Bury St Edmunds
Sir William Gardiner was a cloth merchant who, like so many in the growing urban middle class, grew wealthy in part because of the Wars of the Roses. Unlike most, he was of a bellicose nature and had martial talents, and a willingness to put his life on the line as a spearman in the Lancastrian cause-- in fact he is noted as the man (or one of them) who speared Richard III himself, when the King fell from his horse and became entangled in the brush.
He used his profits to buy influence with the Lancastrian cause, and naively tried to rise to a high station by marriage to a prominent Lancastrian, Sir Jasper Tudor-- who by fortune's favor turned out to be centrally involved in constructing the new Dynasty and its bureaucracy.
Jasper's daughter Helen was illegitimate, but she was a blood relation of the winning side, and Sir William's trade in his clothiery was much enhanced by the custom of aristocratic and even Royal buyers-- if not his social station.
It can be inferred, though that a combination of wealth and courtly connections benefited his son Stephen, who became so prominent a player in the Tudor monarchy that he logged as much time in the Tower of London as in high office.
He also raised his family as devout Catholics, and even Stephen (Henry VIII's Secretary of State) practiced his faith clandestinely-- the peak of his prominence came when he was let out of the Tower upon Mary Tudor's succession, and became her Lord Chancellor.
Thomas Gardiner (1430 - 1491)
Anna De La Grove Gardiner (1434 - 1524)
Helen Tudor Gardiner (1459 - ____)
St Mary Churchyard
Bury St Edmunds
St Edmundsbury Borough
Created by: Bill Velde
Record added: Jun 15, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 71379140