WHALLEY, EDWARD (c. 1615-0. 1675), English regicide, the exact dates of whose birth and death are unknown, was the second son of Richard Whalley, who had been sheriff of Nottinghamshire in 1595, by his second wife Frances Cromwell, aunt of Oliver Cromwell. His great-grandfather was Richard Whalley (1499-1583), a prominent adherent of the protector Somerset and member of parliament. He is said to have started in the trade of a woollen-draper, but on the outbreak of the great rebellion he took up arms for the parliament, became major of Cromwell's regiment of horse, and greatly distinguished himself in the field. His conduct at Gainsborough fight in 1643 was especially praised by Cromwell; he fought at Marston Moor, commanded one of Cromwell's two regiments of cavalry at Naseby and at the capture of Bristol, was then sent into Oxfordshire, took Banbury, and was besieging Worcester when he was superseded, according to Richard Baxter, the chaplain of his regiment, on account of his religious orthodoxy. He, however, supported his regiment in their grievances against the parliament in 1647. When the king was seized by the army, he was entrusted to the keeping of Whalley and his regiment at Hampton Court. Whalley refused to remove Charles's chaplains at the bidding of the parliamentary commissioners, and treated his captive with due courtesy, receiving from Charles after his flight a friendly letter of thanks. In the second Civil War, Whalley again distinguished himself as a soldier, and when the king was brought to trial he was chosen to be one of the tribunal and signed his death-warrant. He took part in Cromwell's Scottish expedition, was wounded at Dunbar, and in the autumn of 1650 was active in dealing with the situation in north Britain. Next year he took part in Cromwell's pursuit of Charles II. and was in the fight at Worcester. He followed and supported his great kinsman in his political career, presented the army petition to parliament (August 1652), approved of the protectorate, and represented Nottinghamshire in the parliaments of 1654 and 1656, taking an active part in the prosecution of the Quaker James Naylor. He was one of the administrative major-generals, and was responsible for Lincoln, Nottingham, Derby, Warwick and Leicester. He supported the " Petition and Advice," except as regards the proposed assumption of the royal title by Cromwell, and became a member of the newly constituted House of Lords in December 1657. On the protector's death, at which he was present, he in vain gave his support to Richard; his regiment refused to obey his orders, and the Long Parliament dismissed him from his command as a representative of the army. In November 1659 he undertook an unsuccessful mission to Scotland to arrange terms with Monk. At the Restoration, Whalley, with his son-in-law, General William Goffe, escaped to America, and landed at Boston on the 27th of July 1660, living successively at New Haven and at Hadley, Massachusetts, every attempt on the part of the government at home to procure his arrest meeting with failure. He was alive, but failing in health, in 1674, and probably did not long survive. Whalley was twice married; first to Judith Duffell, by whom, besides other children, he had a son John and a daughter Frances (who married Major-General William Goffe, the regicide); and secondly to Mary Middleton, sister of Sir George Middleton, by whom he had two sons, Henry and Edward.
AUTHORITIES. An account of Whalley's life is in Noble's Lives of the Regicides, and of his family in Noble's Memoirs of the Protectoral House of Cromwell, vol. ii. ; see also Gardiner's and Clarendon's histories of the period, Peck's Desiderata curiosa (1779; Whalley's account of the king's flight) ; Ezra Stiles's History of three of the Judges of Charles 1. (1794, etc.). The article by C. H. Firth in the Dict._ Nat. Biog. is an admirable summary. Whalley's sojourn in America is dealt with in numerous papers published by the Massachusetts Historical Society, and in the Hutchinson Papers published (1865) by the Prince Society; see also Atlantic Monthly, vi. 89-93; Pennsylvania Mag.,'i. 55-66, 230, 359; F. B. Dexter's Memoranda concerning Whalley and Goffe, New Haven Col. Hist. Soc. Papers, ii. (1877); Poem commemorative of Goffe, Whalley and Dixwett, with abstract of their history, by Philagathos (Boston, 1793); Palfrey's Hist, of New England, ii. (1866); Notes and Queries, 5th series, viii. 359 (bibliography of American works on the regicides).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)