Through the centuries the Moore’s intermarried with the other major families of the area, the Molyneuxs, Crosses, Norris’s and Fazakerleys, and allegedly ( according to their own family records) had at least two heads of the family knighted for hagiography and valour to the crown respectively. By 1640 the head of the family was Colonel John Moore, father of our avaricious ‘hero’. Member of Parliament for Liverpool, Protestant justice and a roundhead supporter, Colonel Moore was also one of the signatories on Charles the First’s death warrant. While he was very good at picking the ‘winning sides’, the Colonel had not made many friends in the local gentry with his religious and political views, and when he died in Ireland of a fever, he left his son William with huge debts and an estate in very poor shape.
When William came to be head of the family at the age of fifteen in 1650, much of his life had been spent in isolation, his father away at war or Parliament, and having been locked in relative safety in Old Hall while being traumatised by watching the butchery of the Royalist attack on Liverpool castle from his window. An attack led by the Catholic and royalist Lord Molyneux, who Edward would later claim to have seen kill seven or eight men single handed, and who he claimed put everyone in sight to the sword. By the age of fourteen Moore had also served Cromwell as a captain of his father’s regiment in Ireland. It was not a happy childhood, nor something to engender good future relationships with the Molyneuxs.
Sir Edward was nothing if not resourceful though, and once it was clear the Parliamentarian debts to his father would never be repaid, and after one rich potential wife turned him away unceremoniously he picked an alternative and quickly ‘fell in love’ again with Dorothy Fenwick, the daughter of a cavalier knight with a large bank account. Edward married her to start his financial recuperation, and spent several years trying to gain favour with both royalist and parliamentarian contacts in order to regain his fortunes. His political views and convictions varied depending on which way the wind was blowing that day.