Rede, Robert (DNB00)

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REDE, Sir ROBERT (d. 1519), chief justice of the common pleas, was son of William and Joan Rede, as appears both from his will and from a deed founding a fellowship at Jesus College, Cambridge. Foss is incorrect in stating that he was the third son of Edward Rede, who married Izod, daughter of Sir Humphrey Stanley. The family came originally from Morpeth, Northumberland. Rede's grandfather was a serjeant-at-law in the reign of Henry IV, and was settled at Norwich. Rede was educated at Buckingham College, Cambridge, which about 1542 became Magdalene College, and he was afterwards a fellow of King's Hall, which in 1546 was incorporated with and made part of Trinity College. He also studied the municipal law at Lincoln's Inn, where he was autumn reader in 1480. His name as an advocate occurs in the ‘Year Books’ from 1484, and his arguments were frequently reported. The writ calling him to the degree of serjeant-at-law, though tested on 20 Nov. 1485, was probably not returnable till the following Easter term, as he was Lent reader of his inn in 1485–6.

He was appointed king's sergeant on 8 April 1494, and was made justice of the king's bench on 24 Nov. 1495, being soon afterwards knighted. His elevation to the office of chief justice of the common pleas took place in Michaelmas term 1506, and he was one of the executors of Henry VII. On the accession of Henry VIII he was reappointed chief justice by patent dated 25 April 1509 (Brewer, Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, i. 1). On 24 Oct. 1514 he obtained a royal license to found a chantry in honour of Christ for one chaplain at the altar of St. Catharine, in the church of St. Mary, Chiddingstone, Kent, for himself and his wife. He was elected a member of the parliament which assembled on 5 Feb. 1514–1515. He died on 8 Jan. 1518–19.

By his wife Margaret [Alfegh] of Chiddingstone he had a son Edmund, who died without issue on 10 June 1501, and the following daughters: Bridget (sometimes called Catharine), wife of Sir Thomas Willoughby, knight, justice of the common pleas; Jane, wife of John Caryll, serjeant-at-law; Mary, wife of Sir William Barrington, knight; Dorothy, wife of Sir Edward Wotton, knight; and Elizabeth.

His will is in the London Registry, and bears date 29 Dec. 1518. In it he desired to be buried in the chapel of St. Catharine at the Charterhouse, London, where he had founded a chantry, with a salary of 8l. per annum, for thirty years. He left a number of legacies to different religious houses, including the Austin, Grey, and White Friars in London, Syon monastery, and the nunnery of Malling, Kent, where Elizabeth, his daughter, was a nun. He made bequests to King's College, Cambridge, established a fellowship at Jesus College, and was also a liberal benefactor to both the universities and to the abbey of Waltham.

He founded three public lectures, viz. in humanity, logic, and philosophy, to be read in the common schools of the university of Cambridge for ever. The instrument of foundation, dated 10 Dec. 1524, and made between his executors and Jesus College, is printed in ‘Trusts, Statutes, and Endowments of the University,’ pp. 187–94. The endowment was reorganised in 1858, when it was directed that one lecture should be delivered annually in term-time by a man of eminence in science or literature, who was to be appointed by the vice-chancellor. The first of the Rede lectures under the new scheme was given in May 1859 by Professor (afterwards Sir Richard) Owen [q. v.]

Sir Richard Rede (1511–1579), master of requests, came of a family settled at Nether Wallop in Hampshire, and was born in 1511. In 1524 he was elected scholar at Winchester, and in 1528 fellow of New College, Oxford. He graduated B.C.L. in March 1536–7, and D.C.L. in July 1540. He was employed in a subordinate capacity in the dissolution of the monasteries, was knighted and appointed lord chancellor of Ireland in 1546. He was removed in 1548, and became master of requests in England. He took part in the trials of Bishops Heath, Day, Tunstal, and Bonner, and was frequently employed in business connected with the admiralty. He died on 11 July 1579 at his manor of Redbourn, Hertfordshire, to which, as well as to New College, he left small benefactions (Reg. Univ. Oxon. i. 187; Kirby, Winchester Scholars, p. 113; Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Letters and Papers of Hen. VIII.; Cal. State Papers, Dom.; Acts of the Privy Council, passim; Strype, Works; Foxe, Actes and Mon.; Burnet, Hist. Ref.; Civilians, Civilians, p. 35; O'Flanagan, Lord Chancellors of Ireland, i. 201–2; Clutterbuck, Hertfordshire, i. 180, 185; Woodward, Hampshire, iii. 172, 174).

[Brewer's Letters and Papers of Henry VIII; Cambridge Antiquarian Communications, i. 365; Collect. Topogr. et Genealog. iv. 104; Cooper's Annals of Cambridge, i. 302, v. 251; Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. i. 20, 525; Dugdale's Origines Juridiciales; Foss's Judges of England, v. 230; Hasted's Kent, i. 370, 405; Madox's Formulare Anglicanum, p. 338; University and College Documents, i. 128–9; Wright's Letters relating to the Suppression of Monasteries, p. 68.]

T. C.