HARRY, Stephen (by 1495-1534 or later), of Hythe, Kent.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



? 1536

Family and Education

b. by 1495, prob. yr. s. of John Paver of Hythe. m. by 1525, Margery, da. and coh. of Thomas Ingraham.2

Offices Held

Chamberlain, Hythe 1516-17, jurat 1521-?d.; commr. subsidy 1523, 1524; bailiff to Yarmouth 1528.3


Stephen Harry’s parentage has not been established but even though his name was both common and variable it is likely that he came of a Cinque Port dynasty: a Stephen Harry had sat in Parliament for New Romney in 1420 and 1426, a John Harry for Hastings in 1410, and a Robert Harry (or Henry) for Winchelsea in 1373 and 1382. No relationship has been found between Harry and the namesake whose daughter and coheir married John Hales I, a native of Tenterden, less than 20 miles from Hythe, and the only possible clue to his family connexions appears to be the alias Pavier (sic) given him when in 1521 he was named as a feoffee in the will of John Berde. There were men of this, presumably occupational, name in Hythe about this time, in particular, the John Paver who died in 1501 leaving 20s. to his younger son Stephen when he should reach lawful age: if Stephen Harry had been born Stephen Paver but had adopted the former surname, the occasional use of the alias would be explained.4

Harry first attended the Brotherhood of the Cinque Ports in 1516, when he was chamberlain of Hythe, and in the next decade he was frequently one of his port’s delegation to that assembly. As a subsidy commissioner for Hythe he was summoned with others in July 1525 to render account in the Exchequer at Michaelmas following. Within his own municipal circle he often acted as feoffee or executor. Nothing is known of his Membership of the Parliament of 1529, when he sat with John Hull I, who was somewhat senior to him in age and municipal service. Both men are also credited, in a list of Members of later compilation, with attendance at another, undated, Parliament: this was almost certainly that of 1536, when Hythe doubtless complied with the King’s request for the return of the previous Members, as other Cinque Ports are known to have done. If so, this is the last trace of Harry whose name (in any form) is not found in local records after July 1534. The absence of a will leaves even the approximate date of his death unknown.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Helen Miller


  • 1. Add. 34150, f. 138.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Hythe chamberlains’ accts. 1483-1509, f. 105v.
  • 3. Cinque Ports White and Black Bks. (Kent Arch. Soc. recs. br. xix), 160, 182, 184-5, 187-8, 190, 198, 205; Hythe chamberlains’ accts. 1483-1509, ff. 93 seq.; LP Hen. VIII, ii, iv.
  • 4. Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. xlii), 59 but cf. (lxxiv), 56, 78; Canterbury prob. reg. C13, f. 82; Arch. Cant. li. 29.
  • 5. Cinque Ports White and Black Bks. 160-218; Egerton 2093, f. 131v; Arch. Cant. xlix, 129, 135; l. 50; li. 48.