Bagnal, Henry (DNB01)

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BAGNAL, Sir HENRY (1556?–1598), marshal of the army in Ireland, born about 1556, was son of Sir Nicholas Bagnal [q. v. Suppl.] and his wife Eleanor, daughter of Sir Edward Griffith of Penrhyn. He was educated at Jesus College, Oxford, but seems to have left the university without a degree and gone to serve with his father in Ireland, On 6 May 1577 he was associated with his father in a commission for the government of Ulster {Cal. Fiants, Eliz.No. 3021), and in the following year he was knighted. In August 1580 he was, with Sir William Stanley, in command of the rear of the army when Arthur Grey, baron Grey de Wilton [q. v.], was defeated by the Irish in Glenmalure (Bagwell, Ireland under the Tudors, iii. 61). On 26 Aug, 1583 he was granted in reversion his father's office of marshal of the army, and his name was generally included in the commissions for the government of Ulster, for taking musters, and surveying lands. In September 1584 he went to attack thirteen hundred Scots who had landed on Rathlin island under Angus Macdonnell, but the ships which should have co-operated failed to appear, and the invaders were not driven off until Stanley's arrival.

In 1586 Bagnal visited England, and on 16 Sept. of that year he wrote to Edward Manners, third earl of Rutland [q. v.], whose cousin he had married, saying that he was 'very desirous for his learning's sake to be made a parliament man,' and asking if the earl had a borough to spare. Thirteen days later he was returned to the English parliament for Anglesey; he was also elected for Grantham on 24 Oct., but the latter return was cancelled.

In October 1690 Sir Nicholas Bagnal resigned his office of marshal on condition that his son Henry was appointed to succeed him; he received the post on 24 Oct., and was on the same day sworn of the privy council. On 18 May 1591 he was made chief commissioner for the government of Ulster, and soon afterwards Hugh O'Neill, earl of Tyrone [q. v.], whose first wife had just died, made overtures to Bagnal for the hand of his sister Mabel. Bagnal contemptuously refused to entertain the proposal, and, to keep Mabel out of Tyrone's reach, removed her to Turvey, near Swords, the house of Sir Patrick Barnewall, who had married another sister. Tyrone, however, persuaded Mabel Bagnal to elope with him, and they were married in August 1591 by Thomas Jones (1550?–1619) [q. v.], bishop of Meath. Bagnal refused to pay his sister's dowry, and a feud began between the two which led to Tyrone's revolt and Bagnal's death. The countess of Tyrone appears to have soon repented of her marriage, and died in 1596.

Meanwhile, in September 1593, Bagnal invaded Fermanagh from the side of Monaghan to attack Hugh Maguire [q. v.], who had defeated Sir Richard Bingham [q. v.] at Tulsk. At Enniskillen he was joined by Tyrone, and together they defeated Maguire on 10 Oct.; both claimed the credit for the victory, but this was Tyrone's last service to the English crown under Elizabeth, and henceforth he and Bagnal were at open war. In May 1695 Bagnal relieved Monaghan, which was besieged by Tyrone, but in the following July his lands were wasted right up to the gates of Newry (Cal. State Papers, Irel. 1592-6, pp. 319, 340). In December 1596 he revictualled Armagh, and again in June 1597, nearly capturing Tyrone on the latter occasion. In 1598 Tyrone sat down before the fort on the Blackwater, and in August Bagnal was sent to relieve it; he was given four thousand foot, three hundred and twenty horse, and four field-pieces. His military capacity was not, however, great; nor was he popular with his men, who had earlier in the year almost openly mutinied (ib. 1598-9, p. 69). Ill-fortune attended this expedition from the start, but it reached Armagh without fighting, and thence set out for the Yellow Ford on the Blackwater, keeping to the right of the main road to avoid the necessity of frontal attacks. On 14 Aug. the English encountered a superior force of Tyrone's men, were taken by surprise, and hampered in their operations by the bogs. Bagnal himself was slain early in the action, and his body fell into Tyrone's hands (cf Cal. Hatfield MSS. viii. 409-412; Inquis. post mortem, Eliz. vol. cclxi. No. 61). In all the English lost 855 killed and 363 wounded; the moral effect of the Irish victory was enormous, and led to the general rising of 1599–1601, which nearly wrested Ireland from Elizabeth's grasp.

Bagnal married Eleanor, daughter of Sir John Savage of Rock Savage, by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Manners, earl of Rutland [q. v.]; by her, who survived him, he had issue three sons and four daughters, of whom Anne married Lewis Bayly [q. v.], bishop of Bangor.

[Cal. State Papers, Irel. 1580-98 passim; Cal. Fiants, Eliz.; Cal. Carew MSS.; Hist. MSS. Comm. 15th Rep. App. iii. 294; Rutland MSS. i. 171-2, 207, 348; Lascelles's Liber Mun. Hib. Visit, of Cheshire (Harl. Soc.), p. 204; Foster's Alumui Oxon. 1500–1714; The Reliquary, x. 110; Annals of the Four Masters; Cox's Hibernia Anglicana; Bagwell's Ireland under the Tudors.]

A. F. P.