Bagwell, John Philip (‘Jack’) (1874–1946), railway executive and politician, was born 11 August 1874, only son of the historian Richard Bagwell (qv), of Marlfield, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, and Harriet Bagwell (qv) (née Newton) of Co. Carlow. He was educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Oxford. After Oxford, he joined the Midland Railway (England), where he served as an assistant superintendent of line (1905–9). He then returned to Ireland and served as superintendent of passenger services (1910–11) and general manager of the Great Northern Railway (1911–26).
In Easter 1916 Bagwell and his wife sustained bullet wounds while driving up Harcourt St., Dublin, away from the fighting on St Stephen's Green. A convinced unionist, he was elected by the general council of the Irish Unionist Alliance to its executive committee (1920), and served on the finance and general purposes committee, as well as on the standing committee. In 1922 he was one of W. T. Cosgrave's (qv) nominees to the senate, where he courageously served till its abolition in 1936, being reelected in November 1928 and November 1934. It was because of his membership of the senate that Marlfield (Bagwell's ancestral home, containing one of the finest private libraries in the country as well as many valuable artifacts) was burned down by anti-treaty forces on the night of 9 January 1923. Twenty days later, Bagwell was kidnapped by anti-treaty forces while walking with his wife near their home at Drumleck, Howth, Co. Dublin. After two days the government issued a proclamation warning the kidnappers that if he was not released within twenty-four hours, anti-treaty prisoners would be shot in reprisal. On 1 February Bagwell escaped, not unhindered by the proclamation, and the government assigned a bodyguard for his protection up to the end of the civil war. Marlfield was rebuilt in 1925, a replica of the Georgian original. In the seanad Bagwell was an active member of the largely ex-unionist independent group. There he opposed the Shannon electrification project, advising his friends ‘not to put a shilling into the scheme’. On the issue of divorce (1925) he argued that it was wrong to impose the religious views of the majority on members of the minority, and in 1934 he opposed the Wearing of Uniform (Restrictions) Bill, pointing out that Fianna Fáil had never proclaimed the IRA. The day after the senate rejected this bill (22 March 1934), de Valera (qv) introduced legislation in the dáil to abolish the senate, which came to pass in 1936.
Like his father, Bagwell was DL and JP for Co. Tipperary before independence. In Clonmel he was prominently associated with the Clonmel Horse Show and Agricultural Society, of which he was a highly efficient chairman for many years. A keen horseman, he was a member of the Tipperary Hounds and was a noted long-distance walker. He died 22 August 1946 at Marlfield House.
He married (1901) Louise, youngest daughter of Maj.-gen. George Shaw, CB, and sister of Flora, Lady Lugard (qv), author of Castle Blair. They had two sons and a daughter.