He was elected M.P. for Minehead in 1644 and in 1645 married Anne Carr daughter of, William Carr who had been a Groom of the Bedchamber to James I. They had two children: a daughter, Letitia born about 1648, and a son, Alexander, born deaf in about 1649.
Edward was a Parliamentarian in the Civil War and commanded a force in Somerset and Dorset. He was appointed a commissioner for the immediate ordering of the navy in 1648 and commanded in the Downs and North Sea during 1649. In 1650 he joined Robert Blake at Lisbon in blockading Prince Rupert.
In November 1651 he returned to England, and shortly afterwards resumed his station in the Downs in command of the ships in the North Sea. He died of fever at Dover, and in actual command if not on board his ship, on 19 August 1651. Edward was buried at the expense of the state in Westminster Abbey in Henry VII's chapel, where a monument in black and white marble was erected to his memory. At the Restoration his body was dis-interred.  His monument remains in the Abbey but the inscription was removed.
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