The first person to be buried in Welford Road Cemetery in Leicester was James Page a 51 year hosier who lived on Wellington Street in the town.

James was born in 1798 in Leicester and married Francis Hill who was born in 1811 in Cosby a little village in west Leicestershire. The couple had seven children - William, Mary Ann, James, Fanny, Edwin, John and Pricillia. Sadly Pricillia died three months after her father aged only 7 months and was the sixteenth burial in the cemetery.

 

James Page was a member of the Leicester Political Union (later the Reform Society) which provided support for the 1831 Reform Bill and provided the political opposition to the Tory corporation. Campaigning alongside the future Mayor of Leicester John Biggs, James Page was also a member of the Leicester Anti-Corn Law League which was also founded by Biggs in the late 1830’s. The sweeping reforms advocated by the Chartists went far beyond what manufacturers and radicals like Biggs were prepared to deliberate. Biggs had little compassion for working class resentment over frame rents, wages and the poor law and a political sinkhole was starting to open up between the working class and middle class wings of the reform movement. The Anti-Corn Law League saw that the only route to improvement lay with free trade and freer imports and exports and by doing so bring down the price of bread thus reducing the cost of living.

 

After James died in 1849 his wife Frances carried on the family business in hosiery and in 1872 Frances remarried family friend and the family solicitor William Baines. But sadly between the years after her first husbands death and her second marriage Frances lost five of her children - Priscilla age 7 months, Mary Ann age 12 years, James age 20, Edwin age 26 and John age 32.

 

John and Frances' eldest son William became a cabinet maker, married Annie Knight and had eight children.

Fanny the only surviving daughter of John and Frances married Thomas Agar in 1865. The couple had four children. Thomas died in 1884 and is buried in the Page/Baines family vault and after her husbands death Fanny moved to Hayes in Middlesex.

 

Frances Page/Baines died in 1892 and is buried with her first husband, five children and her second husband and his family all in Welford Road Cemetery.

Last Will and Testament of James Page 1798 - 1849

The family graves and vaults of the Page and Baines family.