John Lowell Gardner II

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
John Lowell Gardner II
Antonio Mancini - Portrait of John Lowell Gardner.jpg
Born(1837-11-26)November 26, 1837
Brookline, Massachusetts
DiedDecember 10, 1898(1898-12-10) (aged 61)
Brookline, Massachusetts
OccupationMerchant, Shipowner, Art collector
Spouse(s)Isabella Stewart Gardner
ChildrenJohn Lowell III
Parent(s)John Lowell and Catherine Peabody Gardner

John "Jack" Lowell Gardner II (November 26, 1837 – December 10, 1898) was an American businessman, art collector, and philanthropist. He and his wife, Isabella Stewart Gardner, were patrons of the arts whose collection is now housed in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, in Boston.[1]


Gardner's mother, Catherine Endicott Peabody (1808–1883),[2] of Brookline, MA, was the daughter of the distinguished Salem shipowner, Joseph Peabody (1757–1844), who made a fortune importing pepper from Sumatra and was one of the wealthiest men in the United States at the time of his death in 1844.[3] Gardner's paternal grandfather, Samuel Pickering Gardner (1768–1843), descended from Thomas Gardner (planter) and from the father of Timothy Pickering.[1][4][5] Through his paternal grandmother, Rebecca Russell Lowell, he descended from Percival Lowell who had arrived at Cape Ann in 1639.

After spending time at Harvard, Gardner joined his father's East Indies trading business.

The Gardners entered into partnership with Peabody, and their ships sailed many seas. Some of those ships were as follows (clipper ships are not linked): Arabia, Bunker Hill, California, Democrat, Duxbury, Eclipse, Gentleman, Grotius, Lenore, Lepanto, Lotos, Marquis de Somerulas, Mars, Monterey, Nabob, Napke, Naples, Pallas, Pioneer, Plant, Plato, Ruble, Sappho, Shawmut, St Paul, Sumatra, Thetis, Unicorn.

The younger Gardner had financial interests besides shipping, such as railroads (Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad) and mining (Calumet and Hecla Mining Company). He supported the America's Cup defender, Puritan.[6]


He married Isabella Stewart on April 10, 1860. They had one son, John Lowell Gardner III, who was born June 18, 1863. He died March 15, 1865. After their son's untimely death, the couple started to travel and collect.

In 1875, Gardner's brother, Joseph, died. He had been a widower since 1865. He left three young sons, including Augustus P. Gardner who was ten years old at the time.[6]

John and Isabella 'adopted' and raised the boys. Augustus accompanied them on some of their 'hunts' for collectibles.[6]


  1. ^ a b Gardner Family Papers 1772-1915. (The Massachusetts Historical Society)
  2. ^ Died Friday, 21 Sept 1883 -- Massachusetts Vital Death Records, 1841-1910; Brookline, MA vol 347, page 246 line 106
  3. ^ Hunt, F. [1858]. Lives of American merchants - Vol 1. (via Google Books)
  4. ^ Endicott Family Papers 1612-1958. (The Massachusetts Historical Society)
  5. ^ George Gardner Family Papers 1659-1900. (The Massachusetts Historical Society)
  6. ^ a b c Gardner, Frank A MD [1933] Gardner memorial : a biographical and genealogical record of the descendants of Thomas Gardner, planter, Cape Ann, 1624, Salem ISBN 978-0-7404-2590-5 (also, via

External links[edit]