e know nothing of Venables early life, save that he married his wife Elizabeth in about 1630 and had had eight children by her by the time she died in circa 1641. He came to prominence at the outbreak of the Civil War, as a parliamentarian. He was taken prisoner by the royalists, released, promoted to Colonel, and sent to Ireland with his regiment. At the end of the Civil War he was promoted to general and sent the West Indies, but for various reasons the mission ended in disaster and he returned a sick man. Cromwell accused Venables of desertion and had him locked up in the Tower, but he was eventually released, demoted and never served Cromwell again.
Venables published The Experienc'd Angler in 1662.