GARDINER, William (1628-91), of Basinghall Street, London and Roche Court, Fareham, Hants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Apr. - 31 July 1660

Family and Education

b. 9 May 1628, 3rd but o. surv. s. of Robert Gardiner, Mercer, of London, being 2nd s. by 2nd w. Mary, da. of Robert Palmer, Grocer, of London, and Hill, Warden, Beds. educ. ?Magdalen Coll. Oxf. to 1648. m. 28 May 1661, Jane, da. of Robert Brocas of Beaurepaire, Hants, and h. to her bro. Bernard, 2s. suc. fa. 1659; cr. Bt. 24 Dec. 1660; KB 23 Apr. 1661.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Wigan 1649; member, Mercers’ Co. by 1660, capt. green regt. London militia Oct. 1660-2, auxiliary regt. 1662, common councilman 1661-2, commr. for assessment 1661-3, dep. lt. 1662.2


Gardiner’s grandfather was mayor of Wigan in 1596. His father, a younger son, became a London merchant, one of the wealthiest in Bassishaw ward, and stood unsuccessfully for his native borough in 1628 and both elections of 1640. One of the leading Royalists in the City, he was imprisoned by Parliament for organizing the petition against the militia ordinance of 1642. His house was sequestrated throughout the war, but he was not otherwise financially affected. No record exists of Gardiner’s matriculation, but he was probably the commoner of Magdalen who refused to submit to the parliamentary visitation of 1648, and was sent down.3

At the general election of 1660 Gardiner and his cousin Hugh Forth were involved in a double return at Wigan with unidentified opponents. They were allowed to take their seats, but during the four months before the election was declared void Gardiner was totally inactive in the Convention. He is not known to have stood again, and soon became involved in prosecuting his wife’s claim to the Brocas estates. It was reported in 1662 that he was ‘just ready to break, his bills of exchange being all protested at Leghorn’. Presumably he went bankrupt, for he never again held even the humblest local office. He had not paid his baronet’s fee, from which he was discharged in 1686. Meanwhile he had reached a compromise over the Brocas property with the rival claimant. He received a small cash payment and settled down at Fareham, where he was buried on 23 June 1691. He died intestate, with his father’s legacies still unpaid, and administration was granted to a creditor. No other member of his family ever entered Parliament.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / Irene Cassidy / Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. M. Burrows, Brocas of Beaurepaire, 241-2; St. Michael Bassishaw (Harl. Soc. Reg. lxxiii), 3; PCC 530 Pell.
  • 2. J. R. Woodhead, Rulers of London, 75; Parl. Intell. 1 Nov. 1660; CSP Dom. 1661-2, p. 559; Merc. Pub. 8 Apr. 1662.
  • 3. D. Sinclair, Hist. Wigan, i. 196, 215; ii. 3; Inhabitants of London in 1638 ed. Dale, 141; V. Pearl, London and the Outbreak of the Puritan Revolution, 150, 207; Cal. Comm. Comp. 1070; Reg. of Visitors to Oxf. Univ. (Cam. Soc. n.s. xxix), 97, 104, 107; Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 2), ii. 36.
  • 4. VCH Hants, iv. 167; Verney Mems. ii. 201; Cal. Treas. Bks. viii. 685, 1047.