GERARD, Gilbert I (c.1618-83), of Gray's Inn and Harrow-on-the-Hill, Mdx.
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Family and Education
Clerk of council, duchy of Lancaster 1640-53, 1655-d.; commr. for alienations 1656, forest appeals 1657, maimed soldiers Dec. 1660-1.1
Commr. for volunteers, Mdx. 1644, militia 1644, Mar. 1660, assessment, Mdx. and Westminster 1647-8, Aug. 1660-1, Mdx. 1663-80, duchy of Lancaster 1663-4; j.p. Westminster July 1660-6, commr. for sewers Aug. 1660; conservator, Bedford level 1663-7, 1668-70, 1673-d., bailiff 1667-8.2
Although qualified as a barrister and apparently resident in the chambers built by his grandfather, Gerard spent the whole of his adult life (except for two years under the Commonwealth) as a duchy of Lancaster official in a post worth £600 p.a. Returned unopposed for Westminster at the general election of 1660, he was marked as a friend on Lord Wharton’s list, and became a moderately active Member of the Convention. About half the references in the Journals are to ‘Colonel Gerard’, but it cannot be determined whether he held this rank in the local militia or the clerk confused him with Gilbert Gerard of Crewood. He seems to have been appointed to 26 committees and acted as teller in six divisions; but his only recorded speech was to ask for the collection taken at the thanksgiving service for the Restoration to be given to the poor of his constituency. He was in favour of excepting Major Richard Creed, but against excepting Sir Arthur Hesilrige from the benefits of the indemnity bill. On 30 July he was appointed to the committee for settling ecclesiastical livings, but he opposed the institution of a committee to establish how many livings where the rightful incumbents were dead had been filled by presentations under the great seal. On 1 Sept. he was named to the committee for disbanding the army, and he was appointed a commissioner to discharge the pensioners in Ely House and the Savoy. Among his private bill committees was one for the drainage of the fens, in which he later invested heavily. He opposed the bill empowering the corporation of London to defray the expenses of the militia by a two-month assessment. His knighthood was presumably intended as an inducement not to stand against Sir Philip Warwick in 1661. He took no further part in politics and was buried at Harrow on 5 Nov. 1683.3