GERARD, Francis (1617-80), of Clement's Inn, Mdx.
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Family and Education
b. 12 Oct. 1617, 1st s. of Sir Gilbert Gerard, 1st Bt., and bro. of Gilbert Gerard I. educ. G. Inn, entered 1625; St. Catherine’s Camb. 1632; travelled abroad 1638-41. m. c. 1648, Isabel (d.1670), da. of Thomas Cheke† of Pirgo, Havering, Essex, 3s. Kntd. 3 June 1660; suc. fa. 6 Jan. 1670.2
Filazer of c.p. by 1636-45; commr. for maimed soldiers Dec. 1660-1.3
Commr. for excise, Worcs. 1644, assessment, Mdx. and Westminster 1647-8, Mdx. Jan. 1660-d., Westminster Jan. 1660-1, Surr. 1673-d., militia, Mdx. 1648, Mdx., Tower Hamlets and Westminster Mar. 1660; j.p. Mdx. 1658-July 1660, 1667-d.; commr. for sewers, Westminster Aug. 1660, loyal and indigent officers, Mdx. 1662.4
Gerard, unlike his father and brother, was ‘in arms against Parliament’, for which he was deprived of his clerkship in the court of common pleas. But his father’s interest saved him from compounding, kept him in Parliament until Pride’s Purge, and even won him a seat for a time on the county committee. His right to sit in Richard Cromwell’s Parliament as knight of the shire was apparently not challenged.5
Having thus demonstrated his good affection for Parliament, Gerard could be regarded as not comprised within the ordinance forbidding Cavaliers to stand at the general election of 1660. He was returned for Bossiney with his brother-in-law Charles Pym, and was listed as a friend by Lord Wharton. A moderately active Member of the Convention, he made no recorded speeches, but probably served on 36 committees, including the committee of elections and privileges. On 3 May he was appointed to the important committee to prepare bills in accordance with the King’s letter, and on the next day he was among those entrusted with the bill to confirm land purchases. He served on most of the committees for taxation. Doubtless a court supporter, he was knighted at the Restoration. He was named to the committees to recover the queen mother’s jointure (8 June) and to inquire into unauthorized Anglican publications (30 June). He acted as teller against the proposal to exclude from the indemnity bill all lawyers who had appeared for the Interregnum governments in the high courts of justice. He helped to consider the bills to settle ministers in their livings and to fix an establishment for Dunkirk. On 5 Sept. he carried to the Lords the bill to restore his distant cousin, the royalist general, to his estate, and with it the college leases bill and the petitions on behalf of Vane and Lambert. After the recess he helped to draft the petition for a fast. With (Sir) Lancelot Lake he was sent to ask the lord chamberlain to keep the Banqueting Hall clear when the House attended to thank the King for the Worcester House declaration on modified episcopacy. He was added to the committee for the militia bill and appointed to those considering the bill to prevent marital separation and to draft the excise clause in the bill abolishing the court of wards.6
Gerard is unlikely to have sought re-election. On his father’s death he inherited a large plantation in Bermuda, as well as the Middlesex estate. He stood for the county as court candidate in September 1679, but withdrew after one day’s poll, having received only 194 votes. He died in December 1680.7
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Authors: M. W. Helms / Eveline Cruickshanks
- 1. Secluded at Pride’s Purge 8 Dec. 1648, readmitted 21 Feb. 1660.
- 2. Harrow Reg. 175; Lysons, Environs, ii. 578; CSP Dom. 1670, p. 553; PC Reg. iii. 327.
- 3. CSP Dom. 1635-6, p. 461; Cal. Comm. Adv. Money, 504-5; CJ, viii. 213.
- 4. W. H. Black, Docquets of Letters Patent, 285; C181/7/37
- 5. Keeler, Long Parl. 185; Cal. Comm. Adv. Money, 504; D. Underdown, Pride’s Purge, 147, 168.
- 6. CJ, viii. 83, 175.
- 7. H. Wilkinson, Adventurers to Bermuda, 244, 255, 343; Dom. Intell. 9 Sept. 1679; BL Loan 29/183, f. 62v, Sir Edward to Lady Harley, 28 Dec. 1680.