MAINWARING, Edward (c.1602-1674), of the Middle Temple, London; later of Whitmore, Staffs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



1661 - c. Oct. 1674

Family and Education

b. c.1602, 1st s. of Edward Mainwaring† of Whitmore and Sarah (bur. July 1648), da. of John Stone, Haberdasher of London. educ. M. Temple, 1620. m. settlement 19 Sept. 1627, (with £1,000) Anne (bur. 1693), da. of George Lomax, of Clifton, Notts., 6s. (2 d.v.p.) 5da. suc. fa. 1647. bur. 23 Oct. 1674.1 sig. E[dward] Mainwaring.

Offices Held

J.p. Staffs. by 1645-d.,2 sheriff 1645-6,3 commr. sequestration 1647,4 assessment 1648-68, 1673-d., militia, Staffs. and Lichfield, Staffs. 1648, Staffs. 1659-60, oyer and terminer, Oxf. circ. by 1654-at least 1673,5 securing the peace, Staffs. 1655-56,6 charitable uses 1656, 1661, 1669, 1671, 1672,7 inquiry into the union and division of Staffs. parishes 1656,8 Poll Tax, Staffs. 1660, 1666,9 subsidy 1671.10


Mainwaring is easily confused with his father, and here it is assumed that up until 1647, when the father died, references to ‘Edward Mainwaring’, without qualification, are to the latter. The Staffordshire Mainwarings were a junior branch of an ancient Cheshire family settled at Over Peover from the time of the Domesday Book. In 1546 Mainwaring’s great-grandfather, Edward Mainwaring, the sixth son of Sir John Mainwaring of Over Peover, married Anne Boughley, the heiress of Whitmore, a property situated four miles from Newcastle-under-Lyme. Mainwaring’s father was an important and well-connected figure in the region; Sir Richard Leveson* described him as his ‘well beloved friend’. He represented Newcastle-under-Lyme while studying at the Middle Temple in 1601 and subsequently served three times as mayor of the borough. He was also a prominent magistrate and an active Forced Loan commissioner.11

Mainwaring himself grew up under the influence of the nonconformist John Ball, minister of Whitmore, who lived for many years with the Mainwarings. However, Mainwaring may have abandoned in adult life the Calvinism in which he was brought up. His ownership of the annotations on the Gospels and Old Testament of the Dutch Arminian Grotius points to this conclusion, as does the fact that in the 1650s Mainwaring befriended and protected William Higgins, a sequestered Anglican clergyman, who may have educated his eldest son.12 There is no evidence that Mainwaring attended university but he was clearly well educated, for at his death he owned £19 worth of books, including works in Latin and Greek.13

The Edward Mainwaring elected for Newcastle-under-Lyme in 1625 was certainly the son rather than the father because the municipal records identify him as ‘the younger’.14 Mainwaring was presumably returned on his father’s interest, and like his father was elected while still at the Middle Temple. Mainwaring made little or no impression of the records of the Parliament. The Mr. Mainwaring who was appointed to consider the bill to enable the trustees of Richard Sackville, 3rd earl of Dorset to sell land on 8 July, was probably Philip Mainwaring, a member of the Cheshire branch of the family and a client of Dorset’s cousin, Thomas Howard, earl of Arundel.15

In the 1630s Mainwaring became involved in his family’s longstanding feud with the Bowyers of Knypersley. In 1632 his brother John was presented to the rectory of Stoke-on-Trent by Roger Brereton, but the following year John Bowyer, cousin of Sir William Bowyer II*, was appointed to the same living by the Crown. The dispute that ensued led to the prosecution of John Mainwaring and Brereton for simony in the court of High Commission. John was exonerated but Brereton was not, and Mainwaring and his father were among Brereton’s compurgators.16

Mainwaring and his father adhered to Parliament at the outbreak of the Civil War, and as a result Charles I purged the latter from the Staffordshire bench in the summer of 1642.17 It was presumably also the father who was appointed by Parliament to the Staffordshire county committee, although both father and son appear to have been members. In January 1645 Edward Mainwaring ‘junior’ was appointed to a sub-committee to organize the destruction of Heighley Castle. The Mainwarings belonged to the moderate faction on the committee which supported the 2nd earl of Denbigh and opposed the radicals led by Sir William Brereton†.18 Mainwaring was appointed to the county bench during the Civil War and remained an active magistrate throughout the various changes of regime during the late 1640s and 1650s. As a member of the Staffordshire commission for securing the peace of the Commonwealth he participated in the rule of the major-generals.19 It was erroneously reported in 1660 that he had been re-elected for Newcastle-under-Lyme, but he was not returned for the borough until the elections for the Cavalier Parliament the following year.20 He had little difficulty adapting himself to the Restoration. In a survey of the Staffordshire gentry in the early 1660s he was described as ‘prudent and sober’, and it was said that he ‘was of the Parliament party but pretends to be loyal and orthodox’. His income was estimated at £1,000 p.a. and he was described as ‘moneyed’.21

Mainwaring was buried at Whitmore on 23 Oct. 1674 and his will, dated 7 Jan. 1673, was proved at Lichfield on 24 July 1675.22 A portrait of Mainwaring, painted when he was a young man, was in the possession of the Cavanagh-Mainwaring family at Whitmore Hall in the 1930s.23 His eldest son, also called Edward, was returned for Newcastle-under-Lyme in 1685.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Ben Coates


  • 1. Staffs. Hist. Colls. ed. H.S. Grazebrook (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. v. pt. 2), 208; PROB 11/113, f. 357; Regs. of Par. of St. Mary and All Saints Whitmore, transcribed E.S. Peers (Birmingham and Midland Soc. for Genealogy and Heraldry 2006), pp. 18-22, 30, 40; M. Temple Admiss; Staffs. RO, D(W)1743/T/26.
  • 2. Staffs. RO, Q/SO/5, p. 159; Q/SR/263/22.
  • 3. LJ, viii. 38a.
  • 4. CJ, v. 76b-77a.
  • 5. A. and O. i. 1091, 1242; ii. 42, 307, 476, 673, 1078, 1331, 1377, 1441; C181/6, p. 11; 181/7, p. 638; SR, v. 338, 539, 768.
  • 6. CSP Thurloe ed. T. Birch, iv. 648.
  • 7. C93/24/1; 93/26/14; 93/31/23; 93/34/15.
  • 8. J. Sutton, ‘Cromwell’s commrs. for preserving the peace of the Commonwealth: a Staffs. case study’, Soldiers, Writers and Statesmen of Eng. Rev. ed. I. Gentles, J. Morrill and B. Worden, 182.
  • 9. SR, v. 218, 586.
  • 10. Staffs. RO, D1798/HM Chetwynd/116.
  • 11. G. Cavenagh-Mainwaring, ‘Mainwarings of Whitmore and Biddulph’, Staffs. Hist. Colls. (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. 1933), p. 47; PROB 11/106, f. 52r-v; SP16/59/32.
  • 12. S. Clarke, Lives of Two and Twenty English Divines (1660), pp. 172-3; Lichfield RO, B/C11, will of Edward Mainwaring, 1675; J. Walker, Sufferings of the Clergy, ii. 39-40; Life, Diary, and Corresp. of Sir William Dugdale ed. W. Hamper, 319, 321, 333-4; Al. Cant. (sub Mainwaring’s son Edward).
  • 13. Lichfield RO, B/C11, will and inventory of Edward Mainwaring, 1674-5.
  • 14. T. Pape, Newcastle-under-Lyme, 268.
  • 15. Procs. 1625, p. 350.
  • 16. Cavenagh-Mainwaring, 66, 145-6; Staffs. RO, D3332/1/1; Staffs. RO D(W)1743/T/258-9; Staffs. Hist. Colls. ed. W.N. Landor (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. 1915), pp. 249, 254; CSP Dom. 1635-6, p. 514.
  • 17. C231/5, p. 536.
  • 18. Staffs. Hist. Colls. ed. D.H. Pennington and I.A. Roots (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. ser. 4. i), 183, 237, 353; Letter Bks. of Sir William Brereton ed. R.N. Dore (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. cxxviii), 349, n. 2.
  • 19. Staffs. RO, Q/SO/5; Q/SO/6.
  • 20. An Exact Accompt, lxxxi, 6-13 Apr. 1660, p. 243.
  • 21. Staffs. Hist. Colls. ed. R.M. Kitson (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. ser. 4. ii), 36.
  • 22. Lichfield RO, B/C11.
  • 23. Cavenagh-Mainwaring, facing p. 67.