Sir William Garrard, MP, Lord Mayor of London

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William Garrard (Gerrard), Knight

Also Known As: "William Gerard", "Lord mayor of London"
Birthplace: Dornley, Buckinghamshire, England
Death: Died in St. Magnus Parish, Buckinghamshire, England
Place of Burial: London, Greater London, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of John Garrard and Agnes Garrard
Husband of Isabella Garrard, Dame
Father of Anne Barne; Sir William Gerrard; Sir John Garrard, Lord Mayor of London; George Garrad and Peter Garrard
Brother of John Garrad

Occupation: Merchant Adventurer, Comptroller General of Hospitals, lord mayor of london
Managed by: Henn Sarv
Last Updated:

About Sir William Garrard, MP, Lord Mayor of London

Family and Education

b. by 1518, 1st s. of John Garrard of London. m. by 1539, Isabel, da. of Julian Nethermill of Coventry, Warws., 5s. 1da. Kntd. by 29 Feb. 1556. d. 27 Sept. 1571.

Offices Held

Alderman, London 1547-d., sheriff 1552-3, mayor 1555-6, auditor 1556-8; master, Haberdashers’ Co. 1557; consul, Russia Co. 1555-6, gov. 1561-d.; assistant, Merchant Adventurers’ Co. 1564; gov. mineral and battery works 1568.


Sir William Garrard (b. 1518-d. 1571) was a merchant of London and a royal financier.

Garrard was born in 1518, the son of John Garrard, a grocer and descendant of Sir Simon Attegare; Attegare being origin of the surname Garrard.[1] He grew up in the parish of St. Magnus the Martyr near London Bridge. He became a haberdasher and involved himself with public affairs.

In 1545, he was appointed by the Court of Aldermen as a Surveyor of the Poor, with the duties of trying to find ways to combat poverty. He served in that position until 1549, while also serving as the Treasurer of St. Bartholomew's Hospital between 1548-1549.[2] During this time was an Alderman for the London ward of Aldgate between 1547-1550. He would also serve as an Alderman for the London wards of Broad Street between 1550–1556 and Lime Street between 1556-1571.

In 1552, he was elected Sheriff of London, serving a term. In 1555, he was elected Lord Mayor of London, and he was also knighted that same year. In 1556 he became Auditor of London, and in 1557, he was elected as Member of Parliament for City of London.

Garrard dedicated his time to drawing up constitutions for new hospitals, in which he would serve as President of Christ's Hospital between 1553–1554, Bridewell Hospital between 1558–1559, and St. Bartholomew's Hospital from 1559-1571. He was the Surveyor of Hospitals between 1566–1567, and Comptroller-General of the city's hospitals from 1568 until his death.

Together with Sir William Petre and Simon Lowe, he was an executor of the will of Maurice Griffith, Bishop of Rochester, the three having also been mourners at his funeral. In consequence of this, these three played a part as the initial trustees in the founding of Friars School, Bangor.

He was a Master of the Haberdashers Company in 1557, as well as a member of the Company of Merchant Adventurers to New Lands. He was a consul of the Russia Company between 1555–1556, and Governor from 1561 until his death, which was also referred to as his company by this time. Garrard served as the Governor of the Company of Mineral and Battery Works in 1568, and he was considered one of the great merchants of London.

In 1552, William Cecil on behalf of King Edward VI, negotiated a £40,000 loan from the Merchant Adventurers through Garrard. In 1561, Garrard, along with Sir William Chester, loaned £30,000 to Queen Elizabeth I, in which she personally exempted them from usury laws, allowing them to receive 10% interest on their loan.

Garrard financed a voyage to Barbary in 1552, which introduced him to the slave trade. Several voyages to Guinea would follow, including voyages in 1553 and 1567. Garrard was one of the original developers of the Moroccan trade in 1553. That year he also helped finance the first voyage of the Russia Company, an attempt by Sir Hugh Willoughby to find a Northeast Passage.

In 1564, Garrard helped finance Sir John Hawkins second voyage, in which fundraising for the trip was done through a meeting at his personal residence. He would also support Hawkins' third voyage, which ended in disaster and cost Garrard £21,000.

In 1567, Tsar Ivan IV granted exclusive trading rights to Garrard's Russia Company. The Tsar wrote a letter to Queen Elizabeth I personally awarding the rights to Garrard, as well as several others within the company.

In 1566, Garrard contributed financing toward the creation of Sir Thomas Gresham's first Royal Exchange. Garrard would be named a commissioner of the undertaking. In February 1566, a group of men met at Sir John Rivers' residence to celebrate the finalization of the plans for the exchange, in which Gresham personally thanked Garrard in front of the crowd. The building was opened in 1570 during a celebration by the Queen.

Marriage and issue

Garrard married Isabel Nethermill, heiress of Julius Nethermill, and they had five children:[12]

  • Sir William Garrard II
  • George Garrard, who married Margaret D'Acres
  • Sir John Garrard, who would become Lord Mayor of London and progenitor of the Garrard baronetcy
  • Peter Garrard
  • Anne Garrard, who married Sir George Barne III

Links and Sources

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Sir William Garrard, MP, Lord Mayor of London's Timeline

Dornley, Buckinghamshire, England
Age 16
Buckinghamshire, England
Age 23
Age 29
Dorney, Buckingham, England
Age 39
Dorney, Buckinghamshire, England
Age 48
Lord Mayor of London
September 27, 1571
Age 64
St. Magnus Parish, Buckinghamshire, England
Age 64
London, Greater London, United Kingdom