Burlington was a Whig supporter of the government of Robert Walpole under the Hanoverian King George I Until 1733, and Richard Child, previously a Tory, decided to give King George his unequivocal support. The elder David Gansel was a Huguenot, a French refugee from Louis XIV’s persecution of Protestants. The Huguenots were closer to the uncompromising views of Calvin than the Church of England. Gansel the elder must have been firmly on the side of the ‘Glorious Revolution’ in which the Catholic King James II was deposed and William of Orange installed in his place, but he must also have favoured the Whigs’ tolerance of different religious beliefs. Gansel the elder acted as Overseer of the Poor in 1703, and Constable in 1708. His duties as Churchwarden in 1710 were performed by someone else 5 which suggests he was unable to reconcile his personal beliefs with the doctrine of the Church of England. We might expect Gansel the younger to be a Whig, though we do not know.
5 David Ian Chapman ‘Leyton House and the Walthamstow Slip’ published by Leyton & Leytonstone Historical Society
Burlington and William Kent, the painter, architect and garden designer who became Burlington’s close friend, were Freemasons by the later 1730s. Paintings which are integral to the design of Chiswick House contain Masonic symbols. The building would have been a good setting for Masonic ritual. A narrow spiral staircase could have taken an initiate from the low-ceilinged lower floor to the impressive upper floor which had its own external entrance (photo below).