Edward Somerset, 4th Earl of Worcester

Edward Somerset, 4th Earl of Worcester, KG, Earl Marshal (c. 1550 – 3 March 1628) was an English aristocrat.[1] He was an important advisor to King James I (James VI of Scots), serving as Lord Privy Seal.

The Earl of Worcester
Borncirca 1550
Died3 March 1628
Noble familyHouse of Beaufort
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Hastings, Countess of Worcester
Henry Somerset, 5th Earl of Worcester
Thomas Somerset, 1st Viscount Somerset
Catherine Somerset
Blanche Somerset
Frances Somerset
FatherWilliam Somerset, 3rd Earl of Worcester
MotherChristian North

He was the only son of three children born to the 3rd Earl of Worcester and Christiana North. On 21 February 1589, he succeeded his father as Earl of Worcester.

In June 1590 Worcester travelled to Edinburgh to congratulate James VI of Scotland on his safe return from Denmark and marriage to Anne of Denmark, and gave notice that the king was to join the Order of the Garter.[2] He discussed with James rumours that English ships had lain in wait for his return. At first, he was not able to see Anne of Denmark who had toothache, and he joked that in England this would be interpreted as a sign she was pregnant. Worcester had an audience with Anne, and took her letter to Elizabeth. He was accompanied by Lord Compton who watched 'pastimes' or hunting on the sands of Leith.[3]

In 1593 he was made a Knight of the Garter.

In 1606 he was appointed Keeper of the Great Park, a park created for hunting by Henry VIII around Nonsuch Palace, of which Worcester Park was a part. The residence Worcester Park House was built in 1607.


He married Lady Elizabeth Hastings in December 1571. She was a daughter of Francis Hastings, 2nd Earl of Huntingdon and Catherine Pole. Catherine was a daughter of Henry Pole, 1st Baron Montagu and Jane Neville. Jane was in turn a daughter of George Nevill, 4th Baron Bergavenny and his wife Margaret, daughter of Hugh Fenn. They had fifteen children among whom were:

Four of his daughters danced as the rivers of Monmouthshire in the court masque Tethys' Festival on 5 June 1610; Lady Catherine Windsor as the "Nymph of Usk"; Lady Katherine Petre as the "Nymph of Olwy"; Lady Elizabeth Guildford as the "Nymph of Dulesse"; and Lady Mary Wintour as the "Nymph of Wye".[6]

Somerset is buried in the family chapel in the Church of St Cadoc, Raglan, Monmouthshire[7]



  1. "Somerset, Edward, fourth earl of Worcester". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  2. Joseph Bain, Hamilton Papers, vol. 2 (Edinburgh, 1892), p. 710.
  3. Calendar State Papers Scotland, vol. 10 (Edinburgh, 1936), pp. 324-5, 331.
  4. "Somerset, Sir Charles". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  5. John Burke and John Bernard Burke., Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies, pp. 369–370
  6. Edmund Sawyer, Memorials of Affairs of State from the papers of Ralph Winwood, vol. 3 (London, 1725), p. 181: John Nichols, The Progresses, Processions, and Magnificent Festivities, of King James the First, vol. 2 (London, 1828), p. 349.
  7. Newman, John (2002). Gwent/Monmouthshire. New Haven; London: Yale University Press. p. 305. ISBN 978-0-300-09630-9.
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Essex
Master of the Horse
Succeeded by
Sir George Villiers
Preceded by
The 2nd Earl of Pembroke
Custos Rotulorum of Monmouthshire
Succeeded by
The 3rd Earl of Pembroke
Lord Lieutenant of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire
jointly with Henry Somerset 1626–1628

Succeeded by
The Earl of Worcester
Preceded by
In Commission
Earl Marshal
Succeeded by
In Commission
Preceded by
The Earl of Somerset
Lord Privy Seal
Succeeded by
Sir John Coke
Peerage of England
Preceded by
William Somerset
Earl of Worcester
Succeeded by
Henry Somerset
Baron Herbert
(descended by acceleration)


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