GARDENER, John I (d.1402), of New Romney, Kent.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

m. (1) Agnes (d.c.1395);1 (2) Alice, 1da.

Offices Held

Jurat, New Romney 25 Mar. 1391-2, 1394-5, 1400-1; dep. bailiff by May 1402-d.2


Between 1373 and 1395 Gardener owned land in the Kentish hundreds of Langport, Folkestone and Worth (in the neighbourhood of Romney and Hythe) on which, as a Portsman, he claimed exemption from taxation. He paid maltolts at Romney from 1388 until his death.3

In 1392 the lieutenant warden of the Cinque Ports employed Gardener as a summoner in a lawsuit over the advowson of Old Romney. Thereafter business of his home town frequently took him on journeys elsewhere. In 1395-6 he was on a deputation sent to London to answer Archbishop Courtenay’s suit for infringements of his rights as lord of Romney, and then to Maidstone for negotiations with him. In a probably related matter, the Brodhull sent him to Westminster after Easter that year (1396) to deal with writs concerned with the defaults of Romney’s bailiff, John Talbot*. Gardener was among the barons of the Cinque Ports who, in January 1397, attended the coronation of Richard II’s young queen, Isabella of Valois. In the following year, he carried to the new warden, John Beaufort, marquess of Dorset, Romney’s share of the present promised him at his installation; and, by the King’s order, he took to London the common seal of the Cinque Ports, perhaps in order to lend authority to promises of adherence to the enactments of the Parliament of 1397-8. On 8 Aug. he led a deputation to Dover to beg that the Ports might be excused from contributing to the general fine which Richard II was extracting in retribution for support shown to the Lords Appellant ten years earlier. He attended Henry IV’s coronation in October 1399 (doubtless as one of the barons of the Cinque Ports privileged to bear the royal canopy), while representing Romney in the new King’s first Parliament. In April 1401 he stood surety that the under bailiff of Romney, John Colyn, would submit to the town’s authority and restore certain guns which he had taken as a distraint.4

Gardener made his will on 19 Aug. 1402 and died before 9 Dec., the date of probate. He requested burial in St. Nicholas’s church, Romney. The residue of his goods was left to his widow and executrix, Alice, and their daughter Joan.5

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Authors: A. P.M. Wright / L. S. Woodger


  • 1. Agnes’s will, made on 29 June 1395, does not bear a date of probate. She asked to be buried in St. Stephen’s cemetery, Lympne, leaving £20 to a chaplain to pray for her soul there for three years. The residue of her estate passed to her husband, named as sole executor: Canterbury Cathedral City and Dioceson RO, Reg. G, f. 255d.
  • 2. Romney assmt. bk. 2, ff. 46, 53; Kent AO, NR/JBr/4 no. 7, 6 no. 39.
  • 3. E179/225/3, 5, 11, 237/57; assmt. bk. 2, ff. 15-54.
  • 4. CPR, 1391-6, p. 47; assmt. bk. 2, ff. 41, 43, 47, 49.
  • 5. Lambeth Pal. Lib. Reg. Arundel 1, f. 197.