BAGNOLD, John (c.1642-98), of Derby

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1695 - 1 May 1698

Family and Education

b. c.1642, poss. s. of Walter Bagnold of Marston, Derbys.  m. bef. 1670, Hannah, da. of Joseph Parker of Derby, 3s. 1da.1

Offices Held

Town clerk, coroner and steward of Derby 1676–d.; dep.-receiver assessment, Derby 1678; receiver-gen. assessment, Derby 1678–80.2


After the 1695 election Lady Anne Pye wrote of the election at Derby:

Bagnold the town clerk is one, a small estate, no quality nor good repute but so great an interest in the town as to make the Duke [of Devonshire, William Cavendish†] at last resolve that his son the Lord Henry Cavendish* should join with him.

Little is known about Bagnold apart from his tenure of various local offices. He may have been related to the Bagnall family of Staffordshire, which provided Newcastle-under-Lyme with two town clerks in the 17th century. Alternatively, his father may have been the Walter Bagnall of Marston who stood as one of his sureties when Bagnold was appointed receiver-general of taxes for the county in 1678. The Bagnolds certainly had a small estate at Marston in the early 18th century, an enclave among the lands acquired by the Cavendish family after the dissolution of the monasteries.3

During the 1680s Bagnold trod the political tightrope with some skill, managing to retain his municipal offices despite the frequent changes in direction of successive regimes. In 1683 he was clearly assisting the Tory reaction by deposing evidence against George Vernon I*, the fiercely pro-Exclusionist MP for Derby, noting that Vernon had threatened to lead armed resistance rather than accept James as King, although Bagnold was noticeably less hostile than the other witnesses. By 1687–8, when Vernon was back in favour as a leading Whig ‘collaborator’ and right-hand man of the absentee lord lieutenant, the Earl of Huntingdon, Bagnold attached himself to Vernon in the hope of keeping the office of town clerk of Derby. Bagnold was notably reticent at appearing in public for the surrender of the borough charter at the beginning of 1688 and for Vernon’s court-sponsored candidacy at Derby in the ensuing parliamentary election. He was, however, willing to wait upon the lord lieutenant with a congratulatory address to the King on the birth of the Prince of Wales.4

The great interest which Vernon noted Bagnold as having in the town of Derby in 1688 was successfully put to the test in the 1695 election. Originally, it seemed that Bagnold and Vernon had divided up the town between them, but a late intervention by Lord Henry Cavendish persuaded Bagnold to join with the Chatsworth interest and the two carried it despite the free-spending tactics of their opponent. Bagnold even felt confident enough of his position to approach the Duke of Devonshire to finance his defence against an expected election petition from Vernon. However, if Bagnold felt that he owed his election to Cavendish influence, he did not show it in his parliamentary conduct. He was forecast as likely to oppose the Court in the divisions of 31 Jan. 1696 over the proposed council of trade and voted against the Court in March over fixing the price of guineas at 22s., on both occasions appearing on the opposite side to his fellow-Member Cavendish. He did however sign the Association. The only legislation with which he was associated was the Derwent navigation bill. On 12 Dec. 1695 he was the sole Member ordered to prepare it, presenting the bill on 18 Dec., but it never emerged from committee following a petitioning campaign against it. In the following session he voted on 25 Nov. 1696 against the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†, before being given leave of absence on 8 Mar. 1697.5

Bagnold died on 1 May 1698, aged 55, and was buried in All Saints’ church, Derby, the only member of his immediate family to sit in Parliament. His son John was mayor of Derby in 1717.6

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Stuart Handley


  • 1. Derbys. RO, D652/T2; R. Simpson, Hist. Derby, i. 355; W. Woolley, Hist. Derbys. (Derbys. Rec. Soc. vi), p. xiii; Lysons, Derbys. 117–18.
  • 2. Info. from Derby Local Stud. Lib.; CSP Dom. 1676–7, p. 231; Cal. Treas. Bks. v. 949, 1098–9, vi. 644–5, 673.
  • 3. HMC Portland, iii. 573; Woolley, p. xiii.
  • 4. The Commons 166090, iii. 636–7; CSP Dom. July–Sept. 1683, p. 210; HMC Hastings, ii. 184; Huntington Lib. Hastings mss HA369–73, 3227–8, 12974–5, 12979, 12983, Bagnold to Huntingdon, 5 Mar. 1687[–8], 26 Mar., 16, 25 Apr., 30 Aug. 1688, G. Fletcher to same, 21 Mar. 1687[–8], 28 May 1688, Vernon to same, 31 Jan., 4 Mar., 1 July 1688, n.d.
  • 5. Devonshire mss at Chatsworth House, Whildon pprs., John to James Whildon, 25 Oct. 1695, ‘Monday afternoon’; C84–86, Aaron Kinton to same, 31 Oct., 9 Nov. 1695; HMC Portland, iii. 573; Hereford and Worcester RO (Hereford), Harley mss C64/117, ballot for commrs. of accts.
  • 6. Lysons, 117–18; Simpson, 355; Woolley, 48.