RUDGE, Edward (1630-96), of St. Mary Axe, London

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1681
1690 - 1695

Family and Education

bap. 22 May 1630, 3rd s. of William Rudge (d. 1635), chandler, of Evesham, by 1st w. Anne Harwood.  m. lic. 21 May 1663, Susanna, da. of Sir John Dethick, Mercer, of Tottenham, Mdx., ld. mayor of London 1656–7, 4s. (1 d.v.p.) 4da.1

Offices Held

Freeman, E. I. Co. 1671, cttee. 1673–5, 1676–85, 1695–d.; asst. R. African Co. 1673–5, 1678–80, 1690–5.2

Commr. taking subscriptions to land bank 1696.3


Rudge was a successful metropolitan merchant trading to the Mediterranean and Leghorn, and later to India. Through his father-in-law, Dethick, he met Sir John Banks*, the three of them undertaking several joint trading ventures. After joining the East India Company Rudge became an active dealer in stock. By virtue of his commercial success he was able to purchase the manor of Evesham, the site of the monastery and all other attendant rights for £8,000 in 1664. This acquisition reinforced his ancestral links with the town, his family having originally been chandlers there. Indeed, a William Rudge was mayor of Evesham in 1661 and 1675. There is little evidence that Rudge spent much time at Evesham, but the close proximity of his estate to the borough gave him an interest there and resulted in his election in 1681.4

There is also no evidence that Rudge stood as a candidate in the propitious circumstances of the elections to the Convention of 1689. However, he was returned at the election of 1690 along with Sir James Rushout, 1st Bt., apparently with the support of the ‘fanatics’. Not surprisingly, Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) classed him as a Whig. In April 1691 Robert Harley* classed him as a Country supporter, although qualified this as ‘doubtful’. On 29 Dec. 1691 his name appeared on a list presented to the Commons of those willing to provide security for the East India Company. His share was £4,000, which was towards the lower end of the range of sums pledged. He was classed as a supporter of the Court on a list compiled by Samuel Grascome in the spring of 1693. This apparent switch from Country to Court is probably explained by the growing ascendancy of the Whigs in the ministry, and the place within it of the leading Worcestershire Whig politician, Sir John Somers*. In February 1694 he was appointed to the London lieutenancy as part of a general purge of Tories, again indicating his basic Whiggery. In November 1694 he was appointed by the general court of the East India Company as one of a committee of nine to inspect its affairs, and particularly transactions undertaken by the governor, Sir Thomas Cooke*.5

Rudge seems to have neglected his interest at Evesham, and there is no evidence that he stood a poll in 1695. For a time he appears to have remained active in affairs, and may have been the Edward Rudge appointed a land bank commissioner in 1696. However, he died in October of that year, having made a will while ‘weak in body’ the previous month. He left that part of the manor of Evesham not already covered by his marriage settlement to his wife for her life and then to his eldest son, John*. As he had provided his two married daughters with portions of £4,000 apiece he made provision for the same sums to his two unmarried daughters. He left a like sum to his two younger sons, Edward (a merchant) and Benjamin (destined for the Church).6

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Stuart Handley


  • 1. Vis. Eng. and Wales Notes ed. Crisp, xii. 35–39.
  • 2. Cal. Ct. Mins. E.I. Co. ed. Sainsbury, ix. 26, 225; x. 46, 302; xi. 40, 176, 268; K. G. Davies, R. African Co. 387.
  • 3. CJ, xii. 510.
  • 4. HMC Dartmouth, iii. 26; D. C. Coleman, Sir John Banks, 2728, 80, 160; Cal. Ct. Mins. E.I. Co. ix. 307; G. May, Hist. Evesham, 88; Williams, Worcs. MPs. 148; Misc. Gen. et Her. ser. 5, vi. 430.
  • 5. Add. 70014, ff. 291–2; 22185, f. 13; Surr. RO (Guildford), Midleton mss 1248, I, f. 232; Bodl. Ballard 35, f. 48 (Horwitz trans.); CSP Dom. 1694–5, p. 21; H. Horwitz, Parl. and Pol. Wm. III, 128; Debates and Procs. 1694–5, p. 68.
  • 6. Surr. RO (Kingston), Somers mss 371/14/J4, 5, Sir James Rushout, 1st Bt.*, to Somers, 3, 10 Aug. 1695; PCC 211 Bond.