PAGE, Sir Gregory, 1st Bt. (c.1668-1720), of Greenwich.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
b. c.1668, 1st s. of Gregory Page of Wapping, Mdx. by his 2nd w. Elizabeth Burton of Stepney, wid. m. (lic. 21 Jan. 1690, aged 21) Mary, da. of Thomas Trotman of London, 2s. 2da. suc. fa. 1693; cr. Bt. 3 Dec. 1714.
Director, E.I. Co. 1709-d., chairman, 1716.
According to the 1st Lord Egmont, Page ‘had been a drayman [?dragoman] to Sir Charles Ayres of Kew Green, but being a man of parts rose to be a director of the East India Company and knight baronet.’1 Sir Charles Ayres, i.e. Sir Charles Eyre, was an officer of the East India Company, who ended his career as the first president of Bengal, 1699-1700, while Page’s father was a shipwright and shipowner, with a brewhouse in Wapping, of sufficient standing to be one of the aldermen nominated by the Crown to the corporation of London in 1687.2 Page, who is described in his marriage licence as a brewer, made a great fortune as a shipowner, trading with China and the East Indies.3 Re-elected in 1715 as a Whig for Shoreham, where the chief industry was shipbuilding, he voted with the Government, except on the peerage bill in 1719, when he was absent from the division. In that year he was one of the directors of the East India Company who attended a meeting of the Treasury board to consider a report by the board of Trade supporting demands from the woollen industry for protection against the importation of stained calicoes from India. Giving evidence, he said that
if a prohibition upon the stained calicoes takes place, all the Company’s settlements on the coast of Coromandel, which depend upon the fabric of calico, must be ruined, and instead of such prohibition being an advantage to the weavers, it will let in all the stained and striped linens from Hamburg and Holland, which are more expensive and less lasting than those made here, as was the case upon the prohibition in 1701.4
In the end an Act prohibiting the wearing of stained calicoes was passed in 1721.
Page died 25 May 1720, leaving his elder son an ‘immense fortune ... which some made to amount to £5, 6, or 700,000’, besides legacies totalling nearly £100,000 to his wife and other children. In an unprinted marginal note to an account of an alleged attempt by this son to commit suicide in 1736, Egmont states that the story was ‘a scandalous lie, as afterwards appeared’.5