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Gladstains (Gladstone) Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: FIDE ET VIRTUTE (by faith and valour)

Let me share with you the captivating history of your family, the Gladstones, passed down through the generations. The modern variant of the name was standardized by royal license on 10th February 1835, upon the request of John Gladstones, the father of the renowned 19th-century British Prime Minister. The etymology of the name traces back to the Old English phrase ‘glede stan,’ which translates to ‘rock of the hawk.’ The ancient lands associated with your family were believed to be located in Teviotdale, and there is still land bearing this name near the village of Biggar in Lanarkshire. The lineage of Gladstones can be traced back to Herbert de Gledstanes, who is recorded on the Ragman Roll of nobles submitting to Edward I of England in 1296. William de Gledstanes also witnessed a charter around 1354, further establishing the family’s presence.

John Gladstanes, who claimed descent from Gledstanes of that Ilk, was appointed to the Supreme Court Bench in 1542, showcasing the family’s prominence. George Gledstanes achieved notable positions such as Vice Chancellor of the University of St. Andrews in 1599 and Bishop of Caithness in 1600. In 1606, he was translated to the prestigious archbishopric of St. Andrews.

The most distinguished branch of the family, claiming descent from Gledstanes of that Ilk, were the Lairds of Toftcombs near Biggar. They flourished as prosperous merchants in the port of Leith, and John Gledstones, born in 1764, eventually relocated to Liverpool to pursue his business ventures. The Gledstones purchased Fasque House in Kincardineshire in 1828, establishing it as the family seat. In 1846, the Baronetcy of Fasque and Balfour was bestowed upon the esteemed Sir John Gladstone, recognizing his contributions. Prior to this honor, Sir John had amassed significant wealth and demonstrated his Scottish roots by generously endowing a splendid new church in Leith and making substantial donations to Trinity College Glenalmond, a renowned Scottish public school. Notably, one of Sir John’s younger sons was none other than William Ewart Gladstone, the exceptional 19th-century Liberal Prime Minister.

William Ewart Gladstone himself was elevated to the peerage as Viscount Gladstone, although this title became extinct in 1930. Sir John Robert Gladstone, the third Baronet, passed away in 1929, leaving his nephew as his successor. The nephew, a distinguished military officer, assumed the position of the fourth Baronet. Following his tenure, Sir Albert Gladstone, MBE, carried on the family legacy, having served at Gallipoli during his military career. The current Baronet is Sir Erskine William Gladstone, a respected educator and advocate for social justice. He also holds membership in the illustrious Order of the Garter. Sir Erskine’s younger brother, Peter, dedicated his life to the study of nature, particularly wildfowl. Sadly, upon his passing, Fasque House, the cherished family residence, was sold, marking the end of an era.

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The Family Crest

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Family Crest Motto: FIDE ET VIRTUTE (by faith and valour)

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