GERARD, Gilbert, of Chester.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

1st s. of William Gerard I by Dorothy, da. of Andrew Barton of Smithills, Lancs. educ. ?sp. adm. G. Inn 1575, ancient 1609. m. Ellen, da. of William Pearson of Chester. suc. fa. 1581.

Offices Held

Customer, Chester ?by 1593.


There has been much confusion about Gerard’s origins. He is variously stated to have been the son of Sir Gilbert Gerard, master of the rolls, of Thomas Gerard I, 1st Baron Gerard of Gerrard’s Bromley, and of William Gerard III of Harrow, clerk of the council of the duchy of Lancaster. There is no doubt, however, that the customer was the 1593 MP and that he inherited from his father a licence or licences for the transportation of yarn, to be ‘circumspectly considered and carefully used’ by him. His father had based his will upon the expected profits of the licences, but their continuation after his death was not certain. He therefore craved the help of Sir Francis Walsingham, ‘whom I have ever found a dear and good friend unto me’, and left Gilbert ‘chiefly to depend upon the right honourable the Earl of Leicester and Mr. Secretary Walsingham to be means to her Majesty for him’. Judging from Gilbert’s obscurity, they cannot have done much to help him.

As customer of Chester, Gerard collected the duties upon French and Rhenish wines. In 1594 he complained to Lord Burghley about a 10s. duty charged on every tun of wine towards the furnishing of wines for the Queen’s household, and 5s. for wastage. His will, if he made one, has not been found and his date of death is unknown.

PCC 26 Darcy; Cheshire Sheaf, ii. 84; ix. 9; Ormerod, Cheshire, i. 653; Lansd. 74, f. 174; 76, f. 89; 110, f. 88; HMC Hatfield, iv. 469.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N.M.S.