Sir Edmund Verney (1590-1642)

Verney demonstrates well the heart searching that went on before the outbreak of the Civil War. He had a long association with Charles I, having been his servant before he came to the throne (1613), and had maintained that relationship in the intervening years. By 1642 he had benefited from Charles's sales of monopolies, received a court pension, and had lent Charles large sums of money. However, he was also a Puritan, a MP, and a member of both the Short and Long parliaments, and was opposed to Charles's arbitrary measures during the Eleven Years Tyranny. Even his sons were split - his eldest son fought for Parliament (as did his older brother), while his two younger sons joined Verney and fought for the King. Verney explained his decision to fight for the King in a letter, expressing motives common to many of Charles's supports.

I have eaten his bread and served him near thirty years, and will not do so base a thing as to forsake him; and choose rather to lose my life (which I am sure to do) to preserve and defend those things which are against my conscience to preserve and defend
Verney Memoirs, London, 1892, Vol. I, p.277

When war broke out, Verney was appointed to be the King's standard-bearer, but at the battle of Edgehill (23 October 1642), he was killed while engaged in intense hand to hand fighting, and the standard captured.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J. (19 April 2001), Sir Edmund Verney (1590-1642),

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