EDWARDS, John III (d.1635), of Denb.
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Family and Education
?2nd s. of John Wyn Edwards of Cefn y Wern, Chirk by Jane, da. of John Edwards of Plas Newydd, wid. of John Ellis of Alrhey, Bangor Iscoed, Flints. m. Joan, at least 1s. 1da.1
The above is a possible identity for the 1589 Flint MP. The Edwards of Cefn y Wern were a junior branch of the important family of Edwards of Plas Newydd, Chirk. John Wyn Edwards was second cousin (and his wife aunt) to the head of the house, John Edwards II, who won the stormy Denbighshire election of 1588, and he helped his kinsman, it was alleged, by threatening to turn recalcitrant freeholders out of their holdings. In fact there appears to have been a concerted campaign in 1588 to secure the predominance in north-eastern Wales of the Edwards clan and their sympathisers.2
As a younger son Edwards had to make his own way, and it was very likely he who by 1585 had entered the service of the London merchant Thomas Myddelton, making business trips on his behalf to Ireland and the Low Countries. A John Edwards is mentioned among the Earl of Leicester’s followers in the Netherlands during the campaigns of 1586-7. He was still (or again) in Myddelton’s service some eight years later, and must have remained with the family, for, in 1612, when the younger Thomas Myddelton, the future Roundhead general, was installed at Chirk castle, the inventory of goods remaining there was signed by John Edwards. The designation ‘of Denbigh’ in the Randie Holme pedigree suggests that at some time he was living there (possibly in the Myddelton house of Galch Hill) as one of Myddelton’s many North Wales agents.3
The will of a John Edwards of Stansty, Denbighshire was proved in the prerogative court of Canterbury 21 Sept. 1635. His widow and son David were the joint executors, and mentioned also are his ‘son Kyffyn’, ‘son Jones’ (owed £150 for the residue of his wife’s portion), his daughter Anne (to be provided for by her mother) and his ‘cousin’ Meredith. The testator was evidently insolvent. The executors were enjoined to sell his goods, including ‘all my books’, to pay his debts, and his wife and son received ‘nought but my blessing’. A sentence in the will goes far to establish the testator’s identity with John Edwards the subject of this biography: ‘As for my reckoning with Sir Thomas Myddelton of Chirk, he and I were at even account Hilary Term last ... I have ever found him my honourable good friend and benefactor to me and mine and I hope he will be so when I am gone’.4