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Richard Wogan

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Richard Wogan (died after 1453) was an Irish judge and cleric who held the office of Lord Chancellor of Ireland and also served as a soldier.


He was born in County Kildare, a member of the Wogan family of Rathcoffey, which produced several distinguished Irish officials. Thomas Wogan , the founder of the Irish family, is first recorded in Ireland in 1317.

Richard was a clergyman, but never held high office in the Church. He was first mentioned as a Crown official in Ireland in 1441, and held the office of Lord Chancellor, probably between the years 1446 and 1449, (although as usual in this period the exact dates are disputed).

Lord Chancellor

His tenure as Lord Chancellor was marked by controversy, as a result of the bitter feud between the Butler and Talbot factions, which dominated Irish politics for more than two decades: almost all senior Irish officials of the Crown were forced to declare an allegiance to one or other side, and Wogan chose the Talbot faction, headed by John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury. He was accused of treason, and of a number of lesser offences including hiding the Great Seal, failing to enroll Acts of the Privy Council of Ireland and ignoring a summons to appear before the Council. These charges were levelled principally by James Butler, 4th Earl of Ormond, head of the Butler faction. Wogan went to England to plead in his own defence. He argued that the charge of treason meant only that he had attempted to carry out the King's commands, but that none of the King's other officers dared to support him against the Butlers. His defence was accepted, and he twice received a royal pardon for all alleged transgressions committed while in Ireland. He evidently wished to continue in office as long as possible, but, not surprisingly, asked that a Deputy might be appointed to act for him as "I cannot bear Ormonde's heavy lordship".


He was unusual among the holders of the office of Lord Chancellor in being a military man, who took part in the English defence of Bayonne. In 1453 he was involved in a private war against another branch of the Wogan family, and used his troops to seize Rathcoffey Castle, the family's principal seat. His date of death is not recorded.


Richard Wogan Wikipedia