GERARD, Roger (1504/5-55 or later), of Wareham, Dorset.
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Family and Education
b. 1504/5, s. and h. of John Gerard of Longhide in Purbeck by Elizabeth, da. of John Fauntleroy of Marsh, nr. Sherborne. suc. fa. 10 June 1533.1
Constable, Wareham 1554-5.2
Roger Gerard, although his father’s heir, had an ‘elder brother’ George Gerard who, in July 1533, a month after their father’s death, attacked Roger Gerard’s servants at Wareham and carried away hay from a cart in his backyard. The hay had been grown at Baltington, in the isle of Purbeck, and the point at issue was the right of inheritance: the dispute was settled in 1542 when Roger Gerard sold the manor to George in exchange for lands in Wareham, where three years later he was assessed for the subsidy on goods worth £20. As a freeman of Wareham he took part in the elections to the first four Parliaments of Mary’s reign. He was one of the town’s two constables when he was returned as the town’s junior Member in the autumn of 1554, but apparently he was not the electors’ choice because his name was inserted (as was his fellow-Member Hugh Smith’s) over an erasure on the indenture. At the time of the election his cousin Charles, 8th Baron Stourton, was lieutenant of Wiltshire, Somerset, and Dorset, and another kinsman Walter Gerard was mayor of the town. If he was Stourton’s nominee, he may have disappointed his patron by departing the House without leave before its dissolution. For this dereliction he was informed against in the King’s bench during the Easter term of 1555, but no further process was taken against him. The last glimpse of Gerard is at the parliamentary election in October 1555 when Thomas Phelips and Clement Hyett were chosen by the townsmen.3