WOGAN, John (1538-80), of Wiston, Pemb.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. 1538, 1st s. of Richard Wogan of Wiston by Elizabeth, da. of Sir Thomas Gamage of Coity, Glam., m. Cecilia, da. of Sir Edward Carne of Ewenny priory, Glam., 1s. suc. gd.-fa. 24 Aug. 1557.

Offices Held

J.p. Pemb. from 1564, sheriff 1566-7, 1571-2; sheriff, Card. 1563-4.


The Wogans were an old-established family with many branches in Pembrokeshire, the Wogans of Wiston having been prominent in local government since the fifteenth century. Their position in the sixteenth century was assured by this Member’s grandfather, (Sir) John Wogan, who, in return for his services to Henry VIII, received a grant of offices in Cardiganshire and Pembrokeshire. In his will, made shortly before his death in August 1557, Sir John Wogan did not mention his grandson, leaving his personal estate to his widow Alice. But when John was 21 in 1559 (his father having predeceased the grandfather) he must have entered on the major part of his grandfather’s landed estate, and his position in the county was soon recognized by his inclusion in the commission of the peace.2

In 1564 Wogan was involved in a dispute at court in the company of Edward Vaughan and Francis Langhorne, the other protagonists being apparently nine servants of Lord Cobham. Wogan and his friends were imprisoned in the Fleet, but were released after less than a month’s imprisonment, on condition that they entered into bonds for their continued attendance at court. Wogan’s principal interests lay in Pembrokeshire, and it is there that he spent the greater part of his short life. In 1570, as one of the wealthier gentry, he was responsible for providing two fully furnished light horsemen at the musters, and in 1572, when he was sheriff, he wrote to Lord Burghley reporting the discovery of some treasure trove, and signed himself ‘your Lordships most assured and poor kinsman at commandment’.3

It was only natural that Wogan should play a part in the faction fighting that occupied the Pembrokeshire gentry in the early 1570s. He and his cousin John Wogan of Boulston were supporters of Sir John Perrot, against the party led by William Philipps of Picton, Alban Stepneth and George Owen of Henlys. The story of the 1571 election in Haverfordwest, which was strongly contested by the two groups, has been told elsewhere. It is possible that there was also a contest for the county seat, but no evidence has survived of any objection to Wogan’s return. In the following year Wogan was ineligible to stand because he was sheriff, and William Philipps of the opposing party was returned. Wogan regained the seat after Philipps’s death in 1573, but only lived long enough to represent the county in the session of 1576, dying 4 May 1580, having previously settled his estate, and leaving a son, William, aged seventeen.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: A. M. Mimardière


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. C142/113/3, 114/19; DWB, 1090; Dwnn, Vis. Wales, i. 108; C66/998; Egerton, 2345, f. 43; SP12/145/51b.
  • 3. DWB, 1090; PCC 45 Wrastley; APC, vii. 149, 154, 156; Flenley, Cal. Reg. Council, Marches of Wales, 73; Lansd, 14, f. 33.
  • 4. Arch. Camb. (ser. 5), xiii. 196; Neale, Commons, 255-6; EHR, lxi. 18-27; C142/191/68.