GERARD, William III (c.1551-1609), of Harrow, Mdx.

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

b. c.1551, 1st s. of William Gerard II. educ. Harrow sch.; Trinity Coll. Camb. 1565, BA 1569, MA 1572; G. Inn 1572, called 1580. m. Dorothy, da. of Anthony Ratcliffe, alderman of London, 8s. 6da. suc. fa. 1584.

Offices Held

Dep. to Sir Gilbert Gerard as steward of the duchy of Lancaster honour of Clare 1585; clerk of the council, duchy of Lancaster Oct. 1589-d.; steward and bailiff of the Savoy 1594; Trinity vacation reader G. Inn 1596, Lent reader 1597, dean of the chapel 1598, bencher bef. 1603.

J.p. Mdx. from 1591.


Gerard worked in close association with his uncle, the master of the rolls. He succeeded his father to property in Middlesex and Essex. At Gray’s Inn he occupied a chamber, adjoining the hall, which had long been that of his uncle, and above this he built a room for use as the duchy of Lancaster office. Either his family influence or that of the duchy of Lancaster would have been sufficient to obtain his parliamentary seats at Wigan.

Gerard made his will 7 June 1609, mindful of ‘the frailty of this mortal body and how good a thing it is for a man to be in readiness to go from hence to a better life, leaving these earthly things in some order’. He desired to be buried at Harrow with ‘as little charge as reasonably may be’, and had already bought his duchy of Lancaster office for his son and heir Gilbert, who also received one third of his lands. His widow, so long as she remained unmarried, was to have an annuity, to live with Gilbert, and to have ‘the rule and ordering’ of the house, Each unmarried daughter was to receive £500, each son ‘not advanced in his lifetime’, £200, and one of his brother Gilbert’s sons was to be brought up at his expense. Half a year’s extra wages were to be paid to each of his servants, and his brother Felix was appointed his executor. He died 23 Aug. that year, and was buried at Harrow.

Mdx. Peds. (Harl. Soc. lxv), 20; HMC Hatfield, xii. 647; Somerville, Duchy, i. 416; PCC 96 Dorset.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N.M.S.