1) An alternative term for tutor, possibly from confusion with 'guardian'.
In wills of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the word ‘gardener’ was used as an alternative to ‘tutor’, a meaning that appears to have gone unnoticed. It may have been widely used, but the evidence at the moment is confined to Yorkshire. It is possible, I suppose, that ‘gardener’ had come to be confused with guardian, because of a similarity in their pronunciation and role: 1545 I will that Christofer Felde, marcar, shall have the guardinaige of George Kaye, myne eldest sone, Wakefield. However, it would not be surprising if the ‘gardener’ was thought of as a person who would ‘cultivate’ and protect a child. In 1574, Nicholas Heslett of Slaidburn referred to George Beesley as gardinar to his child and, in 1579 John Spenselay of Grinton named three people who he wished to be gardeners and tutors of his children. In 1588, the will of Robert Mylner of Pudsey left Tuicon of children to wife Mary and when she mariethe then ... they shall chuse suche gardiners as God shall put them in mynd. In 1592 Robert Hobson of Stainton made his twoe bretheren in lawe ... gardeyners unto his son Robert. Another explicit reference is found in the will of Robert Wilson of Selby, in 1656:I give to Benjamin Wilson, my sonne, Ł20, which is in the hands of Thomas Hembrough, Thomas Palmer and Richard Linlay … for his education and bringing of him up … and I desire that Thomas Hembrough wilbe his tutore or gardenar, to take care of him and of his futer good .