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Lion Gardiner, I

Also Known As: "Lyon"
Birthplace: London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Death: October 05, 1663 (63)
East Hampton, Suffolk County, NY, United States
Place of Burial: East Hampton, Suffolk County, NY, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Lionel Gardiner; Lionel Gardiner and Elizabeth Gardener
Husband of Mary Willemsen Deurcant; Mary Gardiner and Marrichgen Dircks Gardiner
Father of Mary Gardiner; Mary Gardiner; Sarah Gardiner; David Gardiner; Mary Lavendar Conkling and 5 others
Brother of Sarah Backus; Raffe Gardiner and John Gardiner

Occupation: Founder of Gardiner Island and built first fort in Saybrook (1635)
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Lion Gardiner

Lion Gardiner (1599-1663), an early English settler in the New World, founded the first English settlement in what became the state of New York. His legacy includes Gardiners Island which remains in the family and is the largest privately owned island in the United States.

[edit] Biography

Gardiner was born in England in 1599; died in East Hampton, New York, in 1663. A military engineer in service of the prince of Orange in the Netherlands, he was hired by the Connecticut Company in 1635 to oversee construction of fortifications in the new colony. He finished and commanded the Saybrook Fort at the mouth of the Connecticut River during the Pequot War of 1636-1637. In 1639 he purchased from the Montaukett tribe an island called by them Manchonat, which he renamed the Isle of Wight, but which has since been known as Gardiners Island which is located between the North Fork, Suffolk County, New York and South Fork, Suffolk County, New York. The original grant by which Gardiner acquired proprietary rights in the island made it an entirely separate and independent "plantation," in no way connected either with New England or New York. He was thus empowered to draft laws for Church and state.

His son, David Gardiner, was the first white child born in Connecticut (in 1636) at Saybrook.

In 1660 he wrote Relation of the Pequot Warres, which was lost among various state archives until rediscovered in 1809 and first published in 1833.

He was buried in East Hampton, New York. In 1886 a recumbent effigy was erected to his memory, and his supposed grave was opened. In it, a skeleton was found intact. It was that of a man over six feet in height, with a broad forehead and strong jaws. Gardiner (and many of his progeny) are buried in the South End Cemetery by Town Pond.

[edit] External links

   * biography

* Relation of the Pequot Warres (1660)

The ancestry of Lion Gardiner is of course debated. A coat of arms, documented to be in private keeping among his male heirs on Gardiners Island, is identical to that of Thomas Gardiner of Tynemouth (likely son of William Gardiner and Helen Tudor), also found in the possession of Rev George Gardiner whose father was George Gardiner. There is no good reason to conclude, as some have, that the Gardiners of Gardiners Island assumed these arms.

Lion may have been the son of Lionel Gardiner of London. Though there is, as yet, no documentation of this, it is good to note that Lion did first undertake a journey to London, along with his new wife, before going on to America, and Lion's son David later traveled back to London to take a wife.

Lionel Gardiner, however, appears not to have been the son of Rev George Gardiner as often claimed. Records at London show a Lionel Gardiner as the son of Raffe Gardiner. who may himself have been a son of Rev George by first wife Dorothy Constable. Record exists of a marriage between Dorothie Gardiner of Northumberland and Raffe Danson, but why a son of Rev George and Dorothy Gardiner would be named after Dorothy's second husband is unknown, if in fact that is what happened.

The following is from James Clark Parshall's "The History of the Parshall Family, Syracuse, 1903", reprint from University Microfilms Inc:LION GARDINER ... Capt. Lion Gardiner, the founder of the family which bears his name and the first proprietor of the estate. Lyon, or Lion, as he wrote it, born in 1599, of English parentage, was an engineer in the service of the Prince of Orange in the Netherlands. On 11 Aug., 1635, with his wife, and a single female servant, Elizabeth Colet, and eleven other male passengers, he embarked at London in a small vessel, the Bachilor, of only 25 tons burthen, and reached Boston, 28 Nov., in the same year. In possession of the Gardiner family, on Gardiner's Island, is an old Bible, on a blank page of which is written, in the handwriting of Lion Gardiner, the following:

"In the year of our Lord, 1635, the 10th of July, came I, Lion Gardiner and Mary my wife from Worden, a town in Holland, where my wife was born, being the daughter of one Diricke Willemson, deureant; her mother’s name was Hachir, and her Aunt, sister of her mother, was the wife of Wouter Leanerdson, old burger Muster, dwelling in the hostrade, over against the Bruser in the Unicorne’s head; her brother’s name was Punce Garretson, also old burger Muster. We came from Worden to London, and from there to New England, and dwelt at Saybrook fort four years -- it is at the mouth of Connecticut river -- of which I was commander, and there was born to me a son, named David, 1636, the 29th of April, the first born in that place, and in 1638 a daughter was born, named Mary, 30th of August, and then I went to an Island of my own, which I had bought and purchased of the Indians, called by them Monchonack, by us, Isle of Wight, and there was born another daughter, named Elizabeth, the 14th September, 1641, she being the first child of English parents that was born there." He commanded the fort at Saybrook during the Pequot War and was a man of great energy and force of character. He died late in 1663.

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Lion Gardiner's Timeline

December 3, 1599
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Nederlanden
August 16, 1635
Age 35
November 28, 1635
Age 35
August 29, 1636
Old Saybrook Colony
August 30, 1638
Old Saybrook, Middlesex County, Connecticut, USA
August 30, 1638
Saybrook, Middlesex, Connecticut, USA
August 30, 1638
September 14, 1641
Gardiner's Island, Off Long Island