Sir Edmund UVEDALE of Gussage All Saints and Holt Park

Died: 1606

Father: Francis UVEDALE of Horton (Sir)

Mother: Catherine ZOUCHE

Married: Mary DORMER (w. of Sir Anthony Browne - m.3 Thomas Gerard - m.4 William Pelham) AFT Jun 1592


The details in this biography come from the History of Parliament, a biographical dictionary of Members of the House of Commons.

Second son of Sir Francis Uvedale of Horton by Catherine, dau. of John, 8th Lord Zouche of Haringworth, Northants. Married Mary, dau. of Sir William Dormer, widow of Sir Anthony Browne, son and heir of the first Viscount Montagu, s.p. Kntd. 1588; suc. fa. 1589. Capt. in Netherlands by 1587, marshal of Flushing by 1593-7, surveyor gen. of the forces 1598-1604, sergeant major 1599; j.p.q. and dep. Lt. Dorset from c.1601, duchy of Lancaster guardian of Holt forest 1598.

As a captain in the Netherlands Uvedale got into difficulties with his accounts, killed the poet George Whetstone in a duel, and returned to England in disgrace. In Jun 1588 he complained to Sir Francis Walsingham that Sir Thomas Morgan had tried, after the duel, to take away my life, and gave these judgments:

"that by law I should be put to death, and both buried in one pit; if pardoned, to have my company taken from me, and banished ... it cost me 100 marks, or I had an end"

One of Uvedale's supporters sent Walsingham a testimonial: a more honest captain, and one that keepeth his soldiers in better order, is there not in the land, and he was eventually cleared by a council of war. Returning to the Netherlands, he was soon acting as lieutenant governor to Sir Robert Sidney. He was again in England in 1590, settling his father's estate, but by 1592 he had returned to his post, where he probably remained until 1595 when he came back to attend the christening of Sidney's child. By this time he was again in trouble over his accounts, and devoted his leave to trying to persuade the Queen to accept them, at the same time assuring Sidney that he was willing to return to the Netherlands as soon as Sidney himself was inconvenienced by his absence. The Queen remaining adamant, Uvedale endeavoured to sweeten Sir Robert Cecil with a gift of a gelding, 200 angels and, later, two choice falcons. These tactics, too, proved fruitless, Rowland White, Sidney's intelligencer, reporting to his master that Uvedale was fed but with the ordinary delays of court. Cecil at length declined to meddle in the business for his accounts. Finally, however, the matter was patched up, and from 1596 Uvedale was again in the Netherlands, whence, in 1597, he sent another present to Cecil as a continual remembrance of your favours shortly before returning to England on sick leave. He now went to Dorset to recover from his illness, and appears not to have returned to his duties abroad, though retaining command of his company in the Netherlands until 1599. An obscure episode in this part of his life concerns a letter he wrote to the Earl of Essex early in 1597, offering to serve him in some capacity. It appears that the Earl declined.

Early in 1598 Uvedale moved to London from Dorset, and was appointed surveyor general of the forces, his cousin, Captain Robert Williams, being appointed his deputy in Dorset. In Jul 1599, the Queen having a good opinion of his judgment, he was sent to investigate the defences of the Isle of Wight, where he pointed out the greater productivity of task men (piece workers) over pressed men. His promotion to sergeant major of the army soon followed. The commissioners of musters in Dorset were instructed to keep Uvedale informed of their decisions, and he became increasingly identified with the county. By 1601 he was of sufficient status to be elected knight of the shire, his claims to a county seat being no doubt strengthened by the fact that his brother Thomas was sheriff at the time of the election and by the support of his friend the lord lieutenant, Thomas Howard, Viscount Bindon, who addressed him as loving cousin and your very loving friend and kinsman. No mention of Uvedale by name has been found in the journals of the 1601 Parliament, but as a knight of the shire he could have attended committees concerned with the order of business, 3 Nov, and monopolies, 23 Nov.

Uvedale died 6 Apr 1606. He left a young horse, in token of my true and faithful love, to Charles Blount, Earl of Devonshire, bequeathed a gilt cup worth 6 to Richard Swayne, made various other family bequests, and remembered the poor of four or five parishes. His wife, the executrix, received a house and land at Poole, and was residuary legatee. He requested that no ceremony should be used at his funeral and 20s. was paid for his burial fees at Wimborne Minster, where a memorial was erected.
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