PAGE, Edmund (by 1512-51), of Shorne, Kent.
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Family and Education
Commr. relief, Rochester 1550.3
Edmund Page lived at Shorne, between Gravesend and Rochester, where there had been Pages since at least the late 15th century. Nothing is known of his career outside Parliament beyond his appointment in 1550 as a commissioner: he was presumably of insufficient standing to be employed in local administration.4
Nicholas Hurleston, one of the Members for Rochester, is marked ‘mortuus’ on the Crown Office list as it was revised in the spring of 1532, and the vacancy is included in a list of Cromwell’s concerned with the filling of such vacancies and drawn up later in the same year or early in 1533, where Rochester is annotated ‘nota for Mr Attorney’. The person so designated was probably (Sir) Christopher Hales, the attorney-general, whose main residence was near Canterbury but who was later to become steward of the lands of the see of Rochester and may already have been connected with the city. No direct link has been found between Hales and Page, but Page’s daughter was to marry into the Kempe family, with whom Hales engaged in extensive land transactions. Page’s Membership, however, is established by his appearance on another of Cromwell’s lists, compiled in the spring of 1533, where ‘Edmund Page of Rochester’ follows Hurleston’s fellow-Member Robert Fisher. The Members listed are thought to have been opposed to the bill in restraint of appeals, some out of apprehension at reprisals against the wool and cloth trades but others, like Fisher, on religious grounds. If Page was one of these, he is unlikely to have been a nominee of Hales, a close associate of Cromwell who was to conduct the prosecution of Bishop Fisher. It is thus to local conditions, and perhaps even the continuing influence of the bishop himself, that one must look for an explanation of Page’s election; if he already leased the manor of Beckley from the neighbouring magnate George Brooke, 9th Lord Cobham, that too may have helped him. As Robert Fisher died before the last session of the Parliament, and is not known to have been replaced, Page may have represented Rochester alone during that session. If his opposition in 1533 was not held against him, he was presumably returned again to the Parliament of June 1536, in obedience to the King’s general request for the re-election of the previous Members, and perhaps also to those of 1539 and 1542, when the Members for the city are unknown.5
It was as Edmund Page of Shorne, gentleman, that he made his will on 15 Jan. 1551. He left to his wife Eleanor nine acres of land in the parish of Shorne in fee simple and the income of all his lands, not otherwise willed, for her lifetime with remainder to his son Thomas; Thomas was also to allow his mother to occupy the manor of Beckley. Thomas Page was to inherit at once a house and lands in the parishes of Chalk, Gravesend, Higham and Milton next Gravesend, and the residue of all goods, real and personal, including apparel and books. He was also appointed executor and made responsible for the upbringing of the other children, four sons and two daughters, each of whom was to receive £26 13s.4d. at the age of 20, or earlier on reasonable grounds such as sickness or marriage. To every child of his brother James Page and his sister Faith Leffes the testator gave a silver spoon worth 6s.8d. and to a number of friends a gold ring each ‘in a poor remembrance’. The will was proved on 20 Feb. 1551. Page was buried in Shorne church, where brasses commemorated him, his wife, his father-in-law Herenden and his son Thomas Page.6