Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Ward, Patience
WARD, Sir PATIENCE (1629–1696), lord mayor of London, was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Ward of Tanshelf, near Pontefract. According to his own ‘Memoirs,’ an incomplete copy of which, made by Dr. Birch, is in the British Museum (Ayscough MS. 4224, f. 153), he was born at Tanshelf on 7 Dec. 1629, and received the name of Patience from his father, who was disappointed at not having a daughter. He lost his father at the age of five, and was brought up by his mother for the ministry. With this view, he tells us, he was sent to the university in 1643, under the care of a brother-in-law, but afterwards turned his attention to merchandise. His liberal education bore fruit, as his name is found in the list of fellows of the Royal Society in 1682, twenty-two years after its foundation. On 10 June 1646 he was apprenticed for eight years to Launcelot Tolson, merchant-taylor and merchant-adventurer, of St. Helen's, Bishopsgate, with whom he lived until his marriage (Wilson, St. Lawrence Pountney, p. 242, note h). He afterwards set up in business for himself in St. Lawrence Pountney Lane, where he occupied a portion of the ancient mansion variously known as ‘Manor of the Rose’ and Poultney's Inn, the house having formerly belonged to Sir John Poultney [see Pulteney or Poulteney, Sir John de]. The house is shown in Ogilby and Morgan's ‘Map of London,’ 1677, and in the plan of Walbrook and Dowgate wards in Northouck's ‘History of London’ (p. 612).
On completing his apprenticeship he became a freeman of the Merchant Taylors' Company, but was unable or unwilling to take up his livery, and it appears from an extract from the court minute-book of 3 June 1663 that he had been admonished by the company on many previous occasions. They now threatened him with a summons before the court of aldermen, but the matter was apparently compromised by his paying a fine of 50l. He became master of the company in 1671 (Clode, Memorials of the Merchant Taylors' Company, p. 558; Early History, ii. 348).
He was elected sheriff on midsummer day 1670, and on 18 Oct. in the same year became alderman for the ward of Farringdon Within (Repertory 75, fol. 301). At the mayoralty banquet on 29 Oct. 1675, which the king honoured with his presence, Ward, with other aldermen, was knighted (Le Neve, Pedigrees of Knights, p. 301). He was elected lord mayor on Michaelmas day 1680, and entered into office on 29 Oct. following. In his election speech (London, 1680, fol.) he strongly maintained protestant principles. The pageant was of great magnificence, and was provided at the cost of the Merchant Taylors' Company, by Thomas Jordan [q. v.], the city poet. It is of special interest, and is fully described in Hone's ‘Every Day Book’ (i. 1446–53); a copy of the original is in the Guildhall Library.
On 28 March 1681 the king dissolved his third short parliament, and on 13 May the common council, by a narrow majority of fourteen, agreed to address the king, praying him to cause a parliament to meet, and continue to sit until due provision were made for the security of his majesty's person and his people. Ward, who sided with the opposition, had the unthankful task of presenting this address, and the first attempt to do so failed, the deputation being told to meet the king at Hampton Court on 19 May. When that day arrived the civic deputation were summarily dismissed. Ward, however, received a vote of thanks from the grand jury at the Old Bailey for the part he had taken in presenting the address (Guildhall Library, London Pamphlets, vol. xii. No. 12; Luttrell, Relation of State Affairs, i. 84, 87, 88). He received further thanks from the common hall on 24 June, and was desired to present another address to the king, assuring his majesty that the late address truly reflected the feeling of that assembly. This address, presented on 7 July, was received with no less disfavour, Ward and his colleagues being again told to mind their own business (Luttrell, i. 107).
The ultra-protestantism of the city, probably directed by Ward, had early in his mayoralty led to an additional inscription being engraved on the Monument, stating that the fire of London had been caused by the papists; and an inscription to the same effect was ordered to be placed on the house in Pudding Lane where the fire began. Sir Patience incurred much odium through his connection with these inscriptions. Thomas Ward (1652–1708) [q. v.] in his ‘England's Reformation’ (1710, canto iv. p. 100), speaking of Titus Oates and his discoveries, wrote:
That sniffling whig-mayor, Patience Ward,
To this damn'd lie had such regard,
That he his godly masons sent
T' engrave it round the Monument.
They did so; but let such things pass,
His men were fools, and he an ass
(Welch, History of the Monument, 1893, pp. 38–40).
The court party succeeded this year in turning their opponents out of the city lieutenancy, whereby the lord mayor lost his commission as a colonel of a regiment of the trained bands. At the close of his mayoralty Ward was succeeded by Sir John Moore (1620–1702) [q. v.], a determined partisan of the court, whose election was not, however, secured without the unusual circumstance of a poll. One of the last incidents in Ward's mayoralty was the resolution of the corporation to undertake the business of fire insurance on behalf of the citizens (ib. p. 135). On 19 May 1683 Ward was tried for perjury in connection with the action brought by the Duke of York against Sir Thomas Pilkington for scandalum magnatum. He was accused of having sworn that to the best of his remembrance he did not hear the words spoken which were said to be criminal. After much conflicting evidence he was found guilty (Maitland, History of London, 1756, i. 476), and fled to Holland (Luttrell, i. 259). During his exile abroad he was in constant communication with Thomas Papillon [q. v.], the sheriff-elect of 1682, who had also been driven into exile. A portion of their correspondence is printed by Mr. A. F. W. Papillon in his ‘Memoirs of Thomas Papillon’ (1887, pp. 336–347). On 10 Feb. 1687–8 he pleaded his majesty's pardon by attorney for his conviction of perjury (Luttrell, i. 431).
The accession of William III restored him to full favour and honour. He was elected one of the four city members to serve in the convention summoned to meet on 22 Jan. 1689 (ib. i. 352). At the next election, in February 1690, Ward and the other three whig candidates lost their seats (Sharpe, London and the Kingdom, ii. 533). He was appointed colonel of the blue regiment of the trained bands on 31 March 1689 (Luttrell, p. 516), and on 19 April a commissioner for managing the customs (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1689–90, p. 53). He lost his colonelcy in 1690, the church party being once more in a majority (ib. ii. 25), but was re-elected on the ascendency of the whigs in 1691 (ib. iii. 283). On 24 March 1695–6 he was compelled through illness to relinquish his office of commissioner of customs, but recovered sufficiently to resume his duties on 9 April (Luttrell, iv. 34, 42).
Ward died on 10 July 1696, and was buried in the south corner of the chancel of St. Mary Abchurch, where a mural monument to his memory still exists (Stow, Survey, 1720, bk. ii. p. 184). His will, dated 4 March 1695–6, and proved in the prerogative court of Canterbury on 7 Aug. 1696, is printed at length by Wilson in his ‘History of St. Lawrence Pountney’ (pp. 243–4). In a note on the character and dispositions of the London aldermen privately supplied to James II, Ward is described as a very considerable merchant and as a quaker (Gent. Mag. 1769, p. 517). The latter statement is probably not correct; but Ward's sympathies, like those of his colleague, Sir Humphrey Edwin [q. v.], were strongly opposed to the high-church party, and probably inclined to the dissenters.
Ward married, on 8 June 1653, Elizabeth, daughter of William Hobson of Hackney. The certificate of banns in the register of St. Helen's, Bishopsgate (Records of the Parish), states that they were published in Leadenhall Market, and the marriage was at Hackney church (Robinson, History of Hackney, ii. 69). His wife predeceased him during his exile on 24 Dec. 1685, and was buried in the ‘great church at Amsterdam.’ There was no issue of the marriage, but Sir Patience left his manor of Hooton Pagnel to his grand-nephew, Patience Ward, in whose family it remained for several generations. His nephew, Sir John Ward, son of his brother, Sir Thomas Ward of Tanshelf, was lord mayor in 1714, and ancestor of the Wards of Westerham in Kent.
His arms were azure, a cross patonce or. There is a full-length portrait of Ward in his mayoral robes at Merchant Taylors' Hall, and a small watercolour copy of it is in the Guildhall Library (MS. 20).
[Hunter's South Yorkshire, ii. 143; Clode's Hist. of the Merchant Taylors' Company; Papillon's Memoirs of Thomas Papillon, 1887; Stow's Survey of London; Wilson's Hist. of St. Lawrence Pountney; Stocken MSS. Guildhall Library; Wilson's Hist. of Merchant Taylors' School, pp. 353–62; Brit. Mus. Cat.; authorities above quoted.]