|Medium:||Television, Book, TV|
|Also known as:||Unknown|
Hagman is described as the oldest of the rifles; although he doesn't know exactly when he was born, he is described as being between forty and fifty years old, and missing most of his teeth. He has "a face like a grave-digger, hair down to his shoulder blades." (Sharpe's Skirmish) He had been a poacher in Cheshire, as had been his father. When caught, he was given the choice of prison or the army. He chose the army, leaving his wife, a "God-damned sawney mouthed bitch of a sodding witch" behind (Sharpe's Rifles). Sharpe wondered how he'd ever been caught since he had an uncanny ability to find his way in the dark and assumed he must have been drunk (Sharpe's Gold). Although Hagman was one of the very few who had not gotten insensibly drunk with the rest of the company in Sharpe's Rifles.
He was seriously wounded at a skirmish outside Barca d'Avintas in Portugal, taking a ball to the chest. Sharpe refused to leave him behind, and as luck would have it, they billeted in one of the English merchant's houses for almost a month, giving Hagman the chance to heal. While delirious he muttered the name "Amy," and was later surprised he had, since he had not thought of her in years. He explained she had been the rector's daughter - who did things not rector's daughter ought to do. He had recommended a poltice of spider webs, moss, and vinegar backed on brown paper and tied tight to the wound. Apparently it worked because he marched out with his unit. (Sharpe's Havoc)While the company was under siege at San Isidro in Sharpe's Battle, he reveals that as a boy he spent a year down a coal mine in Derbyshire. He hated the mine, and was frightened from the moment he entered the shaft. He also said working girls used to come down the mine and work their trade among the men. A girl called Dwarf Babs who charged a penny, was his first woman, "And she didn't even charge me." He figured that if his father had not died about then, which had his mother moving to Handbridge to live with her sister, he'd have been there still - or dead, since life expectancy in the mines was about thirty.
In Sharpe's Enemy he offers to play valet for Sharpe, but is refused. The amused Hagman told Sharpe he was a bloody awful Major, "You have to learn to learn to have things done for you, sir, like the nobs." That if he ate with quality, he couldn't look like a tinker. Although for himself, he could not see the point of a fork when the good Lord gave you fingers.
In Sharpe's Christmas, it was Hagman who was called upon to deliver the baby of a French camp follower, "Isn't the first baby I've done, sir.... I'll see her right."
He is the best marksman among the Rifles. He was a careful and deliberate shot, precise, preferring using the finest loose powder to charge his weapon rather than the prepared cartridges. He often follows each shot with a softly spoken "got him."
During the battle of Waterloo, after Sharpe takes command of the Prince of Wales' Own, Hagman takes a bullet through the chest. Sharpe kneels beside him, holding his hand, as the older man bleeds out. He offers to get him to the surgeons, but Hagman's last words were, "Bugger them surgeons, Mr Sharpe."
TelevisionEditIn the TV Series it was with Hagman Sharpe made his first inroads toward connecting with his new command. He stopped to speak with the former poacher and helped him through a boggy ground. It was this action that made Theresa smile.
He served a chief midwife for Ramona when she gave birth to Harper's son. He was calm and cool throughout, but admitted he'd never help a human give birth before.
In Sharpe's Siege, Matthew Robinson, a young rifleman from the 60th Rifles reckoned he was the best shot in the company, and like Hagman liked to grind his powder fine, and load with loose power rather than the prepared cartridges when there was time. Upon observing Robinson's grind, Hagman commented drily, "If ye grind it too fine, it'll blow yer bloody head off, then nobody'll know who's best shot; thee or me."
When Robinson later had the opportunity to act as sniper, his target survived, Hagman backed him up and delivered a fatal shot. The two marksmen shook hands and agreed that Robinson was second best shot.
At Waterloo, he and Harris rejoin Sharpe and take positions as sergeants on the Prince of Orange's roster. At the defense of La Haye Sainte, they ran out of ammunition, and in his effort to abandon the location, Orange knocked Hagman to the ground. A French infantryman then shot him in the head, he died instantly. Sharpe came near tears when he heard, and attempted to assassinate Orange to prevent any more unnecessary deaths among the men.
In the TV adaptations he was played by John Tams, a noted English folk musician and composer, who arranged and sang much of the music used in the series.