Robert Midgley Gardner was born on 25 December 1808. He was the youngest son of Thomas Gardner, Vicar of Willen in Buckinghamshire from 1820 until his death in 1832, and his wife Elizabeth.
Robert was educated at Christ's Hospital School and entered St John's College, Cambridge, in 1826. He was awarded the degree of B.A. in 1830 and that of M.A, in 1835.
Robert married Elizabeth Browne on 7 October 1830. He was ordained Deacon on 18 March 1832, when he was licensed as Curate of Fenny Stratford in Buckinghamshire, and Priest on 21 September 1834, when he was licensed as Curate of Stanton Bury, also in Buckinghamshire..
Robert subsequently served as Curate of St James the Great, Thorley from 1839 until his death, aged 34, on 12 January 1843.
According to his obituary in The Gentleman's Magazine Robert left a widow and four children, quite unprovided for, the latter being Elizabeth born c 1832, Mary Ann born c 1835, Robert Midgley baptised on 23 March 1836 and Thomas Edward baptised on 17 November 1837.
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