Edward Radcliffe (the son of Sir Ralph Radcliffe) was born in 1658. He married Penelope Shirley and they had 5 sons (Ralph, Edward, George, John and Arthur) and a daughter (Sarah).
All of Edward’s sons worked in turn in the family business of Levant traders. The Levant trade was a prestigous and lucrative trade in luxury goods (silk, carpets and mohair wool) based in an area which includes the modern countries of Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria. The family had a London house in Devonshire Square from where the business was managed.
Edward was 62 when his father died. He inherited the whole of the Hitchin Priory Estate with substantial sums in South Sea and East India stock, in addition to the stake in the Levant Company trade. Ralph Radcliffe inherited the Priory on the death of Edward in 1727.