BAGENAL, Walter (c.1762-1814), of Killedmonde, co. Carlow.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1802 - 1812

Family and Education

b. c.1762, o.s. of Beauchamp Bagenal, MP [I], of Dunleckney by Maria, wid. of Stannard Ryan of Inch, co. Tipperary. educ. L. Inn 1775. m. by 1792, Elizabeth, wid. of one Chambers, 1da. suc. fa. 1802.

Offices Held


Bagenal’s father, one of the largest landowners in county Carlow, secured his election for the county in 1768 by duelling with one opponent and scaring off another, and preferred ‘amusements’ to ‘business’. In consequence the bulk of the estate was sold about 1784, and although Walter Bagenal later entered into possession of Dunleckney, he took up residence in England.1 Surprisingly, he successfully contested the county in absentia in 1802, with the purchaser of his patrimony as colleague.

Although it was remarked of him in May 1804 that he would vote with his colleague Latouche, like whom he supported Calcraft’s motion on the Prince of Wales’s debts, 4 Mar. 1803, Bagenal (equally silent in debate) was rather more inclined to opposition. On 19 Mar. and 25 Apr. 1804 he was in the lobby against Addington’s tottering ministry and, unlike Latouche, he was a decided opponent of Pitt’s second ministry who also voted for the Catholic petition, 14 May 1805. The Grenville ministry could count on his support, and although he left the House without voting on the issue of their dismissal in April 1807,2 he was a steady attender and voter with them in opposition in the ensuing Parliament and equally firm in favour of Catholic relief. On 21 May 1810 he voted for parliamentary reform.

Unlike most Irish Members, Bagenal seldom went to Ireland; a visit in 1805 was announced in The Times.3 When he applied for a small job in August 1806, Sir John Newport, who had observed in May that Bagenal was ‘rather huffed at not being noticed’ and needed conciliating, remarked: ‘I ought to state that Mr Bagenal, of whom I know nothing but as a Member of Parliament, has been from his first entrance into the House a steady adherent to our system of politics, and is a man perfectly independent and unconnected except by such attachments as result from his own opinions and habits of thinking’.4 In 1808 the chief secretary noted: ‘Mr Bagenal is in opposition, but is inclined to come over if certain objects of his can be gratified, of which I have not a very distinct knowledge’.5 He was not won over to government. In the election of 1812 a manoeuvre of Bagenal’s brother-in-law to stake his own pretensions to county Carlow in future alienated many Catholic voters and in the ensuing contest Bagenal was defeated. He died 18 June 1814.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: P. J. Jupp


  • 1. Wakefield, Account of Ireland, i. 247-8; P.H.D. Bagenal, Vicissitudes of an Anglo-Irish Family (1925), app. xiv; Procs. R. Irish Acad. vol. 48, sec. C no. 4 (1942), 178.
  • 2. Dublin Evening Post, 23 Apr. 1807.
  • 3. The Times, 10 Oct. 1805.
  • 4. NLS mss 12917, Newport to Elliot, 19 May, 6 Aug. 1806; Grey mss, Newport to Howick [26 May 1807].
  • 5. Add. 42221, f. 18.