Henry Neville was the second son of Henry Neville of Billingbear, Berkshire. His marriage to Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Richard Staverton of Heathley Hall, was arranged before he went up to Oxford. He was educated at Merton and University Colleges, but left without taking a degree and embarked on the Grand Tour of Europe in 1641. His travels took him to Italy, where he spent much time in Florence, Rome and Venice. Neville returned to England in 1645 as the civil war was reaching a climax. Relatively little is known of him during the following few years. His career as a Parliamentary radical and political theorist seems to begin after the execution of Charles I, when he was elected as a recruiter for the Rump in Abingdon, Berkshire (April 1649). He went on to serve on the Council of State for one year (November 1651), but in April 1653 he was ejected from St Stephen's by Cromwell's troops.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.