Edwards, Humphrey (DNB00)

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EDWARDS, HUMPHREY (d. 1658), regicide, was, according to Noble, a younger son of Thomas Edwards of Shrewsbury, by Ann, widow of Stephen Ducket, and daughter of Humphrey Baskerville, alderman of London. He is represented as 'having alwaies been a half-faced cavalier, changing his party for his profit.' Disappointed at not obtaining a reward for attending the king to the commons when he went to demand the five members, 4 Jan. 1642, Edwards took sides with the parliament, was elected member for Shropshire, probably in the place of Sir Richard Lee, 'disabled to sit' (Lists of Members of Parliament, Official Return, pt. i. p. 492), and on being nominated one of the commissioners of the high court of justice attended each day of the trial, and signed the death-warrant. During the Commonwealth he served on the committee of revenue, and was appointed a commissioner of South Wales 25 June 1651 (Cal State Papers, Dom. 1651, p. 266). He hankered after the chief ushership of the exchequer, then held by Clement Walker, and, after vainly soliciting the committee of sequestrations to sequester Walker during his incarceration in the Tower, persuaded the committee of revenue to confer the office on him 'untill the parliament declare their pleasure therein, by an order dated 1 Feb. 1649–50. On the following 21 March, though the order had not been ratified by parliament, he took forcible possession of Walker's official residence (The Case between C. Walker and H. Edwards, s. sh. fol. 1650; The Case of Mrs. Mary Walker, s. sh. fol. 1650). Edwards died in 1658, and was buried at Richmond on 2 Aug (parish reg.) In the letters of administration granted in P. C. C. to his sister. Lady Lucy Ottley, on 26 Oct. 1658, he is described as 'late of Richmond in the county of Surrey, a batchelor' (Administration Act Book, P. C. C. 1658, f. 270). Although he had died before the Restoration he was excepted out of the bill of pardon and oblivion, so that his property might be confiscated (Commons' Journals, viii. 61, 286). In this way a parcel of the manor of West Ham which had been acquired by him was restored to the possession of the queen (ib. viii. 73).

[Noble's Lives of the Regicides, i. 200-1 ; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1649-50, p. 186, 1651, pp. 237, 266, 1655, p. 80; Wood's Athenæ Oxon (Bliss), iii. 864.]

G. G.