WOGAN families, Pembrokeshire

The progenitor of the many branches of the Wogan family (there were branches at Boulston, Wiston, Picton, Llanstinan, Stonehall, and elsewhere in Pembrokeshire, as well as in Ireland and England) is supposed to have been GWGAN AP BLEDDYN, lord of Brecknock, one of whose descendants married the heiress of Wiston, who was a descendant of Wizo the Fleming, lord of Daugleddy.

(1) Picton.

The first noteworthy member of the family is Sir JOHN WOGAN, justiciary of Ireland, a member of the Picton branch. There is complete uncertainty about his parentage and early life. We first hear of him in 1281 and 1290, when he was conducting inquiries for the crown in Wales, but he seems to have had some interests also in Ireland before 1284. Following his appointment as one of the justices for co. York in 1293, he became judiciary of Ireland in 1295. During his term of office he acquired considerable estates in Ireland. Unless he had a son of the same name as himself, who was also justiciary of Ireland (as Francis Green suggests, W. Wales Records, vi, 176), he was again appointed justiciary of Ireland in 1308 and continued in the office until 1313. His wife was Margaret (died 1302), daughter and one of the co-heirs of Robert de Valle (Dale), lord of Walwyn's Castle. Sir John Wogan, lord of Picton (as he was designated), founded the chantry of S. Nicholas in the cathedral of S. Davids in 1302, and it is said that he was buried in that chapel. He also secured a grant of the manor of Castle Morris, in Dewsland, for the bishop of S. Davids in 1302. He died 1321. Sir THOMAS WOGAN (born c. 1311), son and heir of the justiciary, became escheator of Ireland in 1338 and gained the king's praise and reward for his services there and in Wales and Scotland. He died 1357. His great-grandson, JOHN WOGAN (died before 1420), was the last of the male line of the Picton branch.

(2) Wiston.

The exact relationship between the Picton and Wiston branches of the family has never been determined. The Wogans of Wiston, great landowners in Daugleddy, became prominent in local affairs, particularly in the 15th and 16th century. A number of them were knights - Sir JOHN WOGAN (died 1419), his grandson, Sir HENRY WOGAN, steward of the earldom of Pembroke in 1448 (his wife was Margaret, daughter of Sir William Thomas, later Herbert, of Raglan), and his son, Sir JOHN WOGAN, whose wife was Matilda, daughter and heiress of William Clement, lord of Geneu'r-glyn, Cardiganshire, and who died at the battle of Banbury, 26 July 1469 (H. T. Evans, Wales and the Wars of the Roses, 109-10, 176, 184). The latter's grandson, Sir JOHN WOGAN, was a gentleman usher of the king's chamber and was granted certain offices in Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire in consideration of his services in England and abroad. He was sheriff of Cardiganshire in 1542 and 1556, and of Pembrokeshire in 1543 and 1554. He married Anne, the heiress of William ap Phillip of Stone Hall, Pembrokeshire. He died 23 August 1557. His grandson, JOHN WOGAN, who married Cecil, daughter of Sir Edward Carne of Ewenny Priory, Glamorganshire, was sheriff of Cardiganshire in 1564, and of Pembrokeshire in 1567 and 1572; he died 4 May 1580. His heir, Sir WILLIAM WOGAN (died 1625), was knighted before 1611. He married Sybil, daughter of Sir Hugh Owen of Orielton. Their son, Sir JOHN WOGAN (1588 - 1644), married Jane, daughter of Sir Thomas Colclough of Tintern, Wexfordshire, prior to 1628. He was educated at Jesus College, Oxford. He was sheriff of Pembrokeshire in 1636, and Member of Parliament for the same county in 1614, 1620-2, 1625, 1626, 1628-9, 1640, and 1640-4. Colonel THOMAS WOGAN, the regicide, was the third son of Sir John Wogan and his wife Jane Colclough. He was a well-known parliamentarian in the struggle between the king and Parliament, and held the rank of captain (later colonel). In March 1648 he was ordered by Cromwell to go to Wales to assist in the restoration of peace in Pembrokeshire and the adjoining counties. He was praised by colonel Thomas Horton for his services in the fighting which culminated in the battle of St. Fagans on 8 May 1648. He was Member of Parliament for the borough of Cardigan in 1646-53 when he presented a petition from the town for a free school. In January 1649 he acted as one of the king's judges and signed the death warrant. He sat in the Rump Parliament of 1659. At the Restoration he was summoned to trial, and on 6 June 1660 was excepted from the Act of Oblivion. He surrendered on 27 June 1664 and was imprisoned, but on 27 July 1664 he escaped from the Tower with other prisoners. It seems that he fled to Holland, and in 1666 he was in Utrecht. He was still alive in 1669 (Trans. Cymm., 1946-7, 214).

The Wogans remained at Wiston until the estate was sold to John Campbell (lord Cawdor) in 1794.

(3) Boulston.

In the 15th century HENRY WOGAN of Milton, son of Sir John Wogan of Wiston, married Margaret Dyer of Boulston, and from this union the Wogans of Boulston were descended. JOHN WOGAN, son of Richard Wogan of Boulston by his wife Matilda, daughter of Sir Thomas Phillips of Cil-sant, was sheriff for Pembrokeshire in 1566, 1574, 1584, and 1598? and Member of Parliament for the county in 1545-7, 1553 (Williams, The parliamentary history of the principality of Wales, 154). He was created a knight before 25 November 1597. He married (1) Jane, daughter of Richard Wogan of Wiston, and (2) Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Byrte of Llwyndyris, Cardiganshire. He was involved in the piracy inquiries of 1564-90. He died 1601. His son (by his first wife) JOHN WOGAN was also knighted. Williams (The parliamentary history of the principality of Wales, 155) states that he was Member of Parliament for Pembrokeshire in 1571, c. 1576 or 1581-3. He held the offices of deputy-lieutenant (1595-1600) and sheriff (1606 and 1630) of Pembrokeshire. He married (1) Frances Pollard (died 1623), daughter of Lewis Pollard of Kingsnympton, Devon, and (2) Margaret (unidentified). He died 14 September 1636. His grandson, ABRAHAM WOGAN, second son of Maurice Wogan (1583 - 1640) and Frances, daughter of Sir Hugh Owen of Orielton, became sheriff of Pembrokeshire in 1648. He died January 1652. His son, LEWIS WOGAN (c. 1649 - 1702), was educated at Jesus College, Oxford (1665-?), and was sheriff of Pembrokeshire in 1672. He married Katherine Philipps of Cardigan. The Boulston estate descended to the Wogans of Gawdy Hall, Norfolk, in 1715.

(4) Llanstinan.

The Llanstinan branch was founded by REES WOGAN, son of Sir John Wogan of Boulston, who married Jenet, co-heiress of Llewelyn Lloyd of Llanstinan. His grandson, WILLIAM WOGAN, second son of Thomas Wogan, achieved distinction in the law. He was admitted to Gray's Inn on 23 May 1653, and called to the Bar on 1 June 1660. He was made king's serjeant on 4 May 1689. He served as chief justice of the Carmarthen circuit of the Great Sessions, 1689-1701. He was Member of Parliament for Haverfordwest in 1679, 1685-7, and 1689-1701, and for Pembrokeshire in 1681. He was knighted 21 October 1689. His first wife was Elizabeth (died 1697), daughter and co-heiress of Sir John Ashburnam, and widow of Sir John Jacob of Bromley, Middlesex, bt. His second wife was Mary, (died 1708), daughter of Dame Elizabeth Purbeck of Hatton Gardens, Middlesex, by her husband viscount Purbeck. He died 1 December 1708.

(5) WOGAN, WILLIAM (1678 - 1758), religious writer;

third son of Ethelred Wogan, rector of Gumfreston (1665 - 1686?) and vicar of Penally, Pembrokeshire, who was either a grandson of Ethelred Wogan, sheriff and mayor of Haverfordwest in the period 1623–47 (W. Wales Records, vii, 11-2), or one of the Wogans of Lisburne, Ireland. His mother (died 1732) is said to have been a sister of Robert Williams of Cefn-gorwydd, in the parish of Loughor, Glamorganshire, where he himself was brought up after the death of his father before 13 February 1686. He was educated at Swansea grammar school and Westminster School (1694), and entered Trinity College, Cambridge, on 5 June 1700. He left without a degree to serve as tutor and then as clerk in the family of Sir Robert Southwell. In 1712 he entered the army. He married Catherine Stanhope (died 1726) and lived at Ealing from about 1727 on. There he wrote many religious works, including Essay on the Proper Lessons of the Church of England, 1753. A pious man and friend of many Evangelical leaders, he died 24 January 1758.


Published date: 1959

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