BERKELEY, Edward (d.1596).
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
MP [I] Antrim 1585.
Constable, Askeaton castle, Ireland by 1586.2
A younger son of a distinguished Somerset gentleman who had once been Henry VIII’s standard-bearer, Berkeley was a professional soldier who, from about 1572, spent most of his life in Ireland. By 1574 he was captain of a company of foot, and over a period of 12 years acquired the good opinion of several commanders including the Earl of Ormonde and Sir John Perrot. While in Ireland, he wrote frequently to Burghley and Walsingham, and in April 1586 he came over to England in time to be returned to Parliament for the 2nd Earl of Pembroke’s borough of Old Sarum, perhaps through the intervention of Lord Burghley, perhaps through his brother Henry, who was Pembroke’s deputy lieutenant in Somerset. In May 1588 he was serving in the Netherlands under Leicester. He died in 1596. When he made his will that year, he was living at Solers Hope in Herefordshire. His will mentions unspecified property in England which he left to his wife: this could not have been the manor of Solers Hope, which belonged to Roger Bodenham. Berkeley owned the town and castle of Askeaton in Ireland, which he instructed his executors to sell to pay his debts, and also the nearby town and castle of Tomdeeley, which he bequeathed to his mistress, Lucy Whitton, who was living in the castle with their child.3