her subsequent lawsuit furnishes the only surviving evidence for these transactions, Lewis, ‘a cunning and designing man’, wormed his way into her affections, alienating her from William, and brought her to live with his family. He then persuaded her to assign him her third share in the £6,000 together with a further £1,000 from another inheritance, in order to pay his debts and to provide a sum in trust for his heirs. While she was ill he presented for her signature what he claimed was a simple confirmation of this assignment, but was in fact a warrant of attorney to confess judgment for £10,000. This he promised to return but never did. Once his wife had died, for whose sake alone Lady Wogan had stayed in the house, he and his children ‘withdrew’, leaving her, as she claimed, ‘destitute of company and necessaries’. In these circumstances, it is likely that Wogan’s candidature at Pembroke Boroughs in 1710 was at least partly inspired by a desire to avail himself of parliamentary privilege against creditors and potential plaintiffs. Not at first in the running to oppose the Owen interest, his position as mayor of Tenby and his interest at Wiston gave him an edge over other Tories with pretensions. Indeed, his challenge to the outgoing Member (Sir) Arthur Owen (3rd Bt.) was principally based on the claim of the Wiston freemen to the franchise in the constituency, a right vindicated when his petition was reported on 23 Feb. 1712. In the ensuing general election he was returned unopposed. Little is known of his behaviour in Parliament: he sat as a Tory (having been presented by a grand jury in 1693 for refusing the oath of allegiance). He was classified as a Tory in the Worsley list. Wogan died on 28 Nov. 1714. Despite his financial problems he was able to provide in his will for marriage portions of £500 for each of his three daughters, while leaving property in Glamorgan and Pembrokeshire, including Hean Castle, in trust for his elder son.3
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: D. W. Hayton
- 1. W. Wales Hist. Recs. vi. 217–22; iii. 144.
- 2. Hereford and Worcester RO (Worcester St. Helen’s), Hampton mss 705:349/BA4657/i/149, Robert Prust to Lady Pakington, 3 June 1710.
- 3. W. Wales Hist. Recs. 95; vi. 218–21; DWB, 1090; HMC Portland, iv. 569; Pemb. Life 1572–1843 ed. B. E. and K. A. Howells (Pemb. Rec. Soc. 1972), 56–57; Trans. Cymmro. Soc. 1946–7, p. 219; Northants. RO, Isham mss IC 4907, John Laugharne* to (Sir) Justinian Isham (5th Bt.†), 22 Dec. .