FAGG, Robert I (c.1649-1715), of Wiston, nr. Steyning, Suss.
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Family and Education
b. c.1649, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir John Fagg, 1st Bt.*, by 1st w.; bro. of Thomas Fagg*. educ. Steyning acad. (William Corderoy) 1662–3; St. Catharine’s, Camb. 1663; I. Temple 1664, called 1671. m. 21 Sept. 1671, Elizabeth, da. of Benjamin Culpepper of Wakehurst, Suss., 1s. 2da. suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. 18 Jan. 1701.1
Educated by a Nonconformist minister, Fagg was an Exclusionist in 1679 and a probable Whig collaborator in 1688. He was returned with his father for Steyning on the family interest in 1690, when he was classed as a Whig in Lord Carmarthen’s (Sir Thomas Osborne†) list of March 1690. On 5 Apr. following he wrote to his brother-in-law, Sir Philip Gell, 2nd Bt.†, that when the Commons resumed the debate on the poll tax bill, he intended, if no one else did, to move an amendment to exclude poorer people from its provisions. The bill was taken in a committee of the whole on 10 Apr., but whether or not Fagg moved his amendment is unknown. In April 1691 Robert Harley* listed Fagg, like his father, as doubtful but possibly a Country party supporter. On 15 Feb. 1692 Fagg told on for an amendment to another poll bill, to appropriate part of the money to be raised for the use of the army, and in the next session he proposed in the committee of ways and means on 10 Feb. 1693 that
half the charge of the civil list might be struck off; that officers might have but half their salaries, which was but reasonable; that [if] gentlemen . . . were forced to live on half their estates, that officers also should live on half their salaries and this would raise the sum that was wanting.
Despite this, in Grascome’s list of 1693–5 he was named as a Court supporter.2
Fagg did not stand again until he successfully contested a by-election for Steyning in March 1701, caused by the death of his father. During the hearing of the petition against his return, charges of bribery were proved against both candidates and the election was declared void. At the subsequent by-election he was defeated by two votes. He was returned again in the second general election of 1701 when he was classed as a Whig by Harley. His rather surprising vote on 26 Feb. 1702 in favour of the motion vindicating the Commons’ proceedings in the impeachments of William III’s Whig ministers might reflect a particularly strong Country sentiment. On 27 Mar. it was reported that he had refused to take the oath of abjuration, perhaps as a result of Dissenting scruples. Consequently he did not stand for Parliament again. He died on 22 Aug. 1715 and was buried at Albourne, Sussex.3