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John Philip Bagwell DL (11 August 1874 – 22 August 1946) was an Irish businessman and politician.

Early life and family

Bagwell was born on 11 August 1874,[1] the son of Harriette (née Newton) and Richard Bagwell.[2] The Bagwells of Marlfield could trace their arrival in Ireland to John Bagwell (Backwell), a captain in Cromwell's New Model Army.[3] Bagwell married Louisa Shaw, the daughter of George Shaw, a Major General.[2] He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 4th (Militia) Battalion of The Royal Irish Regiment on 7 March 1900,[4] and promoted to lieutenant on 28 July 1900.


Bagwell was general manager of Ireland's Great Northern Railways (GNR) between 1911 and 1926.[5]


Bagwell became an independent member of Seanad Éireann in the Irish Free State in 1922, and held that office until 1936.[6] During the Irish Civil War he was kidnapped and held hostage by anti-Treaty forces in the Dublin Mountains. The Free State government responded by issuing a proclamation to the effect that if Bagwell were not safely released, reprisals would be taken.[7][8] Bagwell, however, maintained that he escaped his captors through his own efforts and his safe release could not be attributed to these threats.[9] At around the same time, the family residence at Marlfield House, Clonmel, County Tipperary, was burned by Anti-treaty forces and the library of rare historical documents destroyed.[10]


  1. Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh. Burke's Irish Family Records. London, U.K.: Burkes Peerage Ltd, 1976. p.51
  2. 2.0 2.1 "John Philip Bagwell". 
  3. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry, p 45 via; accessed 20 February 2017.
  4. "No. 27171". 6 March 1900. p. 1532. 
  5. "Account by John Philip Bagwell of his kidnapping by the IRA in 1923 and his subsequent escape" (in en). 
  6. "Mr. John Philip Bagwell". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  7. Dáil Éireann - January 1923 - PROCLAMATION RE KIDNAPPING Archived 2011-06-07 at the Wayback Machine.,; accessed 20 February 2017.
  8. New York Times, 1 February 1923.
  9. Seanad Éireann - Volume 7 Archived 2011-06-07 at the Wayback Machine.,, 16 June 1926; accessed 20 February 2017.
  10. M. Bence-Jones, A Guide to Irish Country Houses, London, 1988

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