WHALLEY GARDINER, John (1743-97), of Tackley Park, Oxon. and Roche Court, Hants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1780 - 1784

Family and Education

b. 26 May 1743, 1st s. of Robert Whalley, M.D., of Clerk Hill, Lancs. and St. Giles, Oxford, by Grace, da. and h. of Rev. Bernard Gardiner, warden of All Souls.  educ. Oriel, Oxf. 1760.  m. 7 July 1787, Martha, da. of Rev. Benjamin Newcombe, dean of Rochester, s.p.  suc. fa. 2 Apr. 1769; and under the will of his mother’s cos. Sir William Gardiner, 3rd Bt., to Roche Court, 1779 and took add. name of Gardiner; and under the will of another cos. of his mother, Miss Barbara Smythe, to Arncott Manor, Cuddesdon 1787 and took add. name of Smythe;  cr. Bt. 14 Jan. 1783.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Hants 1785-6.


In 1780 Gardiner was mentioned as a candidate for Oxford, but declined rather than injure the interest of his friend, Captain Bertie;1 he was then brought in for Westbury by Lord Abingdon. He voted with Opposition in each of the five recorded divisions, 12 Dec. 1781-15 Mar. 1782; for Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, 18 Feb. 1783; and against Fox’s East India bill. He was classed as a supporter of Pitt both in Robinson’s list of January 1784 and in Stockdale’s of 19 Mar. Nevertheless, by the general election he was on bad terms with Lord Abingdon, who refused to re-elect him for Westbury.2 There were persistent reports that he would stand for Oxford against Lord Robert Spencer and Peregrine Bertie: on the eve of poll they put out a handbill warning voters not to imagine that Gardiner was a friend of the Berties—‘no man ever behaved with more ingratitude towards the Abingdon family than Sir John’.3 But on polling day he did not come forward. In 1790 the Reading Mercury and Oxford Gazette carried a denial that he intended to offer himself again for Oxford. He was prominent in hunting and racing circles.

He died 18 Nov. 1797.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: J. A. Cannon


  • 1. Advertisement, 6 Sept. 1780, Bodl. mss Top. Oxon. c.280.
  • 2. ‘An Open Letter’, ibid.
  • 3. Ibid.