Conway, Edward (1594–1655), 2nd Viscount Conway and Killultagh, nobleman and army officer, was baptised at Arrow, Warwickshire, on 10 August 1594, the eldest son, of the three sons and four daughters, of Edward, later 1st Viscount Conway, army officer, and his wife, Dorothy, daughter of Sir John Tracy of Todington, Gloucestershire, and widow of Edward Bray. He matriculated from Queen's College, Oxford, in May 1611 and was knighted on 25 March 1618. In 1621 he married Frances, daughter of Sir Francis Popham and Anne, Lady Popham of Littlecote, Wiltshire. They had two sons and two daughters, including his heir, Edward (qv), later 1st earl of Conway. Conway sat as an MP for Warwick borough in the parliaments of 1624 and 1625 and for Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, in 1626; he served on the expeditions to Cadiz in 1625 and Rhé in 1627. His father served as English secretary of state from 1622 to 1628, and on 23 April 1628 he was called to the English house of lords for his father's barony of Conway of Ragley. On his father's death in 1631 he succeeded to the titles of Viscount Conway of Conway castle and Viscount Killultagh, and to estates in Warwickshire and in counties Antrim and Down, centred on Lisnegarvy (Lisburn). He was named military governor of Londonderry on 10 August 1629. He was a notable bibliophile, who amassed large collections of books on many subjects, and in several languages, at both his London and Co. Antrim residences, between which he spent most of his time.
Conway served aboard the fleet in successive summers from 1635 to 1637 and was nominated to Charles I's council of war in 1637. Through the influence of Lord Deputy Wentworth (qv), he was appointed marshal of Ireland on 31 January 1640 (patent dated 2 April 1640) and joined the Irish council. With more senior officers absent, he held effective command of the English army deployed against the Scots in 1640, during the second bishops’ war, going down to defeat at Newburn on 28 August 1640. Conway's property at Lisnegarvy was attacked in the early days of the 1641 rising, and the Westminster parliament authorised the raising of a regiment in Ulster under his command to combat the insurgents. He was present in London as political crisis enveloped England, his position in the House of Lords in January 1642 being described ‘as near the centre of the spectrum as it was possible to be’ (Russell, 468). Shortly thereafter he crossed to Ulster and commanded locally raised forces in two campaigns in 1642, in uneasy cooperation with the Scottish major-general Robert Monro (qv), the tensions between the two commanders being only masked by an arrangement to command the combined forces on alternate days. An account of the second campaign, in June and July 1640, was published under Conway's name as A relation from the right honourable the lord viscount Conway of the proceeding of the English army in Ulster (London, 1642).
Conway arrived in Dublin on 3 January 1643, taking his place on the Irish council, but left for England to solicit aid in the same month. He took his place among the Lords at Westminster, and was nominated a lay member of the Westminster assembly, but in May–June 1643 he was implicated in Waller's plot to deliver London to royalist forces. Though he was not convicted, he joined a number of peers who defected to the royal court in August. He returned to make his peace with parliament the following spring. Conway was forced to compound to regain his English properties, but he secured his Irish lands free of sequestration to himself and his heir. He retreated from public life for the last decade of his life; given permission to travel abroad on 20 October 1653, he died 26 June 1655 at Lyons, France.