Hidden History #101

What's In A Name

Researching our Gardiner families for some thirty years now. I'm always left feeling someone has went to lengths white washing the Gardiner families ties to England's royal family from history. From the hard to believe pull yourself up by the boot straps not sure who the father of Bishop Stephen Gardiner is. To the marriage of William Gardiner to Ellen Tudor the natural daughter of the Duke of Bedford Jasper Tudor. What sometimes seems conspiracy could also just as easily be written off as coincidence or simply just later historical revisionism to promote the everlasting and greater glory of England's royal family. However If I've learned anything after 30 years of research into our family? The Gardiner family played a much bigger roll in the accent of the Tudor dynasty than they've ever been given credit for. Now using modern research methods and 21st century technology we are now able to uncover some Hidden History of Family Gardiner. 

Today the internet is full of variations of the William Gardiner and Ellen Tudor story. Many of these stories without citation. Assertions William Gardiner was named John Gardiner, Ellen Tudor was really Helen Tudor. Bishop Stephen Gardiner (Steven Gardener) was their child, many of these stories appearing long before the internet in an age when information was scarce and books were expensive.. When a single assertion in print was used by a researcher as the gospel truth and foundation of many hours of research.

It's time we put some of these outdated assertions to rest and use modern research methods, logic and citation to reconstruct lives lived over 500 years ago.. Using documents and in some cases their own words we will get some new insight into the Hidden History of the Gardener Family and their connection to England's Royal family. We will use the life of Thomas Gardiner King's Chaplain Son and Heir, son of William Gardiner and Ellen Tudor to establish his paternity and the true name of his brothers, sisters and of his parents as well as their relation to the Royal Family.

New Information

First and foremost was William Gardiner's name William or John and was he married to Ellen or Hellen Tudor? According to William and Ellen's son Thomas Gardiner as documented during the 1530 Heraldic Visitation to the north counties conducted by Sir Thomas Tonge Norroy King at Arms. Thomas Gardener lists Willyam Gardiner as his father and his mother as Ellen Teddur bastard daughter of Jasper Duke of Bedford. To support this assertion we will use Thomas Gardener King's Chaplain Son and Heir Prior of Tynemeouth's own words as documented by Sir Thomas Tonge in the 1530 Visitation to the North Counties.

Be Yt Notid that Saint Oswyn, Kyng oDaire, in latyn written Rex Dareorum, founded furst the Monasteri of Tynmouth of Blak Monkes. And within certeyn yeres of his foundacion the Danys dystroied the said monastery, and so contynowed longe on edified, untill the tyme of the Conquerors commyng. And then Robert Mowbray, Erie oNorthumberland, whiche cam in with the Conquerour, edified and founded the said Monastery of Tynmouth ageyn. And so he and hys yssue arn founders of the said monastery, of whom ys dyscendyd the right high and myghti prince, Thomas Duke oNorfolk.
ARMS.  Gules, three crowns or.
These Be The Abmes of my Lord The Priour OTynmouth' whose name ys Gardener. And the said Priour ys descendyd of the noble Quene Kateryn, wyfe to Kyng Henry the Vth, and doughter to Charles Kyng oFrance. For the said Quene Kateryn was after maryed to Owayn Teddur, by whom he had yssue Edmond Erie oRichemond, and Jasper Duke oBedford. Whiche Jasper begate a bastard doughter called Ellen, maryed Willyam Gardener, who was father to my said Lord Priour. 
able, a chevron between three bugle horns argent, stringed and mounted or.  
Be Yt Notid that Malcolyn Kyng OScotland was slayne at Andewik by Robert Mowbray, Erie oNorthumberland, and Foundour of Tynmouth. And the said Malcolyn lyeth buried in the said Monastery of Tynmouth, in the Chapiter House 
Sable, a chevron between three bugle horns argent, stringed and mounted or. /  Impalement. England, debruised by a bend sinister [untinctured], within a border azure charged with eleven martlets or.
Be Yt Notid that the said Priour Of Tynmouth hath geven unto me, Norrey Kyng oArmes of the North parties, this pedigre and armes of his awne reporte, whiche he woll offer me at all tymes to verefy and approve before the Kyng and his Counsaill, that this pedigre is true and the armes also.
~ Sir Thomas Tonge

Thomas Gardiner provided Sir Tonge these arms and we can clearly see the Gardener family arms impaling the arms of Jasper Tudor Duke of Bedford. A visitation and documentation of royal kinship was very serious business and attaching the seal of the Duke of Bedford to the Gardiner family had to be approved by the King.. Using the Duke of Bedfords seal without authorization could cost one their head. The above document and arms is the golden key. We could cite court proceedings and last will and testaments naming William Gardiner and Elyn Tedder, but we don't have to.. This documentation establishes beyond a reasonable doubt the paternity and genealogy. Jasper Duke of Bedford, William Gardener, Ellen Tudor and Thomas Gardener are who they say they are.

Being a royal bastard didn't hold the negative stigma in the 1500s as it does later in history. During these times being connected to the Royal family even as a bastard was a badge of honor. However being royal bastards could explain why great lengths were taken at some point later in history to erase the history of these people especially as they relate to the royal family. 

In William and Ellen's case where did John come from? Anyone who has spent time researching this clan, knows the Gardiner clan uses William and John extensively either children named William John or John William. Brothers John and William and even Jno, Johan or Jonathan who come of age and just become John. We even name one child Jonathon or Jno and his brother John. One if the Keys in researching the Gardiner clan is to understand that a family can have 2 adult children named John one is John and one is Jno or Johnathon. In this case however it's my belief and court documents support.. When William died his children were raised by his brother John.. So when the same children are listed (Children of John Gardiner) in court documents? I believe this is where the confusion lays. 

The old English Latin in the document must be read and translated. (Custodia pueror' Joh'is Gardiner)  Custody of Children  John Gardiner or Guardianship of John Gardiner. So Bishop Stephen Gardiner appears not to be the brother of  Thomas Gardiner. However they may be cousins living in the same house if this John Gardiner is the John Gardiner purported to be the Bishops father.  

Continuing Work
Moving forward in this series we’ll explore the life of William Gardiner's and Ellen Tudors only son, Thomas Gardiner, King’s Chaplain Son and Heir. Chamberlain of Westminster Abbey.

Foot Notes

Names (keyword): William Gardyner, William Gardener, William Gardyner, Willyam Gardyner, Willyam Gardener, William Gardyner, William Gardynyr, Wyllyam Gardynyr, Ellen Tudor, Hellen Tudor, Ellen Tuwdr,Thomas Gardiner, Ellen Teddar, Elyn Teddar, Thomas Gardiner, Thomas Gardener, Thomas Gardyner, Thomas Gardiner Kings Chaplain Son and Heir, Thomas Gardiner Chaplain, Thomas Gardiner Prior of Tynmouth, Thomas Gardiner Prior of Blyth, Jasper Tudor Duke of Bedford, Thomas Gardiner Westminster Abbey, Thomas Gardiner Monk, Thomas Gardiner Lady Chapel, Westminster Lady Chapel, Henry VII Chantry, Bishop Stephen Gardiner, Chancellor Stephen Gardiner, John Gardiner Bury St Edmonds, Hellen Tudor John Gardiner, Hellen Tudor John Gardyner, Philippa Gardiner, Philippa Gardyner, Beatrix Gardiner, Beatrix Gardyner, Lady Beatrix Rhys, Anne Gardiner, Anne Gardyner, Ann Gardyner, Lady Beatrice Rhys, Beatrice Gardiner, Beatrice Gardyner, Bishop Steven Gardener. Bishop Stephen Gardiner, Bishop Stephen Gardyner,  


David T Gardner is a descendant of the Gardner family who arrived from Purton, Wiltshire to West Jersey, now Philadelphia in 1682. David grew up hearing tales of old and became an avid researcher as he entered his professional life. David’s work aligns with the emphasis on “All things Gardner” of Gardner Research (thomasgardnersociety.org) and has graciously provided material and discussion related to research of whence Thomas Gardner and Margaret Fryer. David can be reached by email at gardnerflorida@gmail.com or via his blog at wyllyam.kingslayerscourt.com