Lion Gardiner

Lion Gardiner (1599–1663) founded the first British settlement in New York on Long Island. His legacy includes Gardiners Island, which is held by his descendants.

Lion Gardiner
Lion Gardiner in the Pequot War by Charles Stanley Reinhart (painted circa 1890)
Resting placeSouth End Cemetery by Town Pond
Occupationmilitary engineer, settler, soldier
Spouse(s)Mary Willemsen Deurcant
  • David
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth


Early lifeEdit

Lion Gardiner was born in England in 1599.[1] He and his wife Mary left Woerden in the Netherlands and embarked for New England in the ship Batcheler on July 10, 1635. The ship arrived at Boston at the end of November in 1635. Governor John Winthrop noted Gardiner's arrival in his Journal under the date November 28:

Here arrived a small Norsey bark of twenty-five tons sent by Lords Say, etc, with one Gardiner, an expert engineer or work base, and provisions of all sorts, to begin a fort at the mouth of the Connecticut. She came through many great tempests; yet, through the Lord's great providence, her passengers, twelve men, two women, and all goods, all safe.[2][3][4]

Marriage and familyEdit

Print of the Lion Gardiner House, Easthampton (Childe Hassam – 1920)

Shortly before departing from the Netherlands, he married Mary Willemsen Deurcant, the daughter of Dericke Willemsen Deurcant and Hachin Bastiens, who was born at Woerden about 1601. She died in 1665 in East Hampton, New York. She was buried next to her husband.[5] They were the parents of three children: David, Mary and Elizabeth.

Their only son, David Gardiner, was born on April 29, 1636, at Saybrook.[1][6] He married on June 4, 1657, Mary Leringman, a widow, at St. Margaret's Parish in the City of Westminster, England.

Mary Gardiner[7][8] was born on August 30, 1638, at Saybrook, Connecticut. She married in 1658, Jeremiah Conkling, the son of Ananias Conkling, who was from Nottinghamshire, England.

Elizabeth Gardiner,[9] was born on September 14, 1641, at the Isle of Wight, New York. She married in 1657, Arthur Howell, a son of Edward Howell of Southampton, Long Island. Her death led to the witchcraft trial of Elizabeth Garlick.[10][11]


Gardiner was a military engineer in service of the Prince of Orange in the Netherlands along with John Mason, and he was hired by the Connecticut Company in 1635 to oversee construction of fortifications in Connecticut Colony. He finished and commanded the Saybrook Fort at the mouth of the Connecticut River during the Pequot War of 1636–37.[12] In 1639, he purchased an island from the Montaukett tribe which they called Manchonat, located between the North Fork, Suffolk County, New York and South Fork, Suffolk County, New York. The original grant by which he acquired proprietary rights in the island made it an entirely separate and independent plantation, in no way connected either with Connecticut Colony or New Amsterdam. He was thus empowered to draft laws for church and state. He called it the Isle of Wight, but it is now known as Gardiners Island.

In 1660, Gardiner wrote the firsthand account Relation of the Pequot Warres. The manuscript was lost among various state archives until rediscovered in 1809; it was first published in 1833.[13]


The tomb of Lion Gardiner in East Hampton, New York was built in 1886 and designed by James Renwick, Jr. depicting him in recumbent effigy (Photo, April 2006)

Lion Gardiner was buried in East Hampton, New York, and a recumbent effigy was erected in his memory in 1886.[14] He and many of his descendants are buried in the South End Cemetery by Town Pond.[15]


Lion Gardiner's descendants number in the thousands today. Some of his notable descendants include:


  1. ^ a b c Gardiner, 84
  2. ^ Dunn, 207
  3. ^ Dunn, 161
  4. ^ Dunn, 783
  5. ^ Mary Willemsen Deurcant Gardiner at Find A Grave
  6. ^ Gardiner, 86
  7. ^ Gardiner, 93
  8. ^ Mary Gardiner Conkling at Find A Grave
  9. ^ Gardiner, 94
  10. ^ Steven Gaines (June 1, 1998). Philistines at the Hedgerow: Passion and Property in the Hamptons (hardcover). Little Brown & Co. pp. 80–84. ISBN 9780316309417. Lion Gardiner would have none of this.
  11. ^ John Hanc (October 25, 2012). "Before Salem, There Was the Not-So-Wicked Witch of the Hamptons". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved August 15, 2015. Elizabeth Garlick, a local resident who often quarreled with neighbors.
  12. ^ Gardiner, 6
  13. ^ Lion Gardiner, Relation of the Pequot Warres, 1660 Ed., W. N. Chattin Carlton, Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Electronic Texts in American Studies University of Nebraska – Lincoln Year 2007
  14. ^ Gardiner, 74
  15. ^ Lion Gardiner at Find A Grave
  16. ^ a b Gardiner, 145
  17. ^ Senator David Gardiner at Find A Grave
  18. ^ Julia Gardiner Tyler at Find A Grave
  19. ^ "Gardiner Greene Hubbard Biography", National Geographic
  20. ^ a b c Gardiner, 112
  21. ^ "Mrs. A.G. Bell Dies. Inspired Telephone. Deaf Girl's Romance With Distinguished Inventor Was Due to Her Affliction". The New York Times. January 4, 1923. Mrs. Mabel Hubbard Bell, widow of Alexander Graham Bell ... Mrs. Bell was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, November 25, 1859 [sic], the daughter of Gardiner Green Hubbard [sic] ...
  22. ^ Obituary: "Winthrop Gardiner, Jr." The New York Times. October 18, 1980.
  23. ^ Selah B. Strong at Find A Grave
  24. ^ History of the city of New York: its origin, rise and progress, Volume 3 By Martha Joanna Lamb, New York: THE A. S. BARNES COMPANY. 1877
  25. ^ Gardiner, 124
  26. ^ Sherwood Forest Plantation – Home of president John Tyler at
  27. ^ "Robert D.L. Gardiner, 93, Lord of His Own Island, Dies". The New York Times. August 24, 2004. Retrieved January 29, 2014. Robert David Lion Gardiner, the last heir to bear the name of the family that has owned Gardiner's Island, off the coast of Long Island, for nearly four centuries, died yesterday at his home in East Hampton, N.Y. He was 93. ... Mr. Gardiner called himself the 16th Lord of the Manor and saw himself as a custodian of his family's history on what is said to be the largest privately owned island in the world.
  28. ^ Newsday, May 24, 2005
  29. ^ "Debating the Future Of Gardiners Island", The New York Times, September 5, 2004


  • Dunn, Richard The journal of John Winthrop, 1630–1649.Abridged Edition: published by Harvard University Press[when?]
  • Gardiner, Curtiss C. Lion Gardiner, and his descendants with Illustrations 1599–1890. St. Louis, Missouri : A.Whipple, publisher

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit