Bagnal, Nicholas (DNB01)

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BAGNAL, Sir NICHOLAS (1510?–1590?), marshal of the army in Ireland, born about 1510, was second son of John Bagnal (d. 1558), a tailor by trade and mayor of Newcastle-under-Lyme in 1519, 1522, 1526, 1531, and 1533, by his wife Eleanor, daughter of Thomas Whittingham of Middlewich, Cheshire, and second cousin of William Whittingham [q. v.], dean of Durham (Visit. Cheshire, Harl. Soc. p. 248; The Reliquary, x. 110). His elder brother, Sir Ralph Bagnal, was one of Henry VIII's ruffling courtiers, stigmatised by Edward Underhill the 'Hot Gospeller' (Narr. of the Reformation, pp. 158, 290); he was granted Dieulacres Abbey, Staffordshire, in 1552-3, sat in the parliament of October 1553, pos- sibly for Newcastle-under-Lyme, the return for which has been defaced, made some sort of protest against the reconciliation with Rome, and fled to France, where he was implicated in Sir Henry Dudley's conspiracy (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1547-80, p. 80). On 19 Jan, 1558-9 he was elected for Staffordshire, and in January 1562-3 for Newcastle-under-Lyme. He squandered the lands granted him by Henry VIII largely in indiscriminate charity, and Elizabeth is reported to have promised him in the last resort the full run of her kitchen.

Nicholas was a gentleman pensioner of Henry VIII, and in 1639 was sent to Ireland. There he became acquainted with Con O'Neill, first earl of Tyrone [q. v.], and on 7 Dec. 1542 the Irish council, 'at the earnest suit of Tyrone,' begged Henry VIII for the 'pardon of one Nic. Bagnalde, late the king's servant, who fled on account of a murder' (Letters and Papers, 1542, No. 1182). This appears to have been granted. Bagnal returned to England in April 1544, having 'served five years with great credit,' and took part in the campaign in France in the following summer. In March 1546-7 he was appointed by Edward VI marshal of the army in Ireland {Acts P. C. 1547-50, pp. 77, 462; Cal. Fiants, Edward VI, No. 13). In August 1548 he was with the lord deputy. Sir Edward Bellingham [q. v.], when the Irish, who had invaded Kildare under Cahir O'Connor, were defeated with great slaughter. In November 1551 he was sent by Croft to expel the Scots who had invaded Dufferin. He was knighted in the same year, and on 22 April 1552 was granted the lands of St. Patrick's and St. Mary's abbeys in Newry, and the manor of Carlingford. On Mary's accession Bagnal lost his oflice of marshal, which was conferred on Sir George Stanley. He does not appear to have offered any overt opposition to Mary's government, but probably he shared his brother's protestant views, and on 7 May 1556 he was fined a thousand pounds (Acts P. C. 1554-6, p. 268). On 12 Jan. 1558-9 he was ^ected to Elizabeth's first parliament as member for Stoke-on-Trent.

Much to Bagnal's annoyance, Stanley was continued as marshal in Ireland by Elizabeth, and on 23 April 1562 he wrote to the queen complaining that his lands brought him in nothing, owing to the depredations of Shane O'Neill [q. v.], whereas while he was in office they were worth a thousand pounds a year. Bagnal, however, had to be content with a mere captaincy until Sir Nicholas Arnold's recommendations induced her to reappoint him marshal in 1565, when Sir Henry Sidney [q. v.] became deputy. Bagnal's patent was dated 5 Oct. 1565, but he had scarcely taken up the office when, early in 1566, he entered into an agreement to sell it and his lands to Sir Thomas Stucley [q. v.] Sidney and Cecil both urged Elizabeth to confirm the bargain, but the queen was justly suspicious of Stucley, and Bagnal remained marshal.

In this capacity he did good service against the Irish in Ulster; he rebuilt Newry and made it, unlike most of the Elizabethan settlements in Ireland, a real colonial success, with the result that Newry became an effective bridle for Ulster. He held the office of marshal for twenty-five years, and was appointed to many other commissions besides. On 6 May 1577 he was nominated 'to have the principal rule throughout the province of Ulster' {Cal. Fiants, Eliz. No. 3021). On 20 Aug. 1583 his son Sir Henry obtained the reversion of the marshalship, and acted henceforth as his father's deputy. Nevertheless, Sir Nicholas was on 6 July 1584 appointed chief commissioner for the government of Ulster, and in April 1585 he was returned to the Irish parliament as member for co. Down. In January 1585-6 Sir John Perrot [q. v.] complained that Bagnal was old and not able to perform his duties as marshal. This was possibly the beginning of the feud between Bagnal and Perrot, which lasted until the lord deputy was recalled; on one occasion (15 July 1587) there was an affray between the two in Perrot's house {Cal. State Papers, Ireland, 1586-8, pp. 353-60). On 20 Oct. 1590 Bagnal resigned the office of marshal on condition that it was conferred on his son. Sir Henry. His name does not again occur, and he died at the end of 1590 or beginning of 1591.

Bagnal married, about 1555, Eleanor, daughter of Sir Edward Griffith of Penrhyn, and left issue five sons and six daughters. Of the sons. Sir Henry is noticed separately, and Sir Samuel was knighted by Essex at Cadiz in 1596 (Corbett, Drake's Successors, p. 97), was made commander-in-chief in Ulster on 28 Sept. 1599 during Essex's absence, and became marshal in 1602. Sir Nicholas's daughter Mabel eloped with the famous Earl of Tyrone [see under Bagnal, Sir Henry].

[Cal. State Papers, Ireland; Cal. Carew MSS. and Book of Howth; Cal. Fiants, Ireland, Edward VI-Elizabeth; Acts of the Privy Council, ed. Dasent; Hist. MSS. Comm. 15th Rep. App. iii. 142, 154, 217; Off. Ret. Members of Parl.; Laseelles's Liber Munerum Hib.; Erdeswick's Staffordshire, p. 493; Ward's Hist. of Stoke-on-Trent, p. 346; Bagwell's Ireland under the Tudors; The Reliquary, ed. Jewitt, x. 110.]

A. F. P.