Friday, 8 January 2016

The Gladstone Baronets

THE GLADSTONE BARONETS WERE THE GREATEST LANDOWNERS IN KINCARDINESHIRE, WITH 45,062 ACRES

JOHN GLADSTONES, born ca 1696, denizen and merchant at Biggar, south Lanarkshire, married Janet Aitken in 1730.
This John was miller, farmer, trader, and storekeeper to the Earl of Wigtown. He held many of the chief offices in the town, and was an elder in the Biggar Kirk.
His son,

THOMAS GLADSTONES (1732-1809), married Helen, daughter of Walter Neilson, in 1762.
When he was fourteen years old, this Thomas was sent to Leith, there to be apprenticed to Alexander Somerville, a wine merchant. He prospered and later became a successful corn merchant.
His eldest son,

(SIR) JOHN GLADSTONE (1764-1851), of Leith, married firstly, Jane, daughter of Joseph Hall, in 1791; secondly, Anne MacKenzie, daughter of Andrew Robertson.

This gentleman was created a baronet in 1846.
He followed his father into the mercantile business, working first for his father's business, before basing himself in Liverpool in 1787, where he entered the house of grain merchants Corrie & Company as a clerk.

Gladstones was eventually taken into the firm as a partner, the name of the house becoming Corrie, Gladstone & Bradshaw. The business of the firm, and the wealth of its members, soon grew very large. Once he had settled in Liverpool, Gladstones dropped the final "s" from his surname, although this was not legally regularized until 1835.
Sir John's youngest son was THE RT HON WILLIAM EWART GLADSTONE, Prime Minister, 1886.

Sir John's eldest son and heir,

SIR THOMAS GLADSTONE (1804-89), 2nd Baronet, married Louisa, daughter of Robert Fellowes, in 1835; Lord-Lieutenant of Kincardineshire; MP for Queensborough, Portarlington, Leicester and Ipswich.

His only son,

SIR JOHN ROBERT GLADSTONE (1852-1926), 3rd Baronet, JP,
Captain, 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards; Lord-Lieutenant of Kincardineshire; Brigadier, Royal Company of Archers.
Sir John died unmarried, when the baronetcy devolved upon his cousin,

SIR JOHN EVELYN GLADSTONE (1855-1945), 4th Baronet, JP, DL, who married Gertrude Theresa, daughter of Sir Charles Hayes Miller, in 1888. Dying without male issue, the title reverted to his cousin,

SIR ALBERT CHARLES GLADSTONE (1886-1967), 5th Baronet, MBE, who died unmarried, when the baronetcy devolved upon his brother,

SIR CHARLES ANDREW GLADSTONE (1888-1968), 6th Baronet, JP, DL, who married Isla Margaret, daughter of Sir Walter Erskine Crum, in 1925,
Master 1912-46, Eton College; fought in the 1st World War, where he attached to the Royal Flying Corps, and became a PoW; Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, 1948-68; High Sheriff of Hampshire in 1951.
His son,

SIR ERSKINE WILLIAM GLADSTONE, 7th Baronet, KG, JP, DL, married Rosamund Anne, daughter of Major Robert Alexander Hambro, in 1962.
Headmaster, 1961-69, at Lancing College, Lancing, Sussex; County Alderman for Flintshire, 1970-74; Chief Scout for the UK and overseas branches, 1972-82; Lord-Lieutenant of Clwyd, 1985-2000; Knight, Order of the Garter, 1999. He lived in 2003 at Hawarden Castle, Flintshire.

FASQUE CASTLE, near Fettercairn, Kincardineshire, is a large sandstone mansion, in a symmetrical castellated style, with octagonal towers at the centre and corners of the main facade.

The structure remains relatively unchanged since its completion. Sir John Gladstone, 1st Baronet, added a third storey to the central tower in 1830, and built the portico of rusticated pillars in the 1840s.

The drawing room was expanded in 1905, and some servants' quarters were added before the beginning of the 1st World War.

Innovative use of electricity meant that Fasque had an electronic buzzer system as early as 1890. It was also noted for having innovative firefighting and health and safety equipment in the 1920s.

Although begun by Sir Alexander Ramsay-Irvine, the current house was not completed until about 1809. Approximately £30,000 was spent on the project. The house took over ten years to construct.

In 1829, Fasque Castle was sold for £80,000 to Sir John Gladstone Bt.

In 1851, Sir John died, passing the house on to his oldest son, Thomas, 2nd Baronet.

Sir Thomas and his wife, Louisa, ran Fasque as an effective house for nearly 40 years, adding servants' quarters to the building itself, along with a school in the grounds.
During that time, William Ewart Gladstone (who had come into possession of Hawarden Castle in north Wales, through his wife's family, the Glynns) visited his elder brother many times, and practiced his hobbies of walking and tree-felling across the moors of the estate.
The estate lands had slowly expanded during Sir Thomas's tenure to encompass 80,000 acres (320 km2), bordering Balmoral to the north.

Sir Thomas died in 1889, passing the baronetcy on to his eldest son John, a bachelor soldier, who came home to run the estate with his sister Mary in the 1890s.

After Thomas' death, William Ewart Gladstone did not visit his nephew's estate again, and himself died in 1898.

Fasque Castle remained a working home until 1932, when Mary, who had survived her brother John by six years, passed on.

At this point, Fasque House became disused, with much of the furniture covered with sheets, and rooms locked up for decades.

The estate itself operated as before, but the main house was empty, although it remained "immaculately well preserved".

Eventually, the baronetcy passed through various family lines to end up with the 7th Baronet, Sir William, great-grandson of the prime minister, and a former Chief Scout.

In 1978, Sir William's younger brother, the naturalist Peter Gladstone, re-decorated Fasque, apparently whitewashing almost every wall surface himself, and opened it to the public for the first time in the September of that year.

Fasque Castle remained open to summer visitors for over two decades, with the mansion's east wing almost entirely open to the public, and the west wing providing a home for Peter's family.

A large auction sale of items from the house gained much publicity when it was held in the grounds in 1997.

Peter Gladstone died in 2000, with the estate now being run by Charles Gladstone, son of Sir William, the 7th Baronet.

In 2003, the house was closed to the public, and since then specially-arranged coach parties and wedding services have also been discontinued.

In 2010, Fasque Castle was bought by Fasque House Properties Ltd and restoration work was begun.

The building's use as a wedding venue was reinstated, alongside conference facilities and cottage rentals.

This sale did not affect the Fasque and Glen Dye Estate, which is still owned by the Gladstone family

First published in December, 2013.

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