Humphrey Edwards

Humphrey Edwards (1582-1658) was one of the regicides of King Charles I of England.

Born in Shrewsbury, Edwards was educated at Shrewsbury School and trained as a lawyer at Gray's Inn, but was not called to the bar. He became a minor official at the King's court, and is said to have attended King Charles in his attempt to arrest the Five Members in January 1642. With his friend Sir Gregory Norton, Edwards came over to Parliament on the outbreak of the First Civil War, which earned him a lasting reputation as a turncoat.

In 1646, Edwards was elected recruiter Member of Parliament for Shropshire and emerged as a firm supporter of the Independents. He was active in setting up the High Court of Justice for the trial of the King and was a signatory of the King's death warrant. During the Commonwealth of England, he profited from the sale of Church and Crown lands, and became involved in an acrimonious public dispute with Clement Walker over a position at the Exchequer in 1650. Edwards lost his seat in Parliament with Oliver Cromwell's dissolution of the Rump in 1653, then lived quietly until his death in 1658.


*This article contains text under a Creative Commons License by David Plant, the British Civil Wars and Commonwealth website

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