NEVILLE, Sir Edward, 1st Bt. (c.1651-85), of Grove, nr. East Retford, Notts.
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Family and Education
b. c.1651, o.s. of Edward Neville of Grove by Anne, da. of Sir Peter Scott, one of the Six Clerks in Chancery, of Camberwell, Surr. educ. Jesus, Oxf. matric. 26 Mar. 1669, aged 17. m. (1) lic. 8 Nov. 1669, aged 19, Catherine (d. 17 May 1683) da. of Edward Holte, groom of the bedchamber to Charles I, of Aston, Warws., wid. of Thomas Gee, and Edward Kedermister of Iver, Bucks., s.p.; (2) lic. 10 July 1684, Elizabeth, da. of one Wakefield, wid. of Edmund Bostock of the Middle Temple, s.p. suc. fa. c.1659; kntd. 11 Dec. 1671; cr. Bt. 24 Feb. 1675.1
Commr. for assessment, Notts. 1673-80, dep. lt. 1675-d., j.p. 1676-d.; dep. recorder, East Retford 1685-d.2
Neville was descended from a branch of the Lincolnshire Neviles which had settled in Nottinghamshire early in the 13th century and provided a knight of the shire in 1363. His father, though taking no active part in the Civil War, was elected as a recruiter for East Retford, two-and-a-half miles from Grove; thenceforward he was regularly named to the county committees till his death, acted as commissioner for removing obstructions to the sale of forfeited estates, and sat for the county during the Protectorate. Neville, orphaned at an early age, succeeded to property worth close on £1,000 p.a., as well as his father’s borough seat in the Exclusion Parliaments as soon as he became old enough to take it. But he did not succeed to his father’s politics, perhaps under the influence of his guardian’s wife, whom he subsequently married himself, though she must have been twice his age; the sister of Sir Robert Holte, she doubtless shared her family’s royalism. Despite a youthful misdemeanour that brought him before the Privy Council on a charge of poaching the royal game on Hounslow Heath, Neville was appointed to the lieutenancy on the recommendation of the 1st Duke of Newcastle, and to the commission of the peace at the instance of Lord Halifax (Sir George Savile). Though Shaftesbury marked him ‘honest’ in 1679, he was not active, and on 10 Apr. he was given leave to go into the country for the recovery of his health, and he was absent from the division on the exclusion bill. He returned to the House on the following day when he was among the Members named to investigate the dispatch of an artillery train to Portsmouth, and on 13 May he was appointed to the committee for the Irish cattle bill. He was reported unresolved whether to stand again on the very eve of the election, but though he neither attended himself, owing to illness, nor sent anyone to act for him, he was re-elected without a contest. Neither in the second nor the third Exclusion Parliaments (to which he was again returned unopposed) was he named to any committees, but he probably supported the Court, for he was marked ‘very right’ on the Nottinghamshire militia list. It was suggested by his brother-in-law John Millington that he might succeed Sir William Hickman at the ordnance board
considering his family, his estate, his parts and great industry to whatever he takes in hand, to which may be added his constant assurance not only of being a Parliament man during his life, but the great influence he hath upon the place for which he serves to make whom he please with him. ... No person in this county is courted so highly by the factious party.
Although never given office, Neville remained loyal to the Court. On 19 Feb. 1685 he carried up the East Retford charter, which ‘had not been surrendered but by the great loyalty, and prudence and power of Sir Edward Neville’, and was appointed deputy recorder to the 2nd Duke of Newcastle (Henry Cavendish). He was foreman of the grand jury which presented a loyal address to the new King, and was again returned unopposed to James II’s Parliament. He was moderately active, being appointed to the committee of elections and privileges and to five others; but he died on 20 Dec., leaving £500 to Millington and his estate to a cousin, Charles Neville, who survived him only two years. Grove was then sold to pay his debts, estimated by his widow at £20,000. The purchaser’s son, William Levinz, was three times elected for East Retford under Queen Anne.3
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: John. P. Ferris
- 1. Fam. Min. Gent. (Harl. Soc. xl), 1235; Vis. Surr. (Harl. Soc. xliii), 49; G. W. G. Gyll, Hist. Wraysbury. 89; PCC 72 Coke, 62, 80 Lloyd, 141 Bunce (will of John Millington); Mar. Lic. (Index Lib. xxxiii), 22; London Mar. Lic. ed. Foster, 964; Mar. Lic. (Harl. Soc. xxx), 172; Nottingham Univ. Lib. Ey 258; C10/88/80; C6/255/42.
- 2. CSP Dom. 1675-6, p. 233; 1685, p. 86.
- 3. The Gen. n.s. xxvii. 6, 232; A. C. Wood, Notts. in the Civil War, 165-6; C6/255/42; Spencer mss, Henry Thynne to Ld. Halifax, 24 June 1675, Sir William Hickman to Halifax, 27, 30 Aug. 1679, Millington to Halifax, 1 June 1681, Newcastle to Halifax 10 Feb., 31 Mar., 13 Apr. 1685; EHR xlvi. 253; Bath mss, Thynne pprs. 15, f. 22, Halifax to Sir Thomas Thynne, 24 Feb. 1681; HMC 2nd Rep. 17; C8/430/18.