Pre 1800, — January 27, 2010 14:13 — 0 Comments

Henry Bagenal, failed soldier

Sir Henry Bagenal’s (son of Nicholas) claim to fame rested on his being a soldier and adventurer, and yet he became associated with a series of military disasters. 

Hugh O’Neill, whose army killed Henry Bagenal at the Yellow Ford 1598

In August 1580 he commanded the rear with Sir William Stanley when Lord Grey of Wilton led his forces, many of them raw recruits, into the Wicklow mountain passes; they were defeated by Feagh McHugh O’Byrne’s and Viscount Baltinglass’s men at Glenmalure on 25 August. 

As chief assistant to his father on the commission for Ulster, Henry was active in taking musters and surveying lands.  He was also associated with the various divide-and-rule schemes of Lord Deputy Perrot in his efforts to contain the rival ambitions of New English and Gaelic lords. 

In 1584 Sir Henry was stationed as colonel of the garrison at Carrickfergus to contain and repulse the incursions of Sorley Boy MacDonald’s Scots, but in September about 1300 of them landed on Rathlin Island under Angus MacDonald.  Bagenal went on the attack but was ambushed in a narrow defile at Glenarm in the Glens of Antrim and had to make a precipitate retreat to Carrickfergus.

Bagenal was frequently in dispute with other English officials and military men. In February 1585, during a disagreement with Sir William Stanley, his brother Dudley Bagenal, then captain of a band in south Clandeboye, Antrim, came to blows with Stanley

The steward of Clandeboye, Nicholas Dawtrey alleged it was Bagenal’s ambitions that drove O’Neill into open warfare, initiating the Nine Years War.

… more later …

Henry Bagenal under fire …


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