Edward Rodney

Sir Edward Rodney (29 June 1590 – 1657) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1621 and 1642.


Rodney was the son of Sir John Rodney of Rodney Stoke, Somerset, and his wife Jane Seymour, daughter of Sir Henry Seymour and niece of Queen Jane Seymour. He was educated at Trowbridge Grammar School and at Magdalen College, Oxford. He was then a student at Middle Temple where he "saluted only the law at a distance and mispent his time." In 1611 he accompanied William Seymour overseas after he escaped from the Tower of London to meet his wife Arbella Stuart. Seymour and Arbella were both in close line to the throne and they married secretly and without the King's consent, resulting in Seymour's imprisonment. Arbella was captured and later died in prison. Rodney returned to England later in 1611 leaving Seymour overseas for another four years.[1] Rodney was knighted in May 1614 on the occasion of his marriage to a Lady in waiting to the Queen.[2]


In 1621, Rodney was elected Member of Parliament for Wells. He was re-elected MP for Wells in 1624, 1625 and 1626. In 1628 he was elected MP for Somerset and sat until 1629 when King Charles decided to rule without parliament for eleven years. He was re-elected MP for Wells in April 1640 for the Short Parliament. He was re-elected MP for Wells in the Long Parliament in November 1640, but was disabled from sitting in August 1642 for supporting the King[3]

Family life

Rodney married Frances Southwell at Somerset House in May 1614. She was the daughter of Sir Robert Southwell of Woodrising Norfolk and his wife Lady Elizabeth Howard. She was a Lady of the Privy Chamber to Queen Anna. They had thirteen children, and only one son, George, reached his majority although he died aged 22. Their daughter Penelope married Peter Glenne of Norfolk and their daughter Ann married Sir Thomas Brydges of Keynsham.[1]

Rodney died at the age of 67 and was buried at the Church of St Leonard, Rodney Stoke, where there is a monument.[4]


Parliament of England
Preceded by
Sidney Montagu
Thomas Southworth
Member of Parliament for Wells
With: Thomas Southworth 1621–1624
Sir Thomas Lake
Succeeded by
John Baber
Sir Ralph Hopton
Preceded by
Sir Henry Berkeley
Sir John Horner
Member of Parliament for Somerset
With: Sir Robert Phelips
Succeeded by
Parliament suspended until 1640
Preceded by
Parliament suspended since 1629
Member of Parliament for Wells
With: John Baber 1640
Sir Ralph Hopton 1640–1642
Succeeded by
Lislebone Long
Clement Walker
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