Gerbier, Balthazar, Sir (1592 -1667)
Sir Balthazar Gerbier was the son of Anthony Gerbier, and Radigonde Blavet, protestant refugees from France living at Middleburg in Zeeland. Balthazar came over to England in the train of Noel Caron, the Dutch Ambassador in 1616. He entered the service of George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, and was employed in the works on the Duke's houses and in painting miniatures. In 1623 he accompanied Prince Charles and the Duke to Spain where he painted a portrait of the Infanta which was sent back to London. He shared Buckingham's unpopularity, and the Bill for his naturalization which was presented in 1628 was in danger of being rejected by Parliament. After Buckingham's assassination he entered the service of Charles I and was knighted. In 1631, the King appointed Gerbier His Majesties agent in Brussels. He had Charles's confidence, though he betrayed the King's negotiations to The Infanta Isabella for the sum of twenty thousand crowns. The court at Brussels asked for his removal in 1637, but it was not until 1641 that he was superseded. He was made Master of Ceremonies by Patent 10 May 1641. In 1643 he and his family went to France and published three pamphlets advocating the opening of a bank. He was attacked as a Protestant and had to flee back to England. He continued to follow an adventurous career, including a voyage to Guiana where he intended to mine gold, but instead faced a mutiny during which one of his daughters was murdered. After the Restoration he returned again to England where he practiced as an architect.