Part I Chapter 1: Herefordshire Origins
James Gardiner, the father of Henry (b1811, joiner) and grandfather of Henry (b1835, builder) from whom all the Wallasey Gardiners descend, left the Wye Valley c1815 to start a new life in Liverpool. There had been Gardiners (or Gardyners) in the area for centuries but establishing a link proved rather difficult and the results were far more interesting than could ever have been imagined. No information of any sort had come down to the grandchildren of Edward Gardiner (b1863) but there seems to be some accurate tradition in other branches of the family of a connection with a gentleman called Edward Gardiner who was allegedly a rich mill owner. The available evidence does not so far support the idea that Edward owned a mill, particularly not the Old Mill, though we cannot be certain. When Queenie Griffiths and Lucy Holdgate visited the area in the 1920s they appear to have come away confirmed in the belief, though again any certainty about what if anything they found is impossible. They were also contacted by an American Gardiner in the 1920s who gave them to understand that his ancestors had emigrated around the time James went north. Unfortunately we have no idea who these ancestors were.
Queenie’s reference to the caravan trek
Unravelling the story was complicated by the fact that James not born a Gardiner, frustrating attempts to find his baptism in the available records. Thanks to crucial clues provided by Pat and Roger Gardener, Hilda McLeod, Ann Rose, John Blows and Gerald Gardiner and the vast and detailed local history knowledge of Roz Lowe of Goodrich (whose information is shown in blue text) we have been able to put together a fascinating account of the scandalous events and colourful characters connected to the history of the Gardiners. We have also been helped (as well as hindered) by three important books – the Memoirs of Captain Henry Gardiner, the Memoir of the life of her father William by Mary Gardiner (Pages 2-3, Pages 4-5) and A Very Welsh Beginning which contains a memoir composed by Edward Jones in 1915 (Chapter 1 on Captain Gardiner).
Mary Anne Gardiner’s ‘Narrative’ and Capt. Gardiner’s Memoirs – essential sources for Gardiner History
The name James was quite common among Herefordshire Gardiners but some of those known are from places some distance from the Wye:
· James, son of John and Jane baptised 12.12.1779 in Bishops Frome who married Lucy Brown (will proved 5.12.1807) and who died in 1831 aged 51
· James son of Thomas and Ann, baptised 4.11.1787 in Shirenewton Monmouthshire
· James son of Thomas Gardiner and Elizabeth Allen, baptised 12.3.1788 in Bosbury who married an Ann Grizzle.
· A James Gardiner died in Byford in 1833 aged 21
· And another in Coddington in 1836 aged 47
The James Gardiner born in 1779 in Bisley in
Gloucestershire who married a Sarah there in 1804 cannot be the right man since
he is recorded as having had children there (James and Henry!) in the 1820s. A
James married a Sarah Yard in
Other instances were more relevant:
· A James Gardiner buried a son in Whitchurch on 28.2.1641
· James son of Richard and Elizabeth, christened 2.2.1817 in Whitchurch
· James son of John and Sarah Gardner christened 14.3.1829.
· A James Gardner, married to Harriet aged 60, was living at Doward Hill in his native Whitchurch in 1881, aged 66 - almost certainly they are the James and ‘Chlorlett’ (age 36 and 28) recorded there in 1851 and he may be the James baptised in 1817 but said in 1861 to have been born in 1813.
· Another James aged 17 was living with his mother Sarah in Whitchurch in 1881.
These are probably connected in some way to James who
The search was not helped by the failure to find any record of his wedding to Sarah or of a baptism record for his second son James.
Part I Chapter 1.1: Origins - Early Gardiners
The Earliest Herefordshire Gardiners
The homeland of the Gardiners, the
The earliest references to Gardiners in Goodrich (then spelt Gooddrygge) yet discovered are found in the list of Gardiner Probates and Admons Hereford 1407 to 1550 (along with Gardiners in Monmouth, Marstow and Newent):
· Alice, William and their son Roger (1523)
· John (1537)
· William and son John (1540, 1547)
· John, Johan and their son John (1547)
The earliest references in the parish records are a little later (all dates new style):
· the baptism of Johanna Gardener by Ethelbarti (8.7.1558)
· the marriage of Johanna Gardner to Johes Marten (19.1.1562)
· the burial of Anna Gardner (4.1.1563)
· the marriage of Johes Gardner to Elizabetha Thomas (21.6.1563)
· the baptism of Georgius Gardener by Johis (28.1.1564)
· the marriage of Johes Gardner to Jane Hannis (6.2.1565)
· the baptism of Robertus Gardener by Johis (24.11.1566)
· the burial of Elinora Gardner (17.4.1569)
· the burial of Jana Gardner (13.8.1570)
Some other early entries include (all dates new style):
· the marriage of William Gardiner to Joan Jones (16.5.1585)
· the marriage of Catherine Gardener to William White (17.11.1578)
· the marriage of Jane Gardner to William Jones (7.2.1591)
· the marriage of Marian Gardner to William Boughan (8.6.1608)
the baptism of
Roz has reconstructed a family tree of Goodrich Gardiners using probate records but it has not been possible to connect the people on it to the Gardiners of Whitchurch.
An Anne married George Bonner in 1729 but the next wedding recorded is that of Susanna to John Tummy in 1813 (followed by Penelope and Thomas Davies in 1815 and Thomas to Ann Ballinger in 1823, perhaps the Thomas baptised in 1792).
According to Gerald Gardiner and also Pat Gardener, there is a Gardiner or perhaps several buried in the nave of Goodrich church. Roz comments:
Gardiner and Vaughan tombs are mentioned
by Duncumb as being in the 'bishop's chancel' (History of Herefordshire, Hundred of Wormelow p.62) as being
mentioned by Heath in his 'Excursion from Ross to Monmouth’ 1st edition 1799.
In fact, there is a very bad online version of Heath, and I cannot find that he
does mention them, but then his remarks about the inside of
The 1831 Topographic Index to
The Gardiner Charity in Goodrich was set up in the 1600s, when a cottage and some land was left to the poor of the parish. It continued being administered by the church until it was sold to Sir Samuel Meyrick. The cottage still stands, stone-face but timber-framed inside.
It would be nice to think that this was a relative of Henry and James but at present we cannot go beyond mere possibility.
From the 1630s the number of baptisms in Goodrich declines significantly and after 1664 there were no Gardiners baptised in that parish until Henry in 1811. The family (assuming they are the same) seems to have moved the short distance to the neighbouring parish of Whitchurch.
In neighbouring Marstow two Gardiners are recorded – Roz writes:
Yesterday I made copies of Marstow PR from 1707 to mid 1800s, and the BTs from 1662 to 1707. It's a small parish so not too many. There were only 2 Gardiner refs; 1791: 24th April by Banns, Robert Gardner and Elizabeth Morgan both of this parish were married both signed names. witnesses Mary Morgan & Thos Jones.1792: 29 January. John son of Robert & Elizabeth Gardiner was baptised.
Left: Aerial view of the Whitchurch-Goodrich area
Right: St. Dubricius, Whitchurch
In Whitchurch the earliest Gardiner records so far discovered are the baptisms of Eleanor (1634) and William (1635). The first burial was that of John by James and Johan (28.2.1641) followed by the first marriage, that of William to Mary Davis on 4.5.1641. A deed, dated 1658, seems to refer to this William:
1038 M/T/7/14 1658
Deed to declare the uses of a fine
1. William Gardyner the elder of Whitchurch, gent.
2. William Gardyner of Whitchurch, butcher, and Mary his wife
3. William Boughan of Brians, Goodrich, yeoman
4. William Gardyner the younger of Whitchurch, gent., son of 1.
5. Sibbill Weaver now of Whitchurch, widow of John Weaver, late of Marstow
Premises: closes of land, viz.: the Greate Gover containing ten acres, the Longe Close containing ten acres, the Greate Newfield containing fourteen acres, the Lesser Newfield containing eight acres, the Well Close containing six acres, the Litle Broome containing two acres, and half an acre lying in a field called Masebarren, in Llangarren and Whitchurch, to be conveyed by 1. to 4. to his use; one close of land called the Little Gover, and a parcel of land called Trebargell Orchard in St. Weonards, to be held by 4. and his heirs to their use; one messuage, garden and orchard adjoining in Brians, in the parish of Goodrich to be held by 3., his heirs and assigns; land in a close called the Keeven in Whitchurch, to the use of 5. and her heirs
I have a photo of this deed, but is long. Even more exciting, it has the signatures of the 3 William Gs.
One of these Williams may be the one Gardiner buried inside the church – William Gardiner a recusant who died in 1680. It may be his will that was written in 1673, though it should be noted that he made his mark on the document which may suggest either lack of education or, perhaps more likely given that he was obviously a well-to-do person, incapacity.
A number of Gardiners were buried in the churchyard: William (d1726), Mary (d1726), Margaret (Mrs) (d1730), Mary (Mrs) (d1747), Margaret (b1695, d1764), Edward (b1697, d1771).
One gravestone (A18) read:
‘… of Body of Mary, daughter of Giles Gardiner by Margaret His Wife who departed this life the 12th day of September [An Dni] 1726. … In memory of Mary the wife of Edward Gardiner who departed this life July ye 29th 1747’
‘…. Also in memory of Edward Gardiner Senr gent who departed this life ye 8th day of June 1771 aged 74 years’.
This seems to be the same memorial as that recorded as A19 which was transcribed as:
‘William son of Giles Gardiner by Margaret his wife who died 21 Sep 1726 and also in memory of Edward Gardiner sen gent ob 8 Jun 1771 aet’ 74’
Images of Gardiner graves in Whitchurch – A18 and A19 can be read but nothing is legible from the other two. The one in an oval cartouche seems to contain a significant amount of text.
There was also one for Edward Gardiner, gent, apparently from the 1700s but the last two digits were illegible (perhaps actually Z26).
Other memorials include:
Margaret wife of Giles Gardiner of this parish d 13 Aug
Margaret Gardiner d 3 Nov 1764 aged 69
Z26 Edward Gardiner gent d 8 Jan 1802 aged 59
Sarah Gardiner dau of John & Anne Ballinger d 13 Mar
1836 aged 38 & above Anne Ballinger d 11 Apr 1858 aged 86
· I22 James Gardiner The Green Whitchurch died 11 Apr 1895 aged 80 & also Charlotte his wife 11 May 1898 aged 56
· S11 not copied
We are told by Mary (p1) that the Gardiners sold their estates in the civil war in order to raise money for Charles I (which would make sense if they were Catholics) and were rewarded by a letter from the King which the family kept for some time. Despite backing the loser they still possessed an estate in Whitchurch where they lived after the Restoration.
I think there may have been some complications in how land passed through the family.
Although most of the Gardiner land is in Whitchurch parish
(somewhere) and therefore normally in the manor of Goodrich, they had a piece
of land in a field called the Govers field which was in the manor of
Now it may be that the Edward who took over in 1680 was not the direct descendant of the Williams sen and jun, or that he was the ancestor of Edward G father of Edward d1802, but it is a starting point. The fact that the land seems to have descended down since 1668 shows a line of descent.
I will look in Whitchurch church at Edward's stone, if still there. I would have thought that the verse would have been mentioned, though.
In the Whitchurch parish records under the heading ‘Catalogus gardianovum’ we find listed:
· 1675: Thomas Gardyner
· 1676: Godfrey Gardyner
· 1680: Giles Gardyner
· 1685: John Gardyner
· 1687 Robert
· 1693 Giles
· 1697 Thomas White served by Jonas Gardyner
· 1699 Robert Gardyner
· 1702 John Gardyner
· 1708 John Gardyner served by Edward Richards
· 1709 John Gardyner
· 1711 Giles Gardyner by Charles Mainstone
· 1716 Giles Gardyner
· 1726 Robert Gardyner
· 1729 Edward Gardiner
· 1735 Robert Gardyner
· 1736 Edward Gardyner
· 1742 Edward and Robert Gardner
· 1750 Mr. Ed Gardyner and Robert Gardyner senr
· 1753 Robert Gardyner Junr for the Washings
· 1761 Robert Gardyner Senr
· 1765 Edward Tamplin served by R. Gardiner
· 1777 Mr John Dew served by Robert Gardener
· 1780 E. Gardiner
· 1786 Edward Gardener late Lucas’s
· 1792 Edward Gardner, the Plow
· 1795 Edward Gardiner, Washings
· 1799 Edward Gardiner for late Lucas’s
A list of ‘persons who ought to repair the walls and fences of the Church yard taken out of the book settled in the year 1697’ includes:
· John Morris, William Chairs and John Gardiner – 19 feet
· Mr. Gardiner – 17 feet
Not all the Gardiners in the area where well off or gentlemen; deeds exist from 1763 on which several Gardiners have left their mark rather than signing. These were Elizabeth of Whitchurch, widow of John (yeoman), John of Pouroyd (labourer), Edward of Whitchurch (labourer) and Thomas of Marstow (labourer).
There were also Gardiners across the county boundary in Lydbrook, Gloucestershire. Roz, in her article ‘Field Meeting to Lydbrook & Ruardean, Gloucestershire’ tells us:
The owner [of the messuage called ‘
As far as the spelling of the name is concerned we can note the following:
· Gardyner (Goodrich and Whichurch 1611-1768)
· Gardiner (Goodrich and Whitchurch from 1613)
· Gardener (Goodrich 1558-1673; Whitchurch from 1774)
From c1768 the spelling Gardyner died out. The variants Gardener and Gardner are still found erroneously in records late in the 20th century!
Giles Gardiner and Edward Senior
The Gardiners had resided in Whitchurch for many years, ‘greatly regarded for integrity and hospitality’ according to Rev. James Birt who wrote a reference for William in 1803. A partial reconstruction of the family tree has been made by Pat and Roger using the Bishop’s Transcripts of the Whitchurch parish records. The originals were destroyed in a flood in the post war years (1947 or 1960) so were still there to be seen by Queenie and Lucy). From these they concluded that Aegidius (Giles) Gardyner and his wife Margaratta (Margaret) had some 13 children, from one of whom James was descended. They could not find any records for Giles but speculated that he was born in the 1650s and married before 1678. Giles Gardyner seems to have been the son of William since the ‘admon’ of 1684 explicitly states that he was. Perhaps his mother was the Mary Davis to whom a William Gardiner was married in Whitchurch on 4.5.1641 – though we might note that William the Butcher had a wife called Mary (see above).
I am sure you're right about the Giles-> Edward (I) -> Edward (II) descent. My only caveat from looking at the manorial records was the fact that Edward seems to have ended up with the family property in Whitchurch even though he was far from the eldest.
A record (see below) Roz found allows us to be more precise: it gives the ages of Giles and his wife as 69 and 60 when their son William was 30. As William was born in 1680 this would seem to imply that the record was drawn up c1710 and so Giles was born c1641 and his wife c1650. However, Roz advises that:
The date of the record of the manorial survey giving the ages of Giles (69) Margaret (60) and William (30) is 1718, and the survey was taken then as we have the surveyor's dated expenses.
This would mean that Giles was born c1650 and William c1688 (which cannot be correct, rendering the information less than reliable) so rather than being born before the civil war Giles would have been a child when Cromwell was ruling England, a youth and young adult during the reign of the Merry Monarch (Charles II), was having children when the Glorious Revolution took place and lived to see Queen Ann succeeded by George I. Mary Gardiner (Memoir p1) refers to William’s ‘paternal great-grandmother’ as being Miss Kemys, who was related to Sir Nicholas Kemys, Bart., who was a Colonel of Horse and who died defending Chepstow Castle against Cromwell’s forces. Presumably Miss Kemys was Margaret, though William would, of course have had two paternal great-grandmothers. Her family was one of the ‘most ancient’ in Monmouthshire who had resided at Began and prior to that at Cefn Mably in Glamorganshire. Giles’ children were:
· Gulielmus / William (1680-1726)
· Anna / Ann (1681)
· Jana / Jane? (1683-bef. 1693)
· Georgius / George (1684-1724)
· Aegidius / Giles (1686-1726)
· Margaretta / Margaret (1687)
· Maria / Mary (1688-1726)
· Johannes / John (1690)
· Jana / Jane (1693-1710)
· Margaretta / Margaret (1695-?3.11.1764, aged 69)
· Edwardus / Edward: (14.9.1697-12.6.1771)
· Sarah (1701-1701)
In those days they were still giving the Latin versions of Christian names. It is noticeable how many of these names recur through the generations: Henry (b1835) had children called Elizabeth Ann, George, Margaret, Mary, Edward and Sarah (though other explanations than Gardiner tradition can be given for some of them).
In 1707 Giles entered into an agreement to lease a number of properties including a water corn mill.
The records of Little Wilton Manor from the late seventeenth century to the end of the eighteenth make a number of references to Giles and Edward Gardiner (Egidus is Giles, not Edward). Roz explains:
I have not found details of the transmission of the Gardiner land
in my Goodrich manor records, as I've only had time to look at my photocopies,
not my photo archive, which is huge, looking for a needle in a haystack.
However, I do have extensive photocopies of the
Every year, 'suitors' who held land directly from the lord had to come to manorial courts and pay homage. This was recorded, and also when it changed hands through families on the death of the owner this was recorded as the new owner had to pay a 'heriot' - usually the best beast.
An old record from 1725 has been found which refers to Giles, his wife and son - Roz explains:
I attach a 1725 agreement (in bundle HRO O68/I/16) where the lord
of the manor sells or leases for 3 lives to Giles Gardyner for £11 a
small piece of manorial land at a place called New Mill Hill, which is near a
place called Old Forge. This was the land and a cottage he was already living
in which was on an encroachment out the waste land between two roads. It gives
the 3 lives as GG, Margaret G and William G. From another rental Giles was 69,
Margaret his wife was 60 and his son William 30. In pencil on this it says
'sold to Gardiner'. This is not a long way away from Old Mill, which is further
up the river Garron from the mill at Old Forge. … On the map attached the
incroachedment rented then bought by Giles Gardiner has a little house, and the
acreage given as 1-0-3. (These are
Roz comments further:
For example, in 1718 a Giles Gardiner leased from the lord of the manor a cottage and an acre of land at New Mill Hill Common, which is in fact very near Old Forge. The 3 lives of the lease in being were Giles (69) wife Margaret (60) and their son William aged 20 [30?] (none of whom I can find in the registers). It says on the entry in pencil 'sold to Gardiner', though which Gardiner we know not. I am doubtful that this is the house mentioned as the sale details say very particularly that it was the Old Forge house, and I know that the New Mill Hill cottage was in the ownership of the lord of the manor at the 1838 tithe map time. However, I also saw somewhere that the Griffins (lord of the manor) bought some property from Edward G. The Old Forge itself was in the ownership of the Powell family in 1838 but there is also a bigger house called Old Forge house - all very confusing. As we have the names of the tenants I may be able to confirm the name of the estate.
Photo of the house rented by Giles
1726 was clearly a tragic summer for the family: having probably lost George two years earlier (23.1.1724), on 25th July they buried Giles junior and less than two months later he was followed by Mary and William (15th and 21st - burial 24th - September). Giles died in early 1729; he was buried on 6th February (‘affid 8th’) in Goodrich but his residence is given as Whitchurch and his status as ‘gent’. His wife survived him just over a year – she is the widow Margueritte Gardiner’ who was buried in Whitchurch, apparently on the 12th August 1730, though her gravestone suggests she only died the day after, on the 13th!
Giles’ son Edward (Senior), a barrister-at-law, married a lady called Mary Hughes, possibly in 1729. Mary was the co-heiress of Richard Hughes, Esq., whose ancestors resided at Moyn’s Court near Chepstow and whose mother was of ‘the famous house of Morgan’ (Memoir, p1). They are thought to have had two sons – William, baptised in Whitchurch on 10th February 1743, and Edward, baptised 6.8.1744, also in Whitchurch. William may have died as an infant (burial 4.7.1743) or perhaps as a young man (1.1.1765). Mary was buried in Whitchurch on 29th July 1747, along side Edward’s sister, Mary. Her husband outlived her by 24 years, dieing at the age of 74 and being buried on 12th June 1771 in the grave of his brother William. He is described as a ‘gentleman’.
It has not been easy locating Edward’s residence or land holdings but Roz has been able to gather a few possible indications:
I have made some progress too in finding out about where Edward G was living. There is a note book by the rector, Daniel Renaud which covers 1740s to 60s. He has details of Mr Gardyner’s lands giving field names in Whitchurch, but I would caution against this being necessarily Edward snr, your Edward’s possible father, as in a summary of the estates, he says:
Mrs Tamplins The Pavings, G. Morgan and Robt Gardyner.
However, the names in the detailed lists of estate don’t match with the summary list, so they could be different people. In which case, it says:
Mr Gardyner’s Lands in Whitchurch
Below the Pool
Part of New and Little field
Orchard next the house
Jo. Kedwyn’s Land
As yet these properties remain unidentified.
We are also given the following information:
· In 1752 Mr Gardyner paid 10/- on an estate valued £30 for relief of the poor
· Robert Gardyner 1/6 on an estate of £4-10 value
· 1746, On a church note to collect £5, Mr. Gardyner paid 2s / 6d and Robert Gardyner 5d
Part I Chapter 1.2: Origins - Edward Gardiner
Edward Gardiner and Mary Hodges
The presumed father of James Hodges / Gardiner, Edward Gardiner, was, as we have said, the son of Edward Gardyner (gent) and his wife Mary. His age at his death in January 1802 was given as 59, suggesting he was born c1743, consistent with the date of his baptism of 6.8.1744. According to the Captain he was ‘bred to the law’ and understood it well but did not go into practice (Memoirs p4). Mary Ann confirms that many of the family were lawyers but Roz comments:
… As for Herefordshire Gardiners as lawyers, I can't find them on
this website, nor are there any I can find on the Gray's
An entry in the Herefordshire Family History Society list of ‘strays’ reads:
EDWARD GARDENER OF WHITCHURCH, HEF MARRIED MARY TUDMAN OF MONMOUTH, MON AT MONMOUTH 21 MAY 1764 BY LICENCE
According to one entry in the IGI Mary was born in 1744. Her parents are said to be William Tudman (born c1705 in Pilston) and Mary Perkins. Another entry gives a very different date – 1732 – but correctly gives her husband as Edward Gardiner. However, another IGI entry lists a marriage in Dixton Newton on 14.11.1740 between a Mary Perkins and a Benjamin Tudman and a third variant gives a baptism in Monmouth by this couple on 5.11.1741 - so the accuracy of these details remains uncertain. The 1741 birth seems most reliable and precise. Mary’s mother seems to have been the daughter of Christopher Perkins and Mary Clarke and is said to have been baptised in Pilston, Monmouth on 2.10.1709 and to have died in 1796. Mary Tudman had a brother, William; the children were orphaned in infancy and brought up at Pilston, the residence of her wealthy aunt Perkins, formerly Miss Dean Smith, widow of Edward to whom she brought a fortune of £20,000 at her wedding in 1745 and who died two years later falling from his carriage on Trelleck Hill (Memoir pp7-8).
Mary, apparently a beautiful young lady, was from a high ranking and wealthy gentry family; her mother was a Perkins and a cousin, Edward Perkins of Penblaith (Llangarren, Herefordshire), left her £1000 in his will. The will seems to have led to a legal dispute with the other beneficiaries, members of the Eagles family (TNA: C 12/2164/5, Gardiner v Eagles, 1791).
Roz has managed to uncover the details of this dispute in a document in the National Archives which she summarises thus:
So this case is because the £1000 had not been paid to Edward & Mary Gardiner, who in 1790 had passed this £1000 on to Wm Gardiner the later school teacher/writer. [This document is a single parchment sheet, and is a complaint which does not seem to have been proceeded with i.e. the threat may have been enough.]
Whitchurch c1910 and c1955 – Edward’s property, Brook House, is the white building on the rightand t he Crown Inn where some of his estate was auctioned off is in the centre
Edward’s property in and around Whitchurch has been identified thanks to some impressive detective work by Roz (her full notes are given below). From the various notices in the Hereford Journal advertising his lands for sale we can see some of what he owned and by tracing the chain of occupancy it can be shown that he was the owner, if not the occupier, of Brook House in the centre of the village. This farm was still being referred to as ‘Late Gardiner’ in 1809. The table below shows how the property owned by Edward in 1775 and occupied by Thomas Jones can be identified as Brook House, the farm and the Washings. Fuller details of the properties Edward sold are given further on when his financial decline is described but it is clear that he had a number of fields, farms and houses in Whitchurch, Ross on Wye and neighbouring parishes in Herefordshire and Monmouthshire.
Since someone else was occupying the property in 1775 we must assume that Brook House was not (then) Edward’s private residence; either it was simply part of his estate or he had been already forced to let it out and move elsewhere, perhaps to more modest premises. Sadly the house no longer exists having been one of the few houses in Whitchurch flattened by the dual-carriageway of the A40 but there are some pictures and an old barn has survived. The Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments noted in the 1930s: ‘Brook House, now two tenements, at the cross-roads 620 yards W. of the church, was built in the middle of the 17th century but has been added to and almost completely modernised. Inside the building, in the modern S.W. wing, is a reset staircase of c.1650, with moulded strings, twisted balusters, and square newels with ball finials and turned pendants’. The owner of the barn (now an MOT centre) has no old deeds but being a gentleman in his 70s or 80s:
can remember the older house well. This is the one with the staircase shown in the RCHME book. He says that when the houses were knocked down for the dual carriageway he thinks that it had been empty for a while as the last occupant, an elderly lady, had died. His father had a repair business in the MOT barn, including a collection of old farm implements, but he also had saved the staircase when the house was knocked down. It hung around for a while but my contact does not know where or when it went. Apparently the highway authorities were very cavalier at that time, and the fact that the house was listed would have counted for nothing. A nice fact for you: he says that in the upstairs of the older part there was a three-hole lavatory! You're probably too young to remember these, but in my childhood we lived in more than one house where we had the same arrangement, though three holes sounds excessive. We had two holes, one for children. However, with the number of children from Edward Gardiner's activities probably they needed three.
The MOT centre was a barn attached to Edward’s farm in the centre of Whitchurch - the car park to the south of this was part of one of the two houses shown in red on the tithe map.
We know a little of Edward’s life and character thanks to two short biographical accounts. Captain Henry Gardiner in his Memoirs refers (anonymously and rather cryptically) to his father and in the introduction to a book of poems by Edward’s legitimate son William his daughter Mary Anne describes the scandalous events that affected his childhood (Poems, Songs and Essays with a Narrative of his Life by his Daughter London 1854: Pages 2-3 Pages 4-5).
Edward’s marriage is said to have increased his social standing and his income and in the mid-1760s he was living in ease and affluence on his paternal estate. The exact transmission of the Gardiner estate down the generations is not clear. As we have seen, Edward senior was not the eldest son of Giles but Roz comments:
However, it would seem from the manorial records etc that the descents from Giles's elder sons may have run out in the male line, and therefore the property reverted back to Edward [junior]. Of course, it is possible that he used Mary Tudman's money to buy the family property or a new one. There is however the continuity of land names from Edward (I) in Daniel Renaud's book to Edward (II) in the Hereford Journal advert.
In 1771 Edward Gardiner the Younger of Whitchurch was appointed as executor of the will of Robert Gardiner and his signature can be seen on the document. Roz summarises thus:
Will of Robert Gardiner of Whitchurch, blacksmith made 29 March 1771. Mentions house and blacksmith’s shop where his son Thomas lives. He leaves this to his eldest son Robert (wife Mary) for his life then to Thomas. Mentions grandson Robert.
Mentions his daughter Sarah Hodgins (definitely not Hodges) whom he gives the house where John Hodgins lives (presumably her son or husband [her husband, in fact]) and his granddaughters Susannah Hodgins and Sarah Llewellin. [This is quick summary - needs checking] Executor Edward Gardiner the younger of Whitchurch.
Robert was buried on 26th August 1771. There is obviously a family link between Edward and Robert; Robert’s father was Robert (snr) who died in 1715 and had seven (known) children, the first, Thomas, baptised 1680. The closest connection would be that Robert (snr) was Giles’ brother, making Edward the nephew of Robert (jnr). Since Robert was a blacksmith he may have regarded the wealthier and more gentlemanly Edward as an ideal executor rather than one of his own sons.
and Mary had a son, Edward, baptised on 13th April 1765, followed by William
(17.4.66), Mary (22.7.67), Richard (26.2.69), George (13.8.71), an Elizabeth
and perhaps a Jane, daughter of Edward and Mary Gardener, whose death is
recorded in Whitchurch in 1774 (October 19th). According to his granddaughter (Narrative,
p2), the couple had six children, four boys and two girls but according to Gerald Gardiner Edward actually had seven (legitimate)
children: if Jane died very young Mary Ann may not have been aware of
her. Why the two girls were not baptised in Whitchurch is unknown. While an
infant, young Edward was, apparently, stolen by gypsies and, a reward having
been offered, returned by one of the women who refused to accept it. This seems
to have later been taken as a reason for him ending up insane (Mary Gardiner, Memoir p35). Edward is said to have
given the boys a liberal education but not the girls. This was, allegedly,
because they were younger and by that time his fortunes had taken a turn for
the worse; in fact this cannot be quite accurate as Mary was born before
Richard and George (we do not know when
Edward is portrayed by Mary Ann as a cruel parent who would punish his sons for the most minor offences by shutting them up in a garret without food and forcing them to learn Latin collects. Their father’s kindly huntsman would supply them with bread and cheese, passed up to the window on a pike. The Captain presents so entirely contrasting a picture that it was difficult to credit that he is describing the same man: his father had ‘manners, education and estate’ as befitted a gentleman and was warm, generous, open, sincere, intelligent, beloved by the middle ranks, respected by the great and idolized by the poor, a peacemaker and universal friend. His wise advice was, apparently, widely sought and his heart ‘suggested rules of probity and honour’. Even in adversity his ‘religious fortitude of soul’ would not permit him to fall into despair. The decline in his circumstances was down to bad luck according to the Captain; the ‘blind goddess’ in a most grotesque and subtle form ‘blasted his endeavours’ and a ‘wonderful concatenation of events’ drove him from ‘affluent fortune’; to ‘absolute want’. Mary Ann has a rather different take on what happened: his problems were, we are told, down to his reprehensible and immoral life and awareness of this dreadful development is said to have left a lasting impression on the sensitive young William. The Captain tells us that while the ‘elder branches of the family’ received a classical education, owing to Edward’s ‘misfortunes …many of the younger branch were obliged to be employed in immature years’ – including himself.
is likely that Edward’s relationship with Mary Hodges was at the root of the
problem. Mary’s parents may be the James and Mary Hodges we find in Monmouth.
On 13th July 1748 a James Hodges from Aukfield (?) married Elizabeth Clarke from Monmouth at
· James in 1749 (26 June)
· William in 1750 (2 October)
· Thomas in 1751 (22 September)
· Mary and Michael in 1753 (14 November).
· Another Mary (Hodgis) was baptised 26 Jan 1757.
Mary, daughter of James and Elizabeth, was buried on 19 May 1754, Michael, son of James and Elizabeth, was buried 6 Feb 1755 and a John, son of James and Elizabeth, was buried 19 Feb 1755 but there is as yet no baptism record for him. The baptism in 1757 for Mary is consistent with a death aged 85 in 1840 (see below). Furthermore, the Captain’s uncle who owned the silver mine may well have been one James Hodges. Mary’s father James was a victualler and according to his wife’s burial record (Monmouth, 17th July 1769) their residence was 'The Bridge', an inn near the river Wye. The original inn building was knocked down in the late 19th century, and replaced by a towered building. This in turn was demolished when the A40 dual carriageway was pushed through (Roz). James probably died in 1781 or 1785 (he was certainly dead by the time Edward Gardiner wrote his will).
Roz has uncovered a number of intriguing possible links between Gardiners and Hodges which suggest that the relationship between them may be more complex than simply a case of a rich man and his impoverished ‘bit on the side’. A document dated 1768 from Glamorgan Record Office, possibly concerning the financial aspects of Edward’s wedding, was witnessed by a John Hodges and a P[hilip] Hodges. We cannot be sure they were relatives of Mary but it must be a possibility. Roz speculates with regard to them:
We've been thinking that maybe Edw G met Mary Hodges when he visited Monmouth, but maybe she was visiting Philip Hodges (d 1780, of Whitchurch)? It seems as if Philip was friendly with the Gardiner family, so she could have come to stay if Philip was a connection. The reason is that I think it must have taken more than a fleeting occasion for Edw G to have become so infatuated that he risked everything to start a romance with her. However, the Hodges connection is probably not nearer than James Hodges from Monmouth and Philip Hodges being cousins.
We can also note that Mrs Hodges was originally Miss Clarke and that Mary Tudman had a cousin called Jane Clarke. A Mary Hodges of Monmouth is found in Goodrich, marrying (by licence) John Fryer on 20th April 1775 (she signed, he put his mark, witnesses John Lucas and Jane Hodges) – what if any link there is to Edward’s mistress is unknown.
FRYAR, John Marriage
Wife: Mary HODGES
Date: 20 Apr 1775 Recorded in: Goodrich,
A John Fryer is known to have
been married to
At some point Edward and Mary
began having children, perhaps starting in the mid 1770s when Henry was
probably born, though his use of the phrase ‘elder
branches’ might imply more than one distinct set of children before himself (Memoirs p7). Mary Ann tells us
that Edward persuaded his wife, Mary
Tudman, to move out for a ‘change of air’ so that he could move in a
‘disreputable woman named Hodges’. The exact date of this is not given: Mary
Tudman was still young and the two eldest sons were at school. William was not
yet 17 and since he was born in 1766 and his brother in 1765 it must have been before
1783, and probably well before as the impression is that they were still
children (‘young and inexperienced’) and it is explicitly stated that Edward’s
immorality was noted by the boys at ‘an early age’. No legitimate children are
recorded after 1771. However, in 1783 Mary Hodges was described in the parish
records as a ‘pauper’ so the exact sequence of events cannot be known. Mary
Hodges’ presence in the house was so unwelcome to the two boys that they
gathered their pocket money and a few silver spoons and ran away to
The former Swan and Falcon Inn in Ross on Wye from the street and showing the passage way to the inner courtyard- scene of the public auction of Gardiner property in 1783
It is possible to get some idea of Edward’s downfall from a series of notices in the Hereford Journal starting August 1782. It is clear that he was already in very serious financial difficulty by that point as on August 22nd a notice appeared informing readers that several freehold estates ‘situate in the counties of Hereford and Monmouth’ were to be sold by private contract or, failing a sale within six weeks, by public auction at the Swan and Falcon in Ross. The properties included a substantial and well-built messuage (land for a dwelling house together with its outbuildings, curtilage, and the adjacent land appropriated to its use) and dwelling house in Whitchurch with outbuildings and an orchard (about eight acres) reserving the Meese-place, which gives right of common to the Dowards, Long-grove and Old-grove; a field called Pool Relick (8 acres) in Whitchurch and Ganerew; Hendre Vach (5.5 acres) in Llangarren; a dwelling in Ross (rent £1 14s per annum); two houses in Ross (rent £2 pa); a house and garden at the Old Forge in Goodrich (rent £7 pa); part of a farm of 200 acres of arable and pasture with barns and outbuildings and woods in Llanvihangel-Yftern-Llewern on the Monmouth-Abergavenny road, five miles from Monmouth (rent £50 pa). The first three properties were described as having been ‘late in the possession of Mr. Edward Gardiner’ to whom inquiries could be addressed in Whitchurch or alternatively to his attorney Mr. Cameron at Munderfield Harold, Bromyard. Roz informs us that the same adverts would often be run for two or three weeks in succession. Clearly the properties were not sold privately as on March 25th of the following year a notice appeared in the Journal advising that on April 24th at the Swan-and-Falcon they would be put up for public auction. Mr. E. Gardiner is described as the proprietor and fuller details are given of some of the lots (and an additional one, the Washings at Hoarwithy in Whitchurch which allowed salmon fishing on the Wye). The description of the main property in the village is especially interesting. It was a residence fit for a gentleman with two kitchens, two parlours, two halls, a servants’ room, pantries, cellars, sex bed chambers, four garrets, garden, stable, ox-house, cyder-mill house, pig sties and malt house. It lay near a stream on the Monmouth to Ross turnpike and a few hundred yards from the Wye and had nine acres of orchards with cyder apple trees.
A year later another notice (dated 27th March 1784) appeared in the Journal concerning the sale of an ‘exceedingly convenient’ mansion house and farm ‘commodiously situated’ in good sporting country near the Wye in Whitchurch with 210 acres and rights of common currently in the possession of E. Gardiner and his undertenants. The lawyers handling the case were now Messrs. Bourne or Guest of Hereford. This advert reappeared in the edition of May 6th.
March 1785 Edward, who was still living in Whitchurch, placed a notice in the Journal advertising his services as a
potential steward. He described himself as a freeholder of good connections
aged 40 (he was actually a year or so older) capable of superintending estates,
holding court leets, and understanding agriculture and timber and fishing. He
was willing to work for any nobleman, lady or gentleman anywhere in
In February 1786 the farm had still not been sold (there was a new attorney involved) and the October 5th edition of the Journal announced that it would be put up for auction at the King's Arms in Ross on the afternoon of Thursday 26th October.
In September 1787 Edward Gardiner of Whitchurch Esq. was listed among those who had obtained a certificate (on two guinea stamps) for the killing of game during the next twelve months.
Some clue as to the parlous state of Edward’s finances may be found in an advert in the Hereford Journal for May 1st 1793. Roz was inspired to look in that publication having seen a legal bill from his solicitor (document O68/Misc/8) which mentions a sale of his property (Roz).
Basically, Edward Gardiner started mortgaging his property very early on. So, the case is about default on successive mortgages which were passed from person to person, the sum increasing all the while, ending with the Ingrams of Worcester. The earliest was before 1775 as this was when Edw G borrowed from Geo Catchmayd. Then the mortgage was transferred to John Philpotts and so on via Charles Cameron until it ended with the Ingrams, who took him to court.
It's quite clear that from the 1770s onwards, Edward G was getting the mortgage transferred to new people on a regular basis, increasing the money each time, but also it appears that he wasn't paying the interest either, using the new loan to pay it off.
It's significant that his wife's name (Mary T) is included each time, because she had an interest in the property as it was part of her jointure. I'm surprised that although Ed could do what he liked with the property as the Married Woman's Property Act was way in the future, Mary allowed this to happen when obviously the reason he needed the money was the steadily increasing brood. I presume he also had to fund an establishment for her. He must have had some income from his property. By the time of the sale, the mortgage and outstanding interest was considerable.
The advert for the sale referred to a freehold estate to be peremptorily sold on Monday 27th May 1793 between 4pm and 7pm pursuant to a decree of His Majesty’s Court of Exchequer. There were ten lots, situated in Ganerew, Whitchurch, Goodrich, Ross and Llanfihangel, all occupied by tenants. Of these lots, lots 1, 5, 6, 7, and 9 were certainly among those being advertised ten years ago in 1782 and lot 3 (a mansion in Whitchurch) and lot 8 (unoccupied house in Ross) may well have been; it had obviously not been easy disposing of the family properties. Roz tells us further:
1. In 1793 Edward Gardiner is forced to sell his property because
of the amount outstanding on his mortgage, which sale was demanded by the court
of Exchequer. The notice of the sale appears in 1793 May 1st in the Hereford
Journal (and other dates). Brook House is not named (it is Lot 3) but another
important lot is 2, Washing Meadow, which travels with
2. Also in 1793, there is a bill for costs from Samuel Turner, a solicitor, to Edward Gardiner which was incurred in the sale of Gardiner’s property from the decree in the case of Gardiner v Ingram (HRO O68/Misc/8). The item for the 28th May 1793 on page 1 says ‘Attending at Mr Lewis’s Chambers a meeting with you Mr Wells and Mr Lewis by appointment upwards of an hour on the Biddings and on a treaty for sale of Lot 3 purchased by you to Dr Cameron. Also see page 2.
The Old Forge was said to be occupied by P. Davis, possibly a relative of the husband of Penelope Hodges / Gardiner. Edward should have had something left over from the sale etc when all was completed. He may have rented a property but that's difficult to find out. There were no reports in later editions of sale prices reached (Roz) but these are given elsewhere and we see that he bought back some of the lots such as the house at Old Forge.
1 £220 George Griffin (lord of the manor of Goodrich)
2 £290 Ditto
3 £3900 Dr Cameron
4 £70 Wheeler Parry (witness of Ed Gardiner's second marriage, I think)
6 to 10 £60 Edward Gardiner
11 £945 David Morgan
12 £63 ditto
It did not stop there, as in these rough notes there is Taylor's final (draft) summing up of the financial situation in 1799, when some of the property had been rented out [and] the latest figures of income and amounts due is 1799 … after the judgement Taylor seems to have carried on managing the case [and] It may be that if the Mary G (died Lydney 1799) is the right one, her death finally put an end to the financial affairs and the matter could be closed. It is interesting that Philip Davies appears to be renting the house on New Mill Hill in Goodrich. It is still possible that the usual papers of the case are in TNA, but they probably won't add to these rough notes. (Roz)
The perceptive young William could see the decline in his father’s fortunes reflected in the condition of his hounds and composed one of his first poems on the subject but Edward did not appreciate the satire and confined poor William to the garret for the rest of the day. When William was 17 (1783, the year that the parish records show Mary Hodges as a pauper) he returned home but the moral atmosphere of the house was ‘ill-adapted to his sensitive and contemplative mind’. Edward could not afford to train William as a lawyer and out of ‘selfish pride’ he rejected the offer of his wife’s cousin Jane Clarke of the Hill (a rich local lady) to pay the expenses. Aware of the state of his father’s affairs William sought a position as a clerk. William decided to leave the home now ‘profaned by the presence of a numerous and illegitimate offspring’ (Narrative p5). This fits with the Captain’s statement that he left his father’s mansion but his Memoirs suggest, perhaps not entirely accurately, that he had been living there well before the mid 1780s and had already gone to sea some years previously. Whatever the case, there was clearly some resentment on the part of at least one of the legitimate children against those born out of wedlock and we do not find any of the legitimate Gardiners as (identifiable) subscribers to Henry’s Memoirs. Mary (Memoir p6) comments that Edward had ‘driven [William] and his family as wanderers into the great world’. Three of those sons were to come to unfortunate ends.
Edward, described as ‘the elder, Gentleman of Whitchurch’ made his will in 1785. In this will he provides for his six legitimate children but also makes provision for Mary Hodges and for the education of her offspring. He also refers to the £1000 left to his wife by Edward Parkins (sic) Esq. of Penbleath..
We find in the Whitchurch parish records that Mary Hodges (still a spinster) baptised no fewer than 10 children, six on the 20th September 1795 the first named of which was James.
19 Oct 1783 Jane, illegitimate daughter of Mary Hodges, pauper
10 Oct 1784 Ann
27 July 1786 Amy
20 June 1790 Penelope
20 Sept 1795 James Sarah Faith Edwin Harriet Susanna
Roz has conjectured that the children baptised in 1795 may have been born at fairly equal intervals between 1787 and 1795. This is quite plausible and the order the children are named in might have been thought to indicate the order of age except that we know that Faith was born on 1st June 1794. Why Penelope was baptised in 1790 is not known – perhaps she was a sickly infant and there was a risk of imminent death, though that still does not explain the delay with the others. It also leaves open the possibility that James may have been born before Jane, though a delay of nearly 15 years seems excessive (though not unparalleled). There is no sign of a Henry and since we are told by both the Captain and Edward Jones (see below) that Edward had 27 children we still have another 9 to account for. The Charity Hodges buried in Whitchurch on December 11th 1791 may or may not be a relative.
Between 1793 and 1795 Edward’s affairs had become considerably worse and the patrimonial estates at Whichurch (settled on Mary Tudman at her marriage) had been disposed of, her consent having been obtained by ‘threats and promises’, so robbing his children of their birthright (Mary Gardiner’s Memoir p16). At some time around 1796-7 Mary (Tudman) died, suddenly in Monmouth – she had previously been very ill to the extent that no one expected her to recover; her son William (to whom, in Baltimore, she appeared on the night of her death, wearing a blue mantle and cold to the touch) had the following epitaph placed on her headstone (sadly defaced and thrown aside in the 1850s):
‘The morning of her path was brightened with sunshine
The evening of her days was clouded with bitterness’
(Clearly neither the Mary Gardiner buried in Whitchurch on July 26th 1793 nor the Mary Gardiner who died in February 1799 aged 70 in Lydney is her.)
The transcript of Whitchurch parish registers records the marriage of Edward Gardiner and Mary Hodges on 10 June 1799; however, there is a record in a separate register of Marriages, when the witnesses were Wheeler Parry and Jane Weare, which gives the date as 10th May. (An Edward Gardiner was in fact churchwarden that year, a fact that may or may not be related to the error.) Edward does not seem to have rewritten his will to take account of his first wife’s death and his subsequent remarriage. If his assets had been seriously depleted he may have seen little point. The repercussions of the case against him were still on-going and his solicitor still dealing with the case.
The continuing financial problems Edward was experiencing can be seen from a notice in the Hereford Journal of 29th October 1800. Yet more of his properties were to be auctioned off – the Little Kiln House, Bridge Meadow, The Moors and various other parcels of arable and pasture in the Whitchurch area. The sale was to take place on October 25th at the Crown Inn in Whitchurch itself.
After Edward and Mary Hodges married the illegitimate
children might have taken his surname, if not before. Since it seems unlikely
that Edward would provide for Mary’s children if they were not his, and equally
unlikely that he would cohabit with and then marry a woman who had had ten
children by other men, and since at least some of the Hodges children became
Gardiners later we must assume that Edward was the father of them all and the Narrative implies as much. The Captain
indicates that he signed a letter to his mother ‘Henry Gardiner’ in 1792. None
of them has been found in the IGI or censuses as Hodges, though that is not
conclusive of anything. That the Hodges children became Gardiners is seen in
the cases of Susanna (married Goodrich 1813), Penelope and Faith (see below) as
well as James (and probably Henry) and is consistent with the record of Jane
Edward did not live long to enjoy his newly legitimated relationship. He died in Goodrich on the 8th and was buried in Whitchurch on the 11th of January 1802; in his will he had indicated his wish to be buried in the chancel of the parish church at Whitchurch. As to whether he got his wish, Roz writes:
The will certainly says that he wishes to be buried in the chancel, but I think this was more expensive that an outside burial, so it may not have happened …
However, I have looked again at Duncumb's History and he records a gravestone on the north side of the church which says: 'Edward Gardiner gent. ob. 8 Jan. 1802, aet. 59'. But these may be just Duncumb's words, though he usually puts extra information if it is there.
The 1983 survey of the monuments in the churchyard and the church seems to be thorough - there are even little sketches of the gravestones. Edward's gravestone does not appear in the survey, and is included in a list of a number of others which they note at the end of the survey were present in Duncumb's time. The floods may have been violent enough to break them up or carry them away.
Where the epitaph recorded by the Captain as being ‘inscribed on his monument’ is to be found is unknown as there is no evidence of it in that church:
Henry Gardiner’s epitaph to his father
Lost to his
Orphans, he is
For ever gone : and to
His country lost, in the
Most rude and rugged paths of
Life; a father kind he was, by pity
Moved, mild, placid, and serene; meeting
The strange vicissitudes of fate, as do the
Stationary shores of
Blast of inhospitable regions, for his great soul well stored
was with philosophy divine; shall we then mourn as
Those without hope? ah no! we have hope, a sublime
Hope, more firmly fixed than is the pond’rous
Rock within the bowels of the earth
Confined, and obedient are
To thy command, O God;
As our vast
Globe which in
Of his earlier fortune he had only £3000 left, which he divided among his legitimate children. Regarding his will, Roz comments:
Edward Gardiner's will from 1802 was invalidly executed. Mary (nee Hodges) who executed it was not the Mary his wife named as executor in the will which was made in 1785 - she was Mary Tudman his first wife. This is made quite clear in the probate record at the bottom for 1802 where Mary Gardiner actually claims to be formerly Mary Hodges, and since it mentions Mary Hodges explicitly in the 1785 part of the will, I cannot imagine how the will was proved. The 1785 part mentions Mary Hodges' children (she had been a spinster).
The clear reference to Mary (Hodges)
What happened to Mary (Hodges) immediately after Edward’s death is unknown. Her grandson Edward Davies states in his will that his maternal grandmother had bought a house at 30 St. Mary’s Street in Monmouth. It is a three storey terraced property if it is the property still at that address. A Charles Howells and his family lived in the house according to the 1841 census but he must have been a tenant rather than the owner.
The house now at 30 St. Mary’s Street the white, three storey building)
What is clear is that at some point she went to live
with or near her daughter Penelope Davies and her granddaughters in Mayhill, Dixton
(a separate parish just across the Wye bridge, between Monmouth and Ganarew /
Whitchurch) and to have helped them in the running of the school there (see
below). She died aged 85 on 1st March 1840 in Dixton from age and debility. She
was described as a schoolmistress and the death was reported by Susanna Davies
who was present at her passing. She was buried in Monmouth on the 7th and in the Monmouthshire Beacon of the same day [Saturday], the
following death notice appeared: On Sunday last, at
Edward’s Legitimate Children after his Death
Edward (born 1765)
It is interesting to note that Edward junior was a mariner. The elder sons are said to have had a classical education and only the ‘younger’ ones forced to go to work when young so one would have expected the eldest son to have inherited the estate and to have lived like a gentleman in Herefordshire. However, his father’s financial embarrassments forced Edward and William to ‘drudge as two common clerks’ and later he became a mariner. Quite how lowly a profession the term ‘mariner’ implied is not known but it does not sound especially elevated. It was thought that he was the Edward who married Sarah Kayse (Kaeyse or Keyce) in Whitchurch on 7.8.1792 had a son Edward Lucas (baptism 7.1.95) but the fact that he put a mark in the marriage register almost certainly means it was not his marriage.
The late Jane Clarke had left the bulk of her wealth to Messrs. Kingsmill, Evans and Eagles (and not a small sum to her steward), thus disappointing the Gardiner brothers who had some expectation of a substantial inheritance. Jane Clarke, who was, as we have said, related to Mary Tudman through her mother’s mother, was born in 1710, the daughter of Mr. Joseph Clarke, Mary’s great uncle, and possessed of an income of many thousands per year. She made her will on 14th August 1802 and bequeathed to:
Mr Edward Gardiner, Mr William Gardiner, Mr Richard Gardiner, Mr George Gardiner, Miss Mary Gardiner, Miss Elizabeth Gardiner, sons & daughters of the late Edward and Mary Gardiner of Whitchurch, £100 a piece, but if any of them quarrel with the will they shall lose their £100.
Roz tells us:
There was a Codicil 4 Aug 1803 and an Additional note 4 Mar 1806:
£100 left to Mr Richard Gardiner to be shared among [the other siblings]. If any other of them die before her their £100 should be divided between them.
The will was proved on 29th August 1806 (HRO F8/II/526) and there is a record of an Assignment
by Edward Gardiner of Whitchurch and then of co.
Roz was puzzled as to why the Gardiner children should have any desire to contest the will:
However, looking at the full Jane Clarke will, she does leave property (via trustees) to Thomas Eagles of Bristol, and after his death the income from them to his son Edward then to Edward's brothers and sisters in order of seniority. (This goes on for pages). There is the Eagles relationship with the Gardiners, that Thomas Eagles along with Mary Gardiner (nee Tudman) was a beneficiary of Edward Perkins of Penblaith, but since this Clarke money went directly to the Eagles I can't see why the Gardiners should think they were entitled to a share. Jane Clarke obviously thought the Tudman Gardiners merited something, i.e. £100, but she quite specifically said they would lose it if they contested the will, so perhaps she thought they might have a case. Whether they did pursue it I don't know.
The claim seems to have been based on the fact that Edward was her closest living relative. Clearly Jane had no intention of leaving anything to Edward’s many other children!
In 1806 Edward began legal proceedings to recover what he saw as his rights from the estate of the late Jane Clarke but left the country before it was decided and was never heard from again. Roz informs us that:
Edward Gardiner, eldest son of EG died 1802, assigns his legacy from Jane Clarke to someone else. [The document] is too big to scan, but he seems to be selling the leacy for £60 in 1807, which implies he had not got it at this stage, and his [sic] does repeat the bit in the will about not getting it if the will is contested. £40 is a heavy discount, so he must have been worried about whether he would get it. Perhaps he was about to go abroad and wanted cash in hand.
It had been thought that he might have been the Edward who died in Whitchurch on 11.1.1807 but we know from Mary’s Memoir (p58) that Edward died either abroad or in an asylum
William (born 1766)
We know quite a bit about William thanks to the fact that he was a published author and had a daughter (Mary Ann) who composed a Memoir or Narrative of his Life to accompany a collection of his poems. Two brief biographical notices give some basic information:
Having left his father’s home in less than happy circumstances to take up a position as a clerk in Lydney, sixteen miles away, he set off on foot, sheltering during a shower under a maple tree near Newland, a tree that held a sentimental attachment for his family in later years. To supplement his meagre salary he began to teach – his mother’s wealthy relatives at Pilston were apparently so mean they made no effort to help William or his siblings. although William was the next of kin to the late Edward Perkins and although he was greatly moved to see the house falling into ruin, William did nothing to prevent it being pillaged by the locals.
William became friends with James Howell who had friends at a nearby farm, the Dairy, where he spent many happy moments fell in love with James’ sister, a beautiful and noble lady to whom he wrote many of his poems. During 1791 he moved to a better job in Darlaston but had not yet provided a proper house for them to live in. On 29.8.1791 he was married to Mary Howell in Lydney – a marriage of love we are told. The parish records show a number of baptisms by William and Mary:
· Caroline Margaret Alicia 9.7.00
· Mary Ann and Augusta 26.2.04
· Henrietta Harriet 7.7.05 (died 1871)
· Eleanor Georgia 22.12.1806
· Margaret 13.8.08
· Catherine Sarah 28.4.1811
· Agnes Maria 18.7.13
· William Alexander Stephen 26.8.1818 Ailburton, father a school master
There was another daughter, Jane, born in Lydney c1800
whose baptism has not yet been found. Mary Ann and Augusta were born in
Soon after his marriage William was persuaded to join
a commercial undertaking but fell pray to his unprincipled business associates
in a way that ‘ruined [his] prospects and broke up his peaceful home’ (Memoir p12). This may have influenced
his decision to sail for
There is a Capt. F Gardiner or Gardner
William opened a school for the children of gentlemen
and was intending to remain in America but his wife’s delicate health (affected
by the climate) forced him to return once more to England in Spring 1803,
remaining for some time without an occupation till Jane Clarke persuaded him to
open a school (in St. Briavels) and offered him a house rent free (which he
refused). He moved to Lydney a year later, conducting a ‘respectable boarding
school’ and enjoying an easy and tranquil existence. He devoted time to study,
saved a boy from drowning in the Severn, wrote a variety of works including
some poems published in the ‘Cambrian’ and the ‘Gloucester Journal’ under the
name of the ‘Bard of the Sister Rivers’ – but declined to accept a potentially
lucrative offer by composer John Parry to set some to music. In 1808 he took
over the legal proceedings in chancery, at considerable expense, but he failed
to prosecute the case with sufficient energy, despite possibly having a solid
claim based on the will of Joseph Clarke (1738). In 1813 he published some
poems dedicated to C. Bathurst, including one celebrating the work of Dr.
Edward Jenner (who pioneered the smallpox vaccination), but the circulation was
very limited. Mary paints a picture of an idyllic family life (p39) – even the
fish in the pond had names and were never eaten - prior to the closure of his school in 1816 (a
victim of the economic effects of peace) and his move to London – setting off
from Aylburton at 4am to get the stage from Gloucester, 20 miles away. It was a
miserable time at first but he subsequently became the editor of the British Lady’s Magazine and enjoyed the
company of his friend and fellow poet Dr. James Whitehead. His wife wrote to
him with deeply moving anecdotes about the children and he had some private
students in Islington but his hopes for an official position were disappointed.
he wrote works of fiction (as did his eldest daughter) and they sold well but
he never received his fee of £50 for the first three as the publisher went
bust. this, together with the emigration of Dr. Whitehead made his lonely life
even more miserable until his family joined him in
William was a fairly prolific if not a particularly outstanding author. His works ranged from children’s stories to tragic dramas. An example of the latter was The Sultana, though it was panned by the critics:
Reed, Isaac: Biographia Dramatica; Or, a Companion to the Playhouse p306 (from Google Books)
The Critical Review, or Annals of Literature vol 9 ed. T.G. Smollett p212 (from Google Books)
A sample of his verse – Select Reviews of Literature ed. E. Bronson vol 3 p92 (from Google Books)
His daughter claims that Mr. Mackay left his name off the cover of ‘The History of Congo in search of his Master’ and ‘Idle Hours’ lest he become too successful and command a higher fee. In 1820 he wrote and delivered at the Marlborough Rooms a eulogistic oration on King George III (25th February) and received from a minister a £20 note for his trouble.
In 1821 he published Original Tales of My Landlord’s School:
The death in 1823 of Mr. Mackay only added to his
problems and within eighteen months his health began to decline, not helped by
trauma caused by the death of his two youngest children who were buried within
a fortnight of each other and were, he felt, victims of medical incompetence.
He caught a chill when visiting the city to meet one of his patrons and this
developed into consumption. The grief occasioned by attending to the funeral
arrangements caused him to give way to momentary despair and early each morning
he went to the graves, something known only to his eldest daughter. At this
time they were living in rooms on
In 1841 three of the sisters were school mistresses in St. Briavels near Lydney: Jane (35), Caroline (30) and Mary (30 – the ages are very approximate). There were 21 pupils listed, all girls aged 8-15.
The three sisters in 1841 (full image)
The 1851 census for Aylburton records Jane (51,
Lidney, School Mistress) as well as Mary Ann (44,
With brother William in 1851
In 1871 the siblings were still together in Aylburton:
Jane (72, annuitant, Lydney), Mary Ann (64,
The Gardiners in 1871
With regard to another of William’s daughters, Roz has found another interesting connection:
I cannot find an Augusta Gardiner marriage
or burial. There is an Augusta Gardiner dau of John D Gardiner b 1837 at
Kennebuk or Kennebuk
We might also note that Faith’s son was Edward Clement Davies.
In 1881 William A.S. (65, unmarried insurance agent,
Aylburton) was living alone in the
William in Aylburton in 1881
Mary (born 1767)
Nothing is known about Mary beyond the statement in
the Memoir that ‘the eldest daughter
married a Mr. Mare of
Richard (born 1769)
In 1841 we find Richard (60 – water man) and Elizabeth (60); with them were James (25), William (age illegible but given as 70 in the transcript), Amelia (20) and Domenico (11 months). Edward’s son should have been 71 so it seems more likely that this is the Richard baptised by John and Sarah Gardner on 14th January 1779 in Whitchurch and that the Richard Gardiner who married Elizabeth Gauler there on 8th or 9th September 1803 is the same person. He is found in the censuses for 1851 and 1861 and is presumably the person buried in Whitchurch on 28.8.1864, aged 86. According to the Memoir (p58) Edward’s son Richard was drowned at sea but no indication is given as to date or circumstances.
Richard the Water Man in 1841
George (born 1771)
Nothing is known of George beyond the fact that he died in unknown foreign parts.
Nothing is known of
Part I Chapter 1.3: Origins - The Children of Mary Hodges
Gardiners and the Old Mill
Originally no record could be found of the baptism (or marriage) of James Gardiner, the father of Henry (b1811). An exhaustive search of the Parish registers for Whitchurch, initially by Roger and Pat Gardener and also by researchers in the area has failed to turn up any reference to James so it might seem that he was not born in that parish. Nor is there any record of Captain Henry Gardiner being baptised there. The baptism of James’ son Henry in Goodrich and the birth of his brother James in the same area suggested, but did not prove, a Herefordshire origin for the family. Samuel Gardiner, thought to be James’ son, had an unmarried aunt Jane who was born around 1783, possibly in Monmouth. This suggests that her brother James may be from the same area and the death certificate from 1837 suggests that he was born around 1780. Monmouth is only a few miles from Goodrich so we could deduce that the family originated in that area. A James Gardiner is said to have been baptised in Shirenewton in 1787, Monmouthshire, but it is not especially near Goodrich. It is now assumed that he is the James who was baptised by Mary Hodges in 1795, though his birth was presumably some years earlier. The evidence that James, Jane, Penelope, Susanna and Faith (all of whom can be linked to each other) were the illegitimate children of Edward Gardiner (and that they changed their surnames) is overwhelming.
Family tradition asserts that James, together with
Sarah and their two sons, came north having given up the occupation of miller
and this is supported by two significant sources. The list of subscribers to
Captain Gardiner’s Memoirs of 1812 include
a J. and H. Gardiner at ‘Old Mill’ and parish records found by local historian
Roz Lowe show a Mr. Gardiner at that mill in 1815 but not 1819. The first
probable reference to James in
Goodrich parish records
Assessments for Old Mill
BF16/61 assessment for poor relief August 1815
Mr Gardiner Old Mill 11s
BF16/54 assessment for building a Shire Hall Dec 1819
Mr Marfell Old Mill 3s/8d
With regard to the mill, Roz writes:
The Old Mill in Goodrich is one of my interests, and [I] have recently published an article proving that it is mentioned in 1100. It was in the ownership of one family from until 1884, so your Gardiners could have been tenants - I would be interested to have the names of the local subscribers to Ed [actually Henry] Gardiner's book. There was a 'New Mill' in Goodrich, and a mill in Whitchurch, though I think that was owned by another family with Goodrich connections, the Yates. … Old Mill with no parish given [in the list of subscribers to the Memoirs] is almost certainly in Goodrich.
Old Mill in Goodrich was the site of the mill of ‘Hulla’ or ‘Castellum Goderich’ identified in the Domesday survey.
‘Old Mill’, Goodrich
The manor of Goodrich had a fishery in the Domesday survey, but no mention is made of a mill.[i] The Garron is a more suitable river for siting a corn mill than the Wye, and the mill shown in Figure 1 on the corner of the road leading to New Court was already known as ‘Old Mill’ by 1506.[ii]
William le Mareschal, who was granted the manor of Goodrich in 1204, granted to the monks of St. Peter’s, ‘in pure alms the mill and suit of mill of his whole vill of Godric’s Castle...’ in the time of Henry Folet.[iii] The mill appears several times in the Inquisitions post mortem of the lords of Goodrich, being worth 13s. 4d. in 1307,[iv] but by 1372 it was worth only 5s. because ‘it is decayed.’[v] The work of ‘Robert Taylor de olde mylle’ in mentioned in the Goodrich manor court roll of 1506, though he may have been a tenant.[vi]
The mill and lands eventually came into the hands of the Powell family, and the disputed inheritance of it was one of the major causes of the later disturbances. It is not known when the mill was acquired by the family, but according to one deponent at that time the family had owned the property for two hundred years—allowing for the usual exaggeration it must have been more than fifty years.[vii] It remained in the hands of their descendants until sold after 1884.
It seems certain therefore that the ‘Little Cae Brian’ shown on the
1884 map is part or all of the ‘Cakebraine next Old Mill’ in
i The fishery is almost certainly ‘Old Weare’just upstream from Mainoaks, already ‘old’ in 1454. HRO, O68/II/31
ii HSM 5721, SO 5599 1938. Goodrich manor court rolls, HRO, G38 I 1 f.3.
iii Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum, Vol. 1, p.546; John Hobson Matthews, Collections towards..History of the County of Hereford, Hundred of Wormelow, p.78.
iv Matthews, p.101.
v Matthews, p.105.
vi HRO, G38/I/1 f.3.
vi TNA, STAC/8/18/5 f.16. ‘Richard Powell the younger then beinge an infant under the age of sixteen years who clayme the premisses by lawefull descent from his ancestors which continued in the name and blood of the Powells for the space of two hundred years past and more as lawfull owners of the said premisses by ancient entails made to the heirs males of the body of Thomas Powell and his Father the ancestors of the defendant Richard Powell the younger...’
Elsewhere she writes:
My article on Villa Cachebren, or
Both Old Mill and New Mill are very close to the parish boundary, in fact Old Mill was inadvertently put in the parish of Marstow recently by the county council, and my husband who's a parish councillor had to get it re-instated in Goodrich.
Photos of the Old Mill in 1900 and in the early 2000s.
James may have married a lady called Sarah James (according
to baptism records from Pitt Street Chapel in Liverpool), possibly the Sarah
James born to William and Anne and baptised in Whitchurch on 10.11.1776 but
this seems unlikely given that the couple are thought to have had a child in
1829 and that a Sarah James was buried in Whitchurch in 1805. Perhaps his wife
was the Sarah James baptised at St. Peter's in
James followed in 1813 and Penelope in 1814 but neither was apparently baptised in Goodrich as their brother was. Only one other Gardiner baptised in Goodrich has been found (Thomas in 1792) but there were several families in Whitchurch.
Penelope Gardiner and her Family
James was a witness at the wedding of Susanna Gardiner to John Tummy in 1813 (8th December, Goodrich); the other witness was a Penelope Gardiner. Mrs A. Rose noticed that the wedding in Goodrich on 21.6.1815 between Penelope Gardiner and Thomas Davies was witnessed by James and Sarah Gardiner.
Thomas and Penelope appear to have had three children in Goodrich known to us:
· Mary Ann or Marianne
· Penelope (baptised 22.3.1817 in Goodrich)
· Edward Clement (baptised 15.10.1818 in Goodrich).
The basis for Marianne is the 1851 census where Penelope is described as her sister. A Mary Ann was baptised in 1813 and another on 9.5.1816 in Goodrich – but the mother was Mary, the father Thomas, an inn keeper (1813) or barge builder (1816), and their residence was New Weare. This couple went on to have other children so it is unlikely that either of these baptisms is the Marianne from 1851, which means there is no known baptism for this eldest daughter since all the other Marianne Davies in the Forest of Dean database are baptised by different parents.
In 1815 Thomas (an officer of excise) and Penelope were living at New Mill Hill; at the time of Penelope’s baptism their residence was given as Newmill Hill and at Edward’s as ‘Old Forge’ (see above for Roz’s comments on this site of a water-driven iron forge dating from c1580). The two addresses probably refer to the same place as the Old Forge was on Newmill Hill.
lose sight of the family for some 22 years. The next we hear of them is the
information (given in Victorian Monmouth
by K. Kissack) that the
boarding school provided general instruction in needlework and academic
subjects and in 1841 we find the two Penelopes (mother, 40, [?proprietress]
boarding school, and daughter, 15, teacher) living in Wynsham, Dixton,
Monmouthshire, together with Mariann (20, teacher). None was born in the county
and the name is spelt ‘
The two Penelopes and Mariann in 1841
The school is said to have flourished in the mid 1840s and the Vicar of Dixton commented that 'This family are all Professional Dissenters of the Independent Persuasion'. Penelope senior has not been found in 1851 - she was presumably the lady who died on 22nd October1850 in Dixton, Monmouth. The death certificate gives few details; she was 56, a school teacher and had died of bronchitis and [illegible?]. The age at death is a little out (she should be 60 at least) but the other details match up. The informant was Rebecca Fryer of West Bridge Lane, Monmouth, 40, probably the wife of Thomas, plasterer aged 30 (1841 census); they are recorded as having married on 7.7.1829 in Dixton Newton (her name given as Rebekah Wall) and he may be the Thomas aged 82 from Monmouth, widower, living in Jones Almshouses in 1881, though no baptism has been found for him. We might note that the 1851 census records a Maryan Fryer aged 44 from Goodrich living in Monmouth with her husband Edward, a 55 year old walking stick maker from that town; she was Maryann Witherstone, baptised 16.6.06 and married to Edward W. Fryers on 8.9.1825 in Monmouth.
The hotel thought to have been the home of the Mayhill Academy
1851 Maryann and Penelope (34 and 33, Goodrich) were listed as Governess
Schoolmistress and Assistant in May Hill, Dixton. The school was apparently
thriving; they had 2 other teachers, 49 pupils, 13 boys and 36 girls, including
their niece Ann Davies (4, Middlesex), mostly from South Wales but one from
Penelope and Maryann in 1851
Penelope junior seems to have married Richard Scott in Monmouth in (Mar)1855 but he died only four years later in 1859 leaving her a widow – the 1861 census finds her at May Hill House, a school mistress (43, Whitchurch) with three assistants, a house maid, cook and 27 pupils, only one a boy, , mostly but not all from the surrounding counties. Perhaps significantly, the boy was James Arnold Winsloe of Trellick.
Penelope, a widow, in 1861
remarried in Monmouth in (Dec)1862 to William Baker. In 1871 we find them in
Penelope with her new family in 1871
1881 they were in Wadleys End, Winterbourne,
Marianne may be the lady who married in Monmouth in (Jun)1851.
has not been possible to identify Edward in 1841 with any certainty. He may be
the Edward Davis (23, M[ale] S[ervant] and – as we would expect – not born in
the county) in
Is this Edward in 1841?
Edward C. Davies in Gainsborough in 1851
1861 he was a commercial traveller (42, Goodrich) living at 2 Talbot Villas, Clarendon
?Walk, Kensington, Southampton, with his wife Sarah (Nottingham) sister-in-law
Mary A. Carter (32, House Proprietor?,
Edward in 1861
1871 we find him in Battersea (51, Hereford, Goodrich, commercial traveller) with
wife Sarah (45), sons Edward (25, St Pancras, occupation illegible) and Arthur
(14, Gainsborough, scholar).
Edward in 1871
1881 Edward, said to have been a traveller in pharmaceutical goods, was living
near Brighton, at 77 Ditchling Rise,
Edward (wrongly called
1891 Edward was in Ramsgate, perhaps visiting on business (
will of 1897 states: 'I wish Miss S Berrydanes niece of Mr and Mrs Cawte of the
Sussex Hotel Southsea in County of Hants to be given my watch & chain the
former given me by my mother when I became twenty one years old & the
latter the chain worn by my first wife Elizabeth Davies'. He goes on to say 'my
debt of gratitude to her for having by her example in performance of duty and
pure life and conversation done me more good morally than any person that
ever lived except only my mother'. He
also refers to the house in Monmouth owned by his grandmother -
C. junior was a solicitor’s clerk at the Board of Trade. In 1874 he had a so,
George Gardiner Davies, an interesting indication that the family retained a
fond connection with what was by now a distant past (Penelope ceased to be a
Gardiner and 1815 and had died in 1850. In 1881 he was 35 (Officer of Met. Bd
of Works, born
Edward C. Jnr with son George Gardiner in 1881
George Gardiner Davies – assistant company secretary in Hither Green Lane, Lewisham
Regina Ann Davies of the Nursing Home,
John H. may have been a tailor and Arthur may have
taken over his father’s business on the latter’s death. Mary had an
illegitimate son Henry Hutton in 1872 (11th November,
[Much of the information given above is courtesy of Ann Rose]
The editor of Edward Jones’ memoir writes:
Faith GARDINER (FGS-I) was born 1 June
1794, probably in Herefordshire. She was one of twenty-seven children sired by
her father. The author assumes there was more than one mother. We know little
more than that until she married William JONES in the
From the Baptismal dates of the Whitchurch Parish Records of Monmouth, we know they had seven children before immigrating to
St. Dubricius, the parish church at Whitchurch is over 600 years old and also worth a visit. It is quite a thrill to stand in the church in which William and Faith worshiped 170 years ago. From the children's baptismal records of this parish we find that William was a tailor by trade.
Edward himself told his niece:
I have often heard my mother [Faith] speak of carrying her [mother-in-law] in her arms, at night and laying her in her bed, how the dear old mother always expected a farewell kiss as a benediction, and what seemed sweeter than all, was the prayer of the dear old woman, which always included a peti- tion to the heavenly father, that His choicest blessings might abide with the dear nurse who was so kind to her.
My parents had, several years before, resolved to immigrate to
William JONES and Faith his wife, being now foot free, in the early part of May with their seven children sailed from the
remember to have seen his indentures as an apprentice a few years before I left
The rest of the story as made available on the internet can be read here.
Apart from her baptism and marriage to
John, nothing is known about Susanna. Her husband was from Llangarren (where
other Tummys are recorded), a parish not covered by the
A John Tummy in Walford in 1841
Gardiners in the
1841 there were no Gardiners in Goodrich but there were several in
Whitchurch (and two Gardeners – Elizabet and William – 1826 / ‘23). One family
(in Doward) consisted of John (60, ag’ lab’), Sarah (50), Hannah (15),
Thomas (25) and James (12). John and Sarah (aged 72 and 62) appear in
Whitchurch in 1851 and appear to have married in 1811; their children
included Mary (1815), John (1817), William
(1819 in Hentland or Llangarron), Elizabeth (1825), James (1829), Jonas
Left: Richard Gardiner, water man, in 1841
Right: John Gardiner in Doward in 1841
Thomas Gardiner in 1841
Presumably these were in some way related to Edward but the family relationships are yet to be clarified. .
In Ross we find in 1841 an Edward Gardener (45,
J[ourneyman] mason), Elizabeth (45), Edward (25, J[ourneyman]
mason) and Elizabeth (20). We know from 1851 that Edward (
The tithe maps of 1847 list three Gardiners with property in Whitchurch – John (cottage and garden), William (orchard, cottage and garden) and James (cottage and land).
1851 Census Index
Whitchurch & area only
Chorlett 28 Wh 2444 415a
Elizabeth 72 Wh 2444 437b
James 20 Wh 2444 435a
James 28 Wh 2444 433b
James 36 Wh 2444 415a
John 72 Wh 2444 435a
Mary Ann 30 Wh 2444 433b
Richard 73 Wh 2444 437b
Sally 62 Wh 2444 435a
Thomas 10 Wh 2444 433b
William 20 Wh 2444 437b
No Gardiners are found in Goodrich in 1861 but an Edward Gardiner, born there in 1793 was living alone in Ross. There were about a dozen Gardiners or Gardeners in Whitchurch including a Sarah (1788 St. Peter’s Heref., living alone) and Richard (1775) with his family - Elizabeth (1779), James (1813), Charlotte (1823), Mary A. (1853), Sarah (1856), Hezekiah (1858) and Samuel (1860).
Part I Chapter 1.4: Origins - Captain Henry Gardiner
Henry Gardiner –
A Henry Gardiner had for many years run a Grocers and
Provision Dealers, first at 2 Lower Sparling Street (1813-7) then also,
assuming it is the same man in each case, at 21 (1816), 20 (1818), 25 (1821)
and later 32 and 35 Wapping (1820-29/1832). On 16th April 1815 a Henry Gardiner
and his wife Mary baptised a son, Henry at St. Peter’s. This Henry was
presumably the same man since he was a provision dealer of Wapping. He may be
the Gardiner of Pearson, Hodgson and Gardiner who had a warehouse in Wapping
and who were involved in the import and shipping business (later we find
reference made to a ship called the Henry Gardiner). It is stated in an
academic article (‘The Lancashire Bill System and Its Liverpool Protagonists,
1810-1827’ by S. G. Checkland - Economica,
New Series, Vol. 21, No. 82 May, 1954, pp. 129-142) that Henry was the first
merchant to import wheat from the Middle East. In 1812 he put an advert in the
Mercury to say that he was going on a tour on foot to
Advert in the Mercury in 1812 (8.5)
In his book (available for download on Google Books –
a digitalised copy from New York Library) Henry calls himself a ‘citizen of
Maryland’ but states that his family had been in Herefordshire for several
hundred years and that there were memorials inside and outside the church
showing that the family had enjoyed mixed fortunes. Sadly he does not name the
church, the place of his birth or the name of his father; all we are told is
that his father had twenty seven children and that through no fault of his own
he had fallen on hard times. The family was obviously of some status but Henry
had had to go to sea as a boy and the rest of the book consists of his
experiences, astronomical and geographical observations, insights into life at
sea and some poetry. His mother, with whom his relationship seems to have
become somewhat distant, had a rich brother but again no names or locations are
given. The impression is that the brother at least was living in
The Problem of Henry’s Birth
It has not been straightforward establishing that Capt. Henry was the brother of James Hodges / Gardiner; Mr. J. Blows was always inclined to accept that he was, though he has now abandoned his idea that Henry and Edward, born 1865 and a mariner, were the same person. That he was born in Herefordshire is confirmed by his son’s death certificate. Henry gives only the most flimsy clues as to his birth date but it was assumed at first that he was born c1766 on the basis of a death notice in the Liverpool Mercury, a record of a Henry Gardiner, merchant, aged 56 arriving in Philadelphia from Liverpool in 1822 and a reference he makes to the Dutch in St. Eustatia at the time of his first voyage (Memoirs p7).. Roz initially commented
I agree that Capt. Henry must have been born pre-1770, as he says that he visited St Eustatia when it was still in the hands of the Dutch - they lost it in 1781. He was not much older than 12 then. I would imagine that Edward G would not have already started his adultery so early.
The misleading death notice – Mercury 7.2.1840
In the light of the evidence and a passage in the Memoirs Roz had already concluded that he was born c1775:
I do not think he was born as early as
1766. He says that he was in the
In fact he was born in 1774-75, as a death notice in the St. Catherine’s Journal quoted in A Very Welsh Beginning (p103) tells us: he died in April 1853 in his 79th year. This is consistent with his claim to be one of the ‘younger branch’ of the family (though that may be a euphemism for illegitimate) but is quite incompatible with him being aged around 11 or 12 in the late 1770s. If he had been born in 1766 it would have been impossible for Mary Hodges (born c1756) to have been his mother and would have left a gap from 1866 to the first known Hodges baptism in 1783 - there is no baptism of a Henry Hodges in Whitchurch, nor for that matter of a Henry Gardiner, though there are plenty of other as-yet unaccounted for children.
Not all the problems of his birth are solved by our
knowledge of the year. He describes the
letter he wrote to his mother when he returned to
Faith GARDINER (FGS-I) was born 1 June 1794, probably in Herefordshire. She was one of twenty-seven children sired by her father
Later the author states:
At St. Catherines my mother was installed as the housekeeper for her brother Captain Henry GARDINER,5 who at that time was the owner of a large farm but a short distance from the village. Although I was at this time less than three years of age I distinctly remember the place, and I also have a distinct recollection of my uncle. In a battle with the French, on the 1st day of June A.D. 1794- the day my mother [Faith] was born, he received this wound made by a cannon shot which must have removed most of the skin from his forehead, for his whole forehead was a great scar.
Despite the fact that Henry did not receive the wound described in that battle, this seems to be irrefutable evidence that the Captain was the son either of Hodges or of Edward or possibly of both. The Captain’s hint that his father fell on hard times fits well with Mary Anne’s statement that Edward’s life ended in ruin and disgrace and plunged his wife and children into misery and the reference to lawyers in the family matches the information given in the Memoirs and the fact that Edward’s son Edward is recorded as a mariner fits the captain’s reference to sons having to go to work (but not the elder ones or at a young age).
Perhaps ‘younger’ should be taken as a euphemism for ‘illegitimate’. It remains possible that Hodges was his ‘stepmother’ but that seems unlikely. Both the Captain and the editor of the memoir of Edward Jones refer to the 27 children born to Faith and Henry’s father - we still have to account for 9 of these. Perhaps Mary Hodges was giving birth regularly from the early 1770s but did not baptise any of the children or perhaps Edward had another mistress (or mistresses). The editors simply comment: ‘the author assumes there was more than one mother’! If Henry was born a Hodges, he must at some point have changed his name. Since Hodges baptisms occur as late as 1795 and Mary only married Edward in 1799 we are left to assume that the change of name took place when Henry was at least in his 20s and possibly even older, in other words, when he would already be well known under his original name (unless he presumed to use Gardiner when he first went to sea). Thus, the information we have about his birth is contradictory and without more evidence cannot be reconciled, but it seems very probable that he was the son of Edward and Mary Hodges, born c1774.
Henry’s Naval Career
In a poem written for his mother Henry (Memoirs p64) paints a picture of a
tender and caring mother, ‘mind intent on heavenly things’, tears flowing, and
sighing a prayer in her lullaby (less, one might observe, the image of a cheap
trollope, more one of a wronged wife!) Henry provides us with a few glimpses of
his childhood: he describes how he fell down a well and how when he was not yet
10 he wrote a poem to comfort his mother when he saw her crying, promising that
he’d die in battle for her and referring to him playing with atop and ball (Memoirs p48f). Not long after this he
was compelled by circumstances to go to sea, making his first voyage to the
16.9.1793 Henry is ‘recruited’ by the tender ‘LOVE’
20.10.1793 Boarded HMS Ganges
21.1.1794 Capt. and crew turned over to HMS Caeser [sic]
1.9.1794 Rejoined Caeser
10.4.1795 Discharged to HMS Sampson
A dramatic image of the Glorious First of June
The English ships cruised the French coast and after
various manoeuvres during late May 1794 Henry and his shipmates took part in
the great naval victory of the ‘Glorious First of June’. Like many of the
sailors he caught a fever and spent what he say was several months in hospital
so emaciated that he was discharged and unable to find work (though the records
suggest it was barely one month and that he returned to his ship). At first he
was too proud to return in that state to Herefordshire but wrote to his mother,
protesting that he had not heard from her (unaware that here letters had not
reached him) and sending her the poem recalling her tenderness when he was a
child. He signed the letter ‘Henry Gardiner’, which may be significant if we
recall that in 1795 six of his siblings were baptised as Hodges. Whether he got
a reply is not stated but before his money finally ran out he swallowed his
pride and went to see his relatives, spending several months there recuperating
and devoting his time to reflection and study. No mention at all is made of his
father, which seems odd if he was, as he implies, very fond of him. The exact
chronology of these events may be somewhat different to that implied by Henry
He returned to the USA via France (where he appears to
have witnessed some of the effects of the Jacobin terrors though the dates seem
a little out) after an absence of five years – and promptly fell in love,
enjoying a period of 3 months of bliss, brought to an end by his decision to
enlist as first officer on a 500 ton ship bound for the East Indies, a journey
which involved rounding the Cape of Good Hope and on which he learnt a lot
about seamanship from an old hand. He
After a call in southern England (where he visited his
former landlady who offered him her daughter in marriage, a girl of barely 15
years) he headed for Spain and Portugal on the way to Philadelphia where they
turned round in 15 days and set off for Smyrna (he makes a number of
disparaging remarks about the ‘depraved’ Arabs and Moors) via Gibraltar and
returning via the Azores – a ten month round trip followed by one to fetch a
vessel from Quebec to New York but when he was not given command of it, but of
a schooner instead, his pride was hurt and he let his friend’s employ and
served as mate for three voyages on a vessel belonging to another merchant – narrowly
escaping drowning but not imprisonment by the Dutch in Demerara on suspicion of
smuggling. Chagrined with
It was at this point that he was introduced to the rich uncle thought to be James Hodges, who seems to have been a ship owner, and who employed him on some business matters and sent him into Wales to officiate at a silver and lead mine he was running (Memoirs chapter 21). Roz discovered from Samuel Meyrick's History of Cardiganshire that the mine was probably owned by James Hodges:
· Cwmsymlog ; Sir Hugh Middleton, then Mr.Pryse/Gogerthan & others ; 1750
· Daren Vawr ; Mr Griffiths/Pen-y-bontpren, then Mr Pryse ; 1720
· Goginan ; Mr Townsend/London ; c 1760
· Daren Vach ; Gogerthan estate
· Cwm Ervyn ; Townsend, Smith & Co, then Lewis Jones/Cwmrheidol ; late C18 ?
· Llanvair ; Mr Townsend/Swansea, then his son, then Hodges of Trelech/Monmouthshire, then Thomas Johnes/Havod, then John Beadnell/London, then Mr J Williams/Llwyn y Berthlan,Carmarthenshire ; 'very old'
Actually, having written Meyrick's biography I have the book, but cannot find that quote in it! However, it would seem clear that this is where Henry went.
There are records of the Winsloe estate in
Gwent Record Office catalogue, it came from James Hodges' daughter and
heir, which says: James Hodges of Monmouth, and later of Trelleck, timber
merchant, built up estates in Trelleck and Henllys by purchase … There's quite
a lot of Winsloe descendants as places in
We might note that the name Winslow appears in the story of Faith Gardiner.
The mine was located amid ‘immense’ mountains in a
Welsh speaking area and when not inspecting the mine or hunting, shooting and
fishing with a ‘first-rate Admiral’ he found time to fall for a local girl, the
daughter of a ‘respectable tanner’. Someone told his uncle who not surprisingly
disapproved and arranged for him to become first officer on an Indiaman, though
events conspired against this arrangement. Henry returned to
He soon afterwards proceeded to
At this point he brings the book to an end, inserting
a poem composed in January 1812, so we might assume that he composed his
Memoirs in a bid to make some money. He gives no indication as to what he did
once he had got back to
Henry Gardiner aged 47 in the
Henry Gardiner –
Henry seems to have established a business on the
waterfront in Wapping (the Henry Gardner, gent, of
Left: The recital Mercury 9.10.1812
Is this Cpt. Gardiner baptising a son at St. Mark’s,
St. Mark’s tower can be seen in the distance on the right in this picture of
In 1818 he was advertising 20 tons of bread and 3 tons of old hams and he may be the Henry Gardiner who arrived in Philadelphia from Liverpool on 22nd October 1819 on board the Ship Tuscarora (Ancestry.com) and
the Mr. Gardiner, ‘a merchant of the first respectability in Liverpool and Charleston’ who in 1820 provided a letter of introduction for a Mr. Francis Hall who used it to meet General D’Evereux, apparently an associate of Simon Bolivar – a letter which served as a ‘passport to the most respectable society in Baltimore’.
Left: Mercury 27.3.1818
Centre: Transcript of a ship’s list 1819
Right: Mercury 11.2.1820 referring to a letter of introduction
In 1821 Mr. Gardiner placed an advert in the Mercury
to assure is customers that, despite insinuations to the contrary, he was
continuing to supply ships from his ship bread bakery and grocery warehouse at
25 Wapping. It seems that business had been adversely affected and that
competitors were taking advantage to damage his reputation. He states that he
has been trading for ten years. He was probably not the Henry Gardiner who
arrived from Liverpool in
Left: Advert from 1821 (2.3)
Record of a Henry Gardiner arriving in
In 1827 he seems to have published a book of essays on
Currency, Absenteeism etc, favourably reviewed in the Mercury, which asserts the detrimental effects on
For men like Gladstone, Thomas Martin, Henry Gardiner and for
“There is but one remedy ", said Gardiner; “the folly of some must be counter- balanced by additional prudence in others ", and “no banker ought, knowingly, to discount a bill founded on a speculative transaction” (Essays p106)
He followed this up a year later with an Essay on the Reduction of the Rate of
Discount by the Bank of England – price 1/-. These writings show that Henry
was in tune with the thoughts of part of the
The Liverpool monetary debate between 1810 and 1827 shows something of the way a community of business men steeped in their own needs and methods may react to the solutions produced by those for whom the problem is an exercise in a priori thinking (Checkland p142).
In 1830 he is found disposing of a blockmaker’s
business. In 1831 a Henry Gardiner of
Review in the
Left: Advert 8.2.1828
Centre: Advert from1.1.1830
Right: Advert from 1831 (18.11)
Left: Mr. Gardiner on the poor rate (8.5.1835)
Right: Signature of Henry (and his second wife)
Henry’s Family in Canada
He was originally thought to have died in 1840 in
A Susan Gardiner in
Right: The record of Henry and Sarah’s wedding in 1836
At some point the Captain’s first wife died (her
health never seems to have been very robust); we know they had at least one
child who died but whether any others survived is not known. On 17th June 1836
Henry, said to be resident in the parish, remarried, by licence, in Dixton,
Monmouth – to a spinster of that parish aged around 33, Sarah Withers. The witnesses were Richard Harding and Amelia
Major. No baptism record has been
found for Sarah but we know from other documents that she was born c1803-5 in
With his new wife and new home he started a (new)
family and had at least two children, Julia Sarah and Edward, both born in St.
Catherines. Julia was apparently born on 27th December 1839 according to her
death certificate, or in December 1838 according to the 1911 census, though her
age in the censuses varies somewhat – 21, 30, 39, 49, (1901 is missing), 72 –
and at her wedding in 1871 she was said to be 31. Edward was probably born on
August 8th 1842 or perhaps 8th May if we accept his age as given on his death
certificate.The Captain must have been nearly 68 when his son was born! The
family has not yet been found in the 1851 Census taken in
Grove Cottage, near St. Catherine’s, on the 31st ult., Capt. Henry Gardiner, in
his 79th year of his age. He was author of the Anglo American, Campaigne in
His will, written on 17th March 1852, listed his heirs as Sarah ‘my beloved wife’, Edward ‘my son’, Susan ‘my sister’ and Julia Sarah ‘my daughter’.
In 1861 Sarah (56, England), Julia (21) and Edward
(18, both Canada W.) were living in the village in a single storey brick house
– no employment is shown and no addresses are given - and in 1871 we find them
still there, aged 66, 30 and 28 – Edward was a land surveyor. They were all
Wesleyan Methodists. Edward must have moved out soon after the census: a street
directory for St Catherines for the year 1871 lists Sarah and Edward, spelling
their names differently. Sarah (widow of Henry) was living in
The Captain’s family in St. Catharine’s in 1861
And in 1871
and Edward in the
On 14th June 1871 Julia married, in St. Catherines, to Benjamin C. Fairfield, a 33 year old widower, bookseller and stationer, son of Charles and Sarah Hough Fairfield. The witnesses were Edwin Gardiner (presumably a relative living locally though there is no one of that name in the censuses and it could be an error for Edward) and George E. Gibbon from London.
Left and Centre Left: Extracts from Julia’s
Centre Right and Right: And from Edward’s
Edward too got married, to a local girl Amelia Cook (aged 32). The marriage took place in St Catherines on 1st November 1877. He was a ‘pro land surveyor’ aged 35(?), son, as we know, of Henry and Sarah.
Around 1880 the Fairfields moved to
The Fairfields in 1881
Sarah was still alive (aged 76) and Edward Gardiner, P L Surveyor, 38, Methodist, is also found in St. Catherine’s with wife Amelia E. (36) and presumed children Henry Cook (2) and Annie Julia (1) – all born in that province.
Sarah alone in St. Catherine’s in 1881
Sarah died on August 16th 1890, of bronchitis supervening on old age. Few particulars are given but she was said to be 87, placing her birth in 1803.
Death certificate of Sarah Gardiner 1890
Julia and her family in St. Catherine’s in 1891
Edward, an engineer aged 59, was in St. Catherine’s in 1901 with his wife and daughter, Annie J. (born 31.7.1880).
Edward in 1901
Ten years later Edward (68, C. Engineer) was living with his wife Amelia A. (65 – born June 1844):
Edward in 1911
In 1911 Julia was 72, living at
Extremely hard to read entry on the 1911 census for Julia and her husband
Julia died on August 30th 1924. Her death certificate records
that she died at the home she had lived in for 44 years -
Edward died on June 26th 1929 at his home of 52 years
Copyright © 2012 by David Favager. All rights reserved.