TREGAGLE, John (1673-1712), of Trevorder, Cornw.
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Family and Education
b. Dec. 1673, 1st s. of John Tregagle† of Trevorder by Elizabeth, da. of Sir William Hooker, alderman of London. educ. Merchant Taylors’ 1688. m. settlement 20 and 22 Apr. 1699, Jane (d. 1708), da. of Sir Paul Whichcote, 2nd Bt., of Quy Hall, Cambs. and Aswarby, Lincs., 3s. 1da. suc. fa. 1680.1
Sheriff, Cornw. 1694–5.
Receiver-gen. duchy of Cornwall by 1697–1709.2
Tregagle’s father, Member for Mitchell in the first Exclusion Parliament, had in 1673 been appointed, along with Sir Peter Killigrew, 2nd Bt.†, joint receiver of the duchy of Cornwall for life. He held this office until his death in 1680, two years prior to which he had obtained the reversion to that office for his eldest son. While Tregagle was a minor this office was exercised by a deputy, his maternal uncle William Hooker*, but in March 1693 Tregagle entered into an agreement with Killigrew whereby Killigrew received £500 p.a. and Tregagle was empowered to perform all the duties and receive all the profits of the post. It is unclear when Tregagle assumed his responsibilities, though it seems that he had done so by 1697.3
Tregagle’s first involvement with the Commons came in December 1695 when he gave evidence, by letter, to the hearings on the Mitchell election case, and he was himself elected for this borough at a by-election in 1697. He made no impact on the records of the 1697–8 session, but was returned at the 1698 election for Bossiney, a Cornish borough in which he owned property. He was shortly afterwards forecast as a likely opponent of the standing army, though a comparison of the old and new Commons listed him as a Court supporter; this latter categorization appears the more accurate as on 18 Jan. 1699 he voted against the third reading of the disbanding bill. Tregagle was an inactive Member, his only significant activity being a report which he made on 26 Apr. 1699 on a petition concerning the alleged corruption of a government agent at Falmouth. He retained his seat at the first 1701 election but made no significant recorded contribution to this Parliament, later being blacklisted as having opposed the preparations for war with France. Financial and legal difficulties may explain Tregagle’s withdrawal from the Commons at the end of this Parliament. In 1698 Tregagle owed Hooker over £1,000 in respect of his father’s debts, and, having been unable to pay this sum, it was calculated in 1701 that he also owed over £6,600 to the crown for monies unaccounted for in his official capacity. In August 1701 Tregagle entered into an agreement whereby Hooker and Robert Corker† indemnified him for his debts to the Exchequer in return for a 500-year mortgage on his estates. Hooker and Corker were forced to settle Tregagle’s debts to the crown, and in 1704 had his lands valued against debts, and jointly assumed the deputy-receivership of the duchy. Tregagle died intestate in 1712, leaving debts of £1,900 to Corker; £1,111 19s. 2d., plus interest, to Hooker; and £6,998 2s. 101/ 2d. to Hooker and Corker. Two years later the trustees of Tregagle’s marriage settlement obtained an estate Act to vest his estates in trustees in order to settle his debts and provide for his children, who were brought up by a maternal aunt. In the 1710s she left Melchet Park, Wiltshire to her nephews.4