Sir John Fagg, 1st Baronet

For others of this name, see Fagge baronets.

Sir John Fagg, 1st Baronet (4 October 1627 – 18 January 1701) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons of England at various times between 1645 and 1701. During the Civil War, he fought on the Parliamentarian side as a Colonel in the New Model Army.


Fagg was the son of John Fagg of Rye, in Sussex, and his wife Elizabeth Hudson (or Hodgson).[1] He was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge and then entered Gray's Inn.

Fagg sat as Member of Parliament for Rye in the Long Parliament from 1645 to 1653.[2] In 1649 he purchased the manor of Wiston from John Tufton, 2nd Earl of Thanet.[3] From 1654 to 1659, Fagg was MP for Sussex in the First, Second and Third Protectorate Parliaments.[2]

In 1660, Fagg represented Steyning in the Convention Parliament, the parliament which made the arrangements for the Restoration of 1660. When this occurred, Fagg was pardoned for his activities in the Civil War and Interregnum, and on 11 December of the same year he was created a baronet, of Wiston in the County of Sussex.[2]

Fagg again represented Steyning throughout the long Cavalier Parliament of 1661–1679 and continued to do so until his death in 1701.[2] In 1681 he was also returned for Sussex, but the parliament which came to be known as the Oxford Parliament lasted only a few days and was dissolved before he had chosen which constituency to represent.[2]

In 1675, Fagg was at the centre of an intense storm concerning parliamentary privilege, when a Dr Thomas Shirley sought to bring an action against him in the House of Lords concerning a property matter. On 4 November 1675, the Lords resolved to fix 20 November as the date for the matter to be heard. Five days later, in reply, the Commons resolved that the action was in breach of their privilege and that Fagg should make no defense of it. On 17 November, the Lords appointed three counsel to plead Shirley's case. On the 18th, the Commons resolved to seek a Conference with the Lords "for avoiding the occasions of reviving the differences between the two Houses", and a committee was appointed for the purpose. The Lords accepted the invitation. On 20 November, the Commons ordered that Shirley be taken into custody by the Serjeant-at-Arms, for breach of their privilege, and also ordered the posting of notices warning of legal action against anyone pleading Shirley's case. That day, Shirley appeared in person in the Lords, with Richard Wallop, one of his counsel, who asked to be excused, but the Lords ordered Wallop to represent Shirley, with the hearing deferred until the 22nd. Later that day, a motion in the Lords that the King be prayed to resolve the matter by dissolving parliament was lost by two votes, 48 in favour and 50 against. However, two days later, on the day fixed for the new hearing, the King prorogued both Houses of Parliament for several months, to bring the dispute to an end.[4][5]

In the 1690s, Fagg was breeding bullocks for the London market on the Wiston manor home farm.[3] Daniel Defoe visited Fagg at Wiston in 1697, as recollected in his Tour through England and Wales in 1720.[6]

"Near Steyning, the famous Sir John Fagg had a noble ancient seat, now possessed with a vast estate by his grandson, Sir Robert Fagg; but I mention the ancient gentleman on this occasion, that being entertained at his house, in the year 1697, he showed me in his park four bullocks of his own breeding, and of his own feeding, of so prodigious a size, and so excessively overgrown by fat, that I never saw any thing like them".

Fagg died on 18 January 1701, aged 73.[2] At the time of his death, he was Father of the House of Commons.


Fagg married firstly Mary Morley and with her had sixteen children.[1] After her death, he married secondly Anne, daughter of Philip Weston of Newbury in Berkshire and widow of Thomas Henshaw of Billingshurst in Sussex.

Fagg was an acquaintance of William Penn[7] and may have been a distant relative.[8] About 1702 a large tract of undeveloped land owned by the Penn family in Chester County, Pennsylvania was named Faggs Manor in his honor.[9] The unincorporated hamlet of Faggs Manor, Pennsylvania still carries the name.


  1. 1 2 Hubert Henry Davies. Debrett's baronetage, knightage, and companionage (Volume 1, ed.5)
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 History of Parliament Online - Fagg, John
  3. 1 2 Wiston, A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 1: Bramber Rape (Southern Part) (1980), pp. 259-268. Date accessed: 6 November 2010
  4. State Trials 27 Charles II. 1675 — On Dr Shirles's Appeal, columns 1177-1187 online
  5. A Collection of the Parliamentary Debates in England (1741), pp. 116
  6. Daniel Defoe A Tour Through England and Wales - Volume I.
  7. Penn, William; Clarkson, Thomas (1827). Memoirs of the private and public life of William Penn: who settled the state of Pennsylvania, and founded the city of Philadelphia. S. C. Stevens. p. 98.
  8. Carson-Gentry, Martha; Rodebough, Paul (1999). Southern Chester County in Vintage Postcards. Arcadia Publishing. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-7385-0107-9.
  9. Futhey, John Smith; Cope, Gilbert. History of Chester County, Pennsylvania, with Genealogical and Biographical Sketches (1995 ed.). p. 147. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
Parliament of England
Preceded by
William Hay
seat vacant
Member of Parliament for Rye
With: William Hay
Succeeded by
Rye was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament
Preceded by
Anthony Stapley
William Spence
Nathaniel Studeley
Member of Parliament for Sussex
With: Herbert Morley
Sir Thomas Pelham Bt.
Anthony Stapley
John Stapley
William Hay
Sir John Pelham, 3rd Baronet
Francis Lord Dacres
Sir Herbert Springet, 1st Baronet
Succeeded by
Not represented in restored Rump
Preceded by
Steyning was not represented in the restored Rump
Member of Parliament for Steyning
With: Henry Goring 1660, 1661–1679
John Eversfield 1660–1661
Hon. John Tufton 1679–1681
Philip Gell 1681
James Morton 1681–1685, 1685–1690
Henry Goring 1685
Robert Fagg 1690–1695
Edward Hungerford 1695–1701
Succeeded by
Edward Hungerford
Sir Robert Fagg, Bt
Preceded by
Sir John Pelham, Bt
Nicholas Pelham
Member of Parliament for Sussex
With: Sir William Thomas, Bt
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Goring, Bt
Sir Thomas Dyke, Bt
Preceded by
Father of the House
Succeeded by
Thomas Turgis
Baronetage of England
New creation Baronet
(of Wiston)
Succeeded by
Robert Fagg
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