Monday, November 22, 2010

Historical genealogy

  • The page on William Gardner (see below) was deleted on 02/06/2013.
  •  See Remarks (02/06/2013 and 06/15/2013) for related discussion. A future post will take a brief look at origins (with a reference to this material).
  • See Remarks (10/10/2018) for recap. Some of the links in this post may be stale (will look for those, at some point)

The end of the middle ages can be linked with the War of the Roses. A key event was the Battle of Bosworth. Richard III of the House of York was killed at Bosworth Field; he was the last of the Plantagenet kings.
Battle of Bosworth 1485

Some say that William Gardner was one of the slayers of King Richard and that William later married Helen Tudor who was the granddaughter of Owen Tudor.

There are several questions to ask about William and Helen. Who were their children? What do we know of succeeding generations? It turns out that there are several viewpoints. Let's look at a couple of these.

In the Who's Who of Tudor Women by Kathy Lynn Emerson, we find this about William and Helen (c. 1459-1488). They were married before the Battle of Bosworth. Their only confirmed child was Thomas (c. 1479-1506) who was a Pryor at Tynemouth. Emerson also says that they were not parents of Stephen (d. 1555), Richard (1486-1546), William (1488-1549), or Alice (d. 1588) Gardner.

On the other hand, the Wikipedia article on Stephen Gardiner says that William was his father. Stephen was twice the Bishop of Winchester. Too, he managed to survive the turmoil of the times. Also, Richard and William (mentioned above) were brothers of Stephen.

I thought that it might be interesting to look at the results of the research of several families. There seems to be a common theme. As before, I have provided links to databases at rootsweb.
  • Dowling tree, descendants of Stephen Gardiner shows Lionel's line
  • Walker tree, descendants of Stephen Gardiner shows the Thomas of Salem's line
  • Knowlton tree, descendants of Stephen Gardiner suggests siblings for Thomas of Salem and ties in the Lionel line. The tree quotes Burke's Peerage and some genealogy work by Thomas Richard Gardiner.
One goal is to fill in Thomas' and Margaret's ancestry. As well, looking at how the Gardner families relate will continue to be of interest.

Remarks: Modified: 10/10/2018

05/05/2011 -- Did Thomas of Salem have a sister, Rachel?

12/14/2012 -- This has been a popular post.

02/05/2013 -- Recent interest in Richard III has caused a renewed focus on information about his life. This post from about two years ago was motivated by a Wikipedia page whose content is now undergoing scrutiny. Since this discussion pertains to our work, we'll keep abreast of things as they move along. Note: there is a vote going on about the possible deletion of the page on William Gardner.

02/06/2013 -- The William Gardner page was deleted today (see discussion page). Also, see section on Wyllyam Gardynyr (archived 06 May 2013) under Richard III talk. When making the Remarks yesterday, I had not looked at the article since this post was done and was not aware of the expected time for the deletion. The William "wiki" page was one item on a huge pile of material to review that relates to origins (open topic, future consideration). Also, the author (of the William Gardner page) seems to have had more than one page deleted from Wikipedia. At this point, let me put a link to Wikipedia's Five pillars as a reminder about content to be put there.

06/15/2013 -- John Farmer wrote that Thomas was from Scotland. Origins are, and will be, a focus. ... As of today, this is the all-time, most-read post. Coming in second is Old Planters, Beverly.

06/15/2013 -- For the Wyllyam Gardynyr discussion, see prior version (archived 06 May 2013). At some point, I ought to see what the deleted Wiki pages were all about. That is, looking at origins would encompass the whole bit, out of which would then come the real story. That has not been done, that I can see, as of 2013 is not troublesome. Things come forward all the time. Too, has anyone surveyed the work to date in a comprehensive manner (meaning, of course, scholarly)? One goal will be to start, and sustain, such studies that would augment what has already been done as well as explore holes (which have to be defined, for starters). In the meantime, we'll try to document Thomas' life (such as, pulling out things related to character) and progeny. Also, we ought to look more closely at Damaris Shattuck and Thomas. That he married a Quaker and didn't suffer the wrath of the likes of Endicott says something (Mary Dyer was hung in 1660).

09/28/2014 -- A week ago, the record for the marriage of Thomas Gardner and Margaret Friar was discovered in Sherborne by John Cook of Minneapolis, Dorset files. This sets a type of focus. Looks as if some transcription work might be in order.

04/07/2015 -- We have more questions than answers (research raises both).

06/10/2016 -- There is more to the story than I realized: Bosworth and more. We will have more to add to the FAQ.

07/16/2016 -- Related work: Gardiners and Gardners.

10/10/2018 -- We just printed TGA Vols III and IV (available for purchase) which contains David T. Gardner's articles about the Gardners, Bosworth, and Tudors. As well, historical author, Douglas Richardson, has William Gardner in his books (Plantagenet Ancestry, Magna Carta Ancestry and Royal Ancestry) with his marriage to Helen Tudor (see Our Royal, Titled, Noble, and Commoner Ancestors & Cousins site).

10/11/2018 -- Most links work (not bad after 10 years). Resorted the Remarks to earliest to latest as this subject will be an ongoing one. And, we can just append a next comment. Just checked on page for Stephen Gardiner, the archbishop. It mentions William as possible father, whereas before it said that John was thought to be his father.


  1. I remember hearing the RIchard III & Wyllyam Gardynyr story 30 yrs ago.. Over the years piece by piece it has seemed to paint a much closer picture of the truth then the account of of the King Richard Society..
    Thomas Gardiner Prior of Tynemouth lists his connection to the Royal Family through his Father William and Mother Ellen Tudor.. The Executor of William Gardners will was his Brother Sir Richard Gardiner Sheriff, Alderman, Lord Mayor and President of the Mercers Guild.. The very man Richard III hawked family Jewels to to fund the coming Battle at Bosworth Market..
    The Welsh Account long before they found Richard IIIs grave had a one of Rhy AP Thomas men a Wyllyam Gardynyr deliver the mortal blow to the head with a poleaxe when Richard III and his horse were mired in a marsh.. Behold they find the Grave 30 yrs after we hear this story and the mortal blow was indeed delivered to the head with a poleaxe.. Coincidentally the Yeoman Guard England's oldest military order is formed on the field at Bosworth~? That was no coincidence.. They still stand behind the Royal Family holding Poleaxes.. The story I heard was William Gardner was killed by supporters of Richard III just months later on his way home after returning to London.. His Children were removed for their safety and educated at Crown expense.. Thomas Gardner was Educated at Westminster and was Henry VIII personal chaplain for a time.. Now when we put all these seeming unrelated things into context this story doesn't sound so crazy..

    1. See David's blog. King Slayer's Court.