BAGWELL, Richard (?1778-1826), of Marlfield, co. Tipperary.

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



1801 - 9 Nov. 1801

Family and Education

b. ?1778, 2nd s. of John Bagwell I*, and bro. of John Bagwell II* and William Bagwell*. educ. Trinity, Dublin 5 Aug. 1793, aged 15. m. 1808, Margaret, da. of Edward Croker of Ballynaguard, co. Limerick, 2s. 3da.

Offices Held

MP [I] 1799-1800.

Dean of Kilmacduagh Oct. 1804-Feb. 1806, of Clogher Feb. 1806-d.


Bagwell’s father secured him a seat for Cashel in the Irish parliament on the eve of the Union from its patron Richard Pennefather*. Like his father and brother William, he voted against the Union, but was subsequently involved in his father’s terms for supporting the measure. On 4 Sept. 1801 his father applied to the Castle for preferment in the Church for him, having previously made the request through Lord Westmorland in March.1 Nothing was promised then, but as Bagwell was by now ordained, he sooner or later faced disqualification under the bill passed on 23 June 1801 to prevent persons in holy orders from sitting in the House. On 19 Oct. in response to Addington’s request for his attendance, Bagwell informed the chief secretary that he should readily comply, ‘but having lately entered into holy orders am not certain whether I retain my seat’.2 When on 6 Nov. Bagwell’s father moved a new writ for Cashel there was some discussion and the Speaker, who pointed out that Bagwell had been elected before the Act was passed, moved an adjournment, ‘in order that gentlemen might have an opportunity of turning it in their minds’. Bagwell’s father said that ‘he made the motion at the instance of his hon. friend, who thought it inconsistent with the Act alluded to, and not less with his clerical duty, to hold his seat, yet should not object if the House thought otherwise’.3

When the debate was resumed on 9 Nov. Bagwell said that he had consulted a learned friend who had some doubts on the subject but was not present, and asked for further delay. Isaac Corry thus took up the story on 10 Nov. 1801:

Bagwell’s case promised debate, Lord Glenbervie being clear that the seat was not vacant—it was yesterday postponed for discussion for tomorrow when I suggested to Addington the expediency of vacating instead of debating—he assented and then I assailed Bagwell to take the Chiltern Hundreds—after growling at the charge of £100 for fees he consented and this day a writ is moved vice the parson—much better so ended all agree, except only Ley who wished it debated—as the proviso can operate only during this session surely debate is better avoided.4

Bagwell’s father subsequently pressed for the deanery of Clogher for him, and he was given another in 1804 while he waited (until 1806) for a vacancy at Clogher.5 In 1807 his father asked for a bishopric for him. Lord Hawkesbury could not stomach this: ‘we should have soon no persons bishops in Ireland but the younger sons and second brothers of Members of Parliament’.6 In 1808 Chief Secretary Wellesley would not offer a prebend to Bagwell and in 1814 Peel alleged that he would rather make Bagwell senior a peer than his son a bishop.7 His brother William subsequently pressed for promotion for him, but Bagwell died dean of Clogher in April 1826. His eldest son succeeded to the Marlfield estate.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: Arthur Aspinall


  • 1. Add. 35728, f. 72.
  • 2. PRO 30/9/1, pt. 1/2, Bagwell to Abbot, 19 Oct. 1801.
  • 3. Senator (ser. 2), iii. 181.
  • 4. Ibid. 183, 185; PRO 30/9/1, pt. 2/2, Corry to Abbot, 10 Nov. 1801.
  • 5. Add. 35715, ff. 91, 109; PRO 30/8/188, f. 323.
  • 6. Wellington mss, Bagwell to Wellesley, 1 May, Hawkesbury to same, 6 May 1807.
  • 7. Ibid. Wellesley to Richmond, 18 May 1807; Add. 40286, f. 182.