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Edward Waldegrave was the eldest son of John Waldegrave (d.1543) by Lora Rochester, daughter of Sir John Rochester of Essex, and sister of Sir Robert Rochester. He was the grandson of Sir Edward Waldegrave of Bures, Suffolk, and a descendant of Sir Richard Waldegrave, Speaker of the House of Commons.
In 1551 he was imprisoned in the Tower of London by King Edward VI (with Rochester and Francis Englefield), for refusing to carry out the Privy Council's ban on Mary having mass said in her house of Copt Hall, near Epping, Essex. He was released a year later and on Mary's accession in 1553 he was knighted, admitted to the Privy Council, granted the manors of Navestock, Essex, and Chewton, Somerset, and appointed Master of the Great Wardrobe.
Waldegrave was then elected to the Parliament of England for Wiltshire in October 1553, twice for Somerset in 1554 and lastly for Essex in 1558. He succeeded Rochester as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in 1554 and was granted the manor of Cobham, Kent. However, after Mary's death a year later, he was dismissed from all his posts and committed to the Tower again, by Queen Elizabeth, for allowing mass to be celebrated in his house.
Waldegrave died in the Tower in 1561. His grandson was Sir Edward Waldegrave, 1st Baronet.
Waldegrave married Frances Neville, a daughter of the executed Sir Edward Neville, by whom he had five children.
Sir Robert Rochester
|Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster|
Sir Ambrose Cave