OGLE, Samuel (1659-1719), of Bowsden, Northumb.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

bap. 25 Mar. 1659, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Rev. Luke Ogle of Berwick-upon-Tweed by Mary, da. of Arthur Foster of Kirkandrews, Cumb.  educ. Edinburgh Univ.; G. Inn 1677, called 1688, ancient, 1702.  m. (1) Elizabeth (d. 1697), wid. of Thomas Dawson, merchant, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumb., 1da.; (2) lic. 4 Oct. 1701, Ursula, da. of Sir Robert Markham, 2nd Bt.†, of Sedgebrook, Lincs., wid. of Altham Annesley, 1st Baron Altham, and sis. of Sir George Markham, 3rd Bt.*, 5s. 2da.  suc. fa. 1696.1

Offices Held

Recorder, Berwick-upon-Tweed 1689–98.2

Commr. revenue [I] 1699–1714.3

MP [I] 1707–13.


Ogle’s father had served as vicar of Berwick from 1655 until December 1661 when he was banned from preaching by the town’s governor. The following year, despite receiving the support of the corporation, he was removed from his living. Forced to leave Berwick following the passage of the Five Mile Act, he was prosecuted several times for preaching in both Scotland and England, being imprisoned in the early 1660s for involvement in a Presbyterian plot and jailed during Monmouth’s rebellion, before returning to Berwick in 1687 to establish a Dissenting congregation under the freedom granted by James II’s Declaration of Indulgence. He continued to minister to this congregation until his death in April 1696, when he was succeeded in his estates by his son. Samuel Ogle had trained for a legal career, and when called to the bench in November 1688 it was at the request of Lord Chancellor Jeffreys. This may suggest that Ogle was a Dissenting collaborator of James II, but his appointment as recorder of Berwick at the Revolution throws some doubt upon such an interpretation. Ogle’s application in May 1689 for the post of solicitor of the excise was unsuccessful, but the following year he was returned for Berwick, for which he was to sit for the next two decades.4

At the beginning of the 1690 session Ogle was classed as a Whig by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†), and in April the following year was identified by Robert Harley* as a Country supporter. His contribution to this Parliament was slight. In December 1690 he reported and carried to the Lords an estate bill, and on 25 Nov. 1691 was included among the nominees to prepare a bill for the manufacture of saltpetre in England. He was granted leave of absence on 4 Jan. 1693 for an unspecified period. In the spring of the same year Grascome listed him as a Court supporter.

Ogle’s support for the ministry was made clear in the first session of the 1695 Parliament. Forecast in January 1696 as likely to support the Court in the divisions on the proposed council of trade, he signed the Association promptly and in March voted to support the Court in fixing the price of guineas at 22s. His alignment with the Whig ministerialists was confirmed the following session when he voted for the impeachment of Sir John Fenwick†. In February 1697 he was elected on the Rose Club slate as a commissioner of accounts, though the enabling bill subsequently failed. Ogle was later said to have served as chairman of the Rose Club around this time. Later in the same session he was teller in favour of referring to committee a petition from the Royal African Company (11 Mar.). His support for the ministry was further suggested during the summer, when the Treasury lords noted the ‘care and prudence of Mr Ogle’ in persuading Berwick to acquiesce in the delay of payments in respect of troops quartered in ‘private houses’, while in November he prompted Berwick corporation to send an address to London congratulating William III on his safe return to England, for which he suggested the wording. In March 1698 he managed an estate bill through the Commons, and the same month was a teller in favour of passing the bill to preserve timber in the New Forest (28th) and the blasphemy bill (30th). Parochial concerns engaged his attentions for much of April and May. Berwick corporation called upon him and his fellow Member Hon. Ralph Grey to investigate hearsay that Lord Tankerville intended to press for the incorporation of Wooller, a town 15 miles south of Berwick. The corporation was naturally concerned about the adverse effect this might have on Berwick’s trade, and the Members were jointly requested to pursue several options which it was thought might assist in reversing the general decline in the town’s trading activity. Thus Ogle and Grey were to explore the possibility of regaining the port’s right to export wool and import French wine duty-free; to inquire whether the corporation would be entitled to implement the 15th-century statute restricting to the port of Berwick the right to ship goods from the English side of the Tweed; and to obtain permission for Berwick to import a hundred-weight of French salt free of customs duty to encourage the local salmon trade. This detailed brief was pursued chiefly by Ogle who was able to obtain from Lord Tankerville an assurance that he ‘never did anything in his life to the prejudice of the town of Berwick’, while on the other matters he consulted a London lawyer. Ogle also informed his corporation that though he had ‘acqua[inted] all the considerable Members of the House with your case’ concerning salt, and despite having heard ‘great obje[ctions] to it’, he would ‘do my duty to you and offer the clause’, presumably to a bill pending concerning the salt duty.5

Ogle was classed as a Court supporter following the 1698 general election, and on 18 Jan. 1699 he was listed as voting against the disbanding bill. He began to take a noticeably more active part in the transaction of Commons business. In January he managed an estate bill allowing the Earl of Derwentwater to sell part of his Northumberland estates, and in February he told twice on the Whig side in divisions upon disputed elections (7th, 9th), and in favour of adjourning the debate upon the motion to expel the Whig Court supporter James Isaacson for holding an office incompatible with a seat in the Commons (10th). During March Ogle and Grey were again asked by Berwick’s corporation to pursue various matters of local concern, on this occasion being requested to obtain a clause for increasing the drawback on salt used to cure fish; to inquire about the enforcement of the Act requiring fish taken from the Tweed to be cured at Berwick; and to pursue a debt owed to the town for troops quartered in Berwick during Charles II’s reign. Again, it was Ogle who was the more active in pursuing these requests, obtaining legal advice upon the curing of fish, and assuring the corporation that he had taken all steps possible to block an attempt by Northumberland and Durham Members to repeal the Act relating to fish netted from the Tweed. Ogle also promised the corporation that he and Grey would ‘do our utmost to get a clause for the drawback in cases of shipwreck’, but informed them that the ‘load of debts occasioned by the last war’ made payment of the arrears due to Berwick unlikely and urged them not to be coerced into rash action to recover the sums involved. In April he managed an estate bill which impinged upon the interests of Sir William Blackett, 1st Bt.* The following month Narcissus Luttrell* reported that Ogle was to be made an Irish revenue commissioner and, thanks in large part to the support of Lord Tankerville, he was appointed in June with a salary of £800 p.a. Ogle’s absence from Dublin in order to attend at Westminster twice led to complaints from other Irish revenue commissioners, but, as the commission’s minutes show, when in Ireland, Ogle was a conscientious administrator. Having taken up his post in the summer of 1699, Ogle left Dublin for England in the middle of December, though his only significant activity in the new session was his supervision of a private bill concerned with Northumberland estates. An analysis of the Commons, compiled in 1700, listed Ogle as in the interest of the independent Whig Lord Warrington, a strange classification, the likeliest explanation of which is the family ties between Warrington and Ogle’s fellow Northumbrian Members Sir Edward and Sir William Blackett.6

Ogle’s contribution to parliamentary business increased in the first Parliament of 1701. On 16 May he reported from the committee appointed to examine expiring laws. His report recommended the continuation of two Acts, one to prevent false and double returns at elections, the other to prevent theft and rapine on the Anglo-Scottish border, whereupon he was immediately nominated as the sole Member to draft both measures and subsequently managed them through the House. Later in the year his links with Ireland were appreciably strengthened by his marriage in October to an heiress with a considerable Irish estate. Indeed, in January 1702 Ogle expressed willingness to sit in the Irish parliament, and Irish issues accounted for most of Ogle’s significant activity in the Commons during the second 1701 Parliament. Most significantly, he took charge of no fewer than five bills concerned with Irish forfeited estates, one of which concerned a fellow commissioner in the Irish revenue.7

Ogle’s contribution to parliamentary business declined in the first two sessions of the 1702 Parliament. He voted with other Whigs in February 1703 in agreeing with the Lords’ amendments to the bill for enlarging the time for taking the Abjuration. His efforts to secure a seat in the Irish parliament foundered in 1703, while the demands imposed by his official duties in Ireland at this time caused a drop in his parliamentary activity at Westminster. In the 1703–4 session, for example, his sole undertaking was to report and carry to the Lords in February 1704 a bill concerned with the Northumberland estates of Lord Grey. In the spring of that year Ogle was lobbying the Treasury for the payment to Ireland’s Presbyterian ministers of the regium donum, a government pension of £1,200 p.a. which the Irish parliament had recently attempted to halt. If official duties do explain Ogle’s declining activity in the first two sessions of the 1702 Parliament, these demands appear to have eased somewhat by the autumn of 1704. In October he was forecast as a likely opponent of the Tack, and on 28 Nov. either voted against it or was absent from the division. He initiated and subsequently presented a bill concerned with Irish estates for which another Irish revenue commissioner was a trustee. Before the Christmas recess he also told against an attempt to instruct the committee of the whole on the land tax bill to include a provision allowing the addition of new commissioners (24 Nov.). He was nominated to assist with the drafting of bills to provide an alternative to cheek-burning as a punishment for theft (18 Dec.), and to secure England against the Scottish act of security (11 Jan. 1705), in addition to being involved in January and February in the passage of two private estate bills. At the behest of his corporation he also took counsel upon the enforcement of an Act requiring corn shipped from the Tweed to go via Berwick.8

Following the 1705 election Ogle’s parliamentary activity was negligible. Somewhat surprisingly, given his Dissenting background, he was classed as a ‘High Church courtier’ in a list of the new Parliament, the compiler perhaps confusing him with one of the Tory branches of the Northumberland Ogles. But he did, of course, vote on 25 Oct. for the Court candidate for Speaker. In November he presented to the stamp office the concerns of Berwick relating to the conduct of its officers in that borough. He was also requested in January 1706 to obtain additional clauses in the bill pending for the preservation of the salmon fishery, to protect the town’s interests concerning the Tweed. The following month Ogle supported the Court in the proceedings on the ‘place clause’ of the regency bill. His only significant activity in the 1706–7 session was his nomination to draft an estate bill (4 Feb. 1707), and he does not appear to have pursued the compensation sought by Berwick for the duties it would lose at the Union. His sympathy for Dissent was evident in the autumn of 1707 when, having been elected to the Irish parliament, he was thought likely to support a relaxation of the sacramental test in Ireland, and at the beginning of 1708 he was classed a Whig in an analysis of the Commons. In 1709 he followed his party line in voting for the naturalization of the Palatines.9

Ogle did not stand for re-election in 1710. He was far more concerned to ingratiate himself with Harley in order to keep his place in the Irish revenue. The need for such caution was demonstrated by rumours in December that Ogle’s replacement was imminent, but in January 1711 Ogle wrote to Harley expressing his ‘thanks for the kind and favourable sentiments, which I understand from Brigadier [Samuel*] Masham, you are pleased to honour me with’. In July he again expressed his thanks to Harley, now Earl of Oxford, for keeping him in his office, and Ogle’s loyalty to the ministry was retailed in July 1712 by a correspondent of Oxford’s who noted that ‘the Whigs [in Ireland] are stark mad at Mr Ogle being continued in the commission . . . he justifies the Queen’s prerogatives and your Lordship’s power and [is] a friend to your friends’. This loyalty to the ministry in Irish politics had received some recognition the previous month when Ogle received £300, in addition to his salary, from secret service funds, but it led to his removal from the Irish revenue commission following the Hanoverian succession. Ogle died on 10 Mar. 1719, having made his will in Dublin six days earlier. He was succeeded in his estates by his eldest son, who became governor of Maryland in the reign of George II.10

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Richard Harrison


  • 1. W. P. Hedley, Northumb. Fams. ii. 203–4.
  • 2. Ibid. 203.
  • 3. Cal. Treas. Bks. xiv. 412; xxix. 185–6.
  • 4. Hedley, 203; J. Scott, Hist. Berwick-upon-Tweed, 364–5; Calamy Revised ed. Matthew, 372; Calamy, Nonconformist Memorial, iii. 55–58; Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 104.
  • 5. H. Horwitz, Parl. and Pol. Wm. III, 191; Magdalene Coll. PL 2179, pp. 71–74; CSP Dom. 1697, pp. 190–1; Northumb. RO (Berwick), Berwick bor. recs. guild letter bk. 69/1, ff. 115–18.
  • 6. Berwick bor. recs. guild letter bk. 69/1, ff. 118–21; HMC Lords, n.s. iii. 377; Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 521; Add. 28891, ff. 336–7; 28883, f. 336; Cal. Treas. Bks. xiv. 98, 99, 412; McGrath thesis, 140, 162–3.
  • 7. Northants. RO, Isham mss 2193, John to Sir Justinian Isham, 4th Bt.*, 4 Oct. 1701; Surr. RO (Guildford), Midleton mss 1248, II, f. 60.
  • 8. Midleton mss 1248, II, f. 86; HMC Portland, iv. 82; Add. 70250, Ogle to Harley, 27 May 1704.
  • 9. Berwick bor. recs. guild letter bk. 69/1, ff. 122–5, 127; HMC Ormonde, n.s. viii. 312–13.
  • 10. Add. 70278, memorial of Col. Dobyns, 4 Sept. 1710; 70250, Ogle to Harley, 15 Aug. 1710, 20 Jan. 1710[–11]; 28933, f. 240; Luttrell, vi. 684; Swift Stella ed. Davis, 116; Nottingham Univ. Lib. Portland (Harley) mss Pw2 Hy 989, Ogle to [Oxford], 3 July 1711; Cal. Treas. Pprs. 1708–14, p. 404; Cal. Treas. Bks. xxviii. 490; Parlty. Hist. xiv. 271; PCC 161 Shaller; Amer. DNB, xiii. 647–8.