Mabel Bagenal ( - c.1600):
Wife of Hugh O'Neill
Mabel Bagenal was the sister of Henry Bagenal, who refused to allow Hugh O'Neill to marry her. Hugh defied him and mar-ried Mabel, who was half his age, secretly. Henry Bagenal tried to prove that Hugh was not properly divorced from his first wife, and two years after the marriage, he still witheld the dowry which had been left to Mabel by her father. She has often been cited by historians as the cause of hostili-ties between O'Neill and Bagenal, the `Helen of the Elizabethan Wars', though this simplistic assessment has been discred-ited. In 1594, Hugh and Mabel were described as papists, who supported semi-nary priests.