Nicholas Gardner was born in about 1535 of Little Bourton in Cropredy, the son of Thomas and Ellyn Gardner. He married Elizabeth. Nicholas was a churchwarden in Cropredy in 1557: "Nicholys Gardner, church warden".

Nicholas Gardner churchwarden

Cropredy parish register in January 1557, showing church wardens:
"Richard Robenns, John Elkenton, John Claridge, & Nicholas Gardnar, church wardens"

Nicholas was named as an overseer in a will for Richard Denzey in 1558: "I make my overseers Nicholas Gardner and Thomas Sherman and they are to have 8d apiece for their pains."

He is also mentioned in a land deed of 1557: "May 10, 1557 Tho. Smythe, Tho. Gubbyn and Roger Truste, transfer the property to, apparently for the most part, younger men:  John Ffrenshe, sen., and Tho. Ffrenshe, his son, John Ffrenshe, jun., Tho. Howse, and William, his son, his son, Rich. Lumbard, Will. Page, Tho. Robins, and Rich., his son, John Gibbes and Will., his son, John, son of Will. Hall, James Hall, Will. Helkington, Vincent Baylis, John Pryons, Peter Tyms, John Gubbyn, Will. Plant, Rob. Mole, John Gibbes, Nich. Gardener, and John Bacheler, parishioners of the parish church of Croprydie." (Historical Notices of the Parish of Cropredy)

Nicholas was also mentioned in the will of John Toms in 1558: "It would seem John Toms in 1558 was worried about one son's behaviour and to secure his obedience to his future master, Toms made stern warnings in his will. He may advocate a hard time for George, but he does not mention whipping him into submission, instead he used his future inheritance as a more powerful threat. "I will Nicholas Gardner to have George Tomes my sone to do him service for the space of vj yeres and to have with hym ij shepe and a calfe of vij wekes olde, a brasse pott, a pewter platter, a table and a forme and so the said Nicholas to be delivered to the sayd George Tomes the value of the same stuffe againe at the end of vj yeres which is praysed by certain honest men and if he will not be ruled by his masters his master shall kepe this stuffe awaye from him and the sayd George Tomes to have none of hit." His other sone Thomas was to go to Thomas Gardner for six years. He had two sheep, "a platter, a kettell" and the same conditions applied, but a little less fierce being: "upon his masters gentillnes and favor." He then added "I bequeath to Thomas ij borrdes to make him a table." (The Town of Cropredy)

Nicholas is also mentioned in the will of his uncle George Gardner of Great Bourton in 1591:

In the name of God Amen the eight and twentieth daye of Aprill in the three and thirtithe yere of the raigne of oure soveraigne Ladie Elizabeth Quene, I George Gardner of Greate Burton in the Countie of Oxon and in ye parishe of Cropredye, being sicke in bodie but perfect in memorye thanks be given to God, revoking all other former willes, do make and ordeyne this my last will and testamente in manner and forme folowinge, ...

Item, I give and grante unto Nicholas Gardner sonne of my Brother Thomas Gardner my pece of grounde called Hardwicke peece with the appurtenances thereunto belonging which I bought of Mr. Anthony Cope. To have and to holde the same piece of grounde called Hardwicke peere with the appurtenances to the said Nicholas Gardner his executors, administrators and assignes from the ffeaste of Sainte Michaell the Archanngell next after my decease unto the ende and tearme of twentie and one yeres then next and ymediatlie fullie to be complete and ended for the yerelie rente of ffower pence, will that my executors by virtue of this my last will and testament shall seale for the contynenance of the foresaied tearme of yeres according to the tenor and effect of this my said last will and testament in manner and forme above veryted....

Item I give more unto the said Nicholas Gardner in wood bourdes and other house stuffe to the value of tenne poundes or else ten poundes of lawfull  money of England at the choice of the said Nicholas.

Bequests are also made to:

And more five quarters of barley wherof I will that William Gardner his Brother shall pai hym one quarter out of that halfe yarde land croppe hereafter mentioned, the abovenamed Thomas Hollway a halfe a quarter and the abovenamed Thomas Gardner the other halfe quarter. Item, I give grante and bequeathe unto William Gardner sonne of the saied Thomas Gardner my Brother in full satisfaction of all accounts between hym and me.

Item, I give to Thomas Gardner my godsonne and sonne of my Brother Thomas Gardner twentie shillings.

Nicholas died and was buried in Cropredy 12 February 1611.

Nicholas Gardner burial

Burial record for Nicholas Gardner in Cropredy:
"Nicholas Gardner was buried the xijth daye of Ffebruarie 1611"

He left an inventory:

Nicholas Gardner inventory

Inventory of Nicholas Gardner, 1611

Nicholas Gardner of Cropredy 1611

An inventory of the goodes of Niccolas Gardner at the dets taken by William Sharman, George Wates, Roberd  Croley

Item, his apparel xld

Item, the linnon xxxd

Item, the beding  cd

Item, in mony xld

Item, the bras pueter and farne xld

Item, more in mony ld

Item caffoldes  xld

Item, copary ware, bedes, table, forms, benches xxd

George Wattes, Robeart Croley, William Sharman

One of the appraisers for the inventory was William Sherman, Nicholas' son-in-law.

Elizabeth Gardner burial

Burial record for Elizabeth Gardner in Cropredy:
"Elizabeth Gardner was buried the xxvi daye of Maye"

Elizabeth died and was buried 26 May 1615 in Cropredy, leaving a verbal will:

Elizabeth Gardner will 1616

Will of Elizabeth Gardner, widow of Little Bourton, 1616

Be it known unto all men by these p’sente that Elizabeth Gardner late of Little Bourton in the p’ishe of Cropredy in the Countie of Oxon, widdow did make & ordayne her last will nuncupative or by word of mouth the tenth day of November in the yeare of our Lord God 1614 in manner & forme as followeth, first shee bequeathed her soule into the hands of God Almyghtie who gave it & and her body she willed to be layed in the pysh church of Cropedy neere to her seat and, and as for her goods she did bequeath them all unto Ann Sharman her daughter the wyfe of William Sharman of Borton aforesaid who she made executor of this her said last will. In witness hereof George Gardner.

An inventory was also created for Elizabeth:

Elizabeth Gardner inventory

Inventory for Elizabeth Gardner

A true inventory of all the goods of Elizabeth Gardner late of Borton in the p’ishe of Cropredy in the county of Oxon, widow, prised by Thomas Gardner and James Bachelar of the same towne.

Imprimis, on fether bedd  xxd

Item, a mattris & a boulster xd

Item, three pillows  xd

Item, two cuverlides and on blanket  xxiid

Item, three gownes and three peticotes  iiid

Item, a warminge pan  iiid

Item, two halle  xxd

Item, halfe a dozen of napkins  vd

Item, three payre of sheetes  xxxd

Item her other linen and a tafata aperne  xd

Nicholas and Elizabeth had the following children:


*1. Anne, born in about 1565 of Cropredy; married William Sherman 27 June 1587 in Cropredy.

2. Alice, christened 25 February 1570/1 in Cropredy.

3. George, christened 5 April 1573 in Cropredy.

4. Thomas, christened 25 March 1575/6 in Cropredy.

SOURCES: Cropredy parish register; inventory for Nicholas Gardner of Cropredy, 1611; will and inventory for Elizabeth Gardner of Little Bourton, 1616, on; will of Richard Denzey, 1558; will of George Gardner, 1591, PCC; The Town of Cropredy, Pamela Keegan.



Thomas Gardner was born in about 1510 of Cropredy. He married Ellyn.

Ellyn of Williamscot died in 1559, leaving a will.

Ellyn Garner

Will of Ellyn Garner, 1559

Testament of Elena Garnar de Wyllyscott p’och de Wardinton

In the name of God Amen, the xth daye of Septeber anno Dom 1559, I Ellyn Garnar sicke of bodie but p’fett of remembrance do make my last will and testamet as foloweth: Ffirst I bequeathe my soule to God and my bodie to be buried in the churche yard of Wardinton. I geve to the hight aultere iiijd and to the bells iiijd. I geve to Sir Thomas Hays xiijd. I geve to Nicholas my sone a brasse panne and iij peces of pewter. I geve to Thomas my sone a brasse potte and iij peces of pewter. I geve to Umfrie tene ij shepe. Item, I geve to John Garner, Nicholas and Isabell ether of theym one shepe. I geve to Thomas Garnar my sonne one heifer. I geve iiij brynded cows at Burton to Alys Foxe. All the rest of my goodes not  bequeathed I geve to Thomas Foxe whome I make my full executor thes beinge wyttness, Sir Thomas Hays, prist, John Elkington, and John Thorncraft.

Proven 29 June 1559

Thomas and Ellyn had the following children:

*1. Nicholas, born in about 1535 of Cropredy; married Elizabeth; mentioned in mother's will of 1559; mentioned in uncle George Gardner's will in 1591; buried 12 February 1610/11 in Cropredy.

2. William, born in about 1540 of Cropredy; mentioned in uncle George Gardner's will in 1591.

3. Thomas, born in about 1545 of Cropedy; mentioned in mother's will of 1559. mentioned in uncle George Gardner's will in 1591; married Elizabeth; occupation: yeoman; had children Josiah, Steven, Timothie, Hannah, Katherine, Mary and Martha; buried 5 October 1633; left a will dated 27 November 1633.

4. John, mentioned in mother's will of 1559.

5. Isabell, mentioned in mother's will of 1559.

SOURCES: Cropredy parish register; will of George Gardner of Great Bourton, 1591 on; will of Ellyn Garner, 1559,

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