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MR. GLADSTONE'S ANCESTORS.

THE GLEDSTANES OF GLEDSTANES AND COKLAW:

A CHAPTER IN OLD SCOTTISH STORY.

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IE small, yet ancient and picturesque town of Biggar lies in the

Upper Ward of Lanarkshire. It is some three miles eastward from the main valley of the Clyde. But it has a stream of its ownthe Biggar Burn-which afterwards rises to the dignity of the Biggar Water; and to the west and south of the town, Tinto and Culter Fell throw grand shadows, towards the afternoon, over the otherwise flat and uninteresting haughs. Biggar has grown up through the centuries under the protection of the Lords Fleming, and their towers of Boghall. In itself and its surroundings it has many interesting associations with old story. Near it is Biggar Moss, where, as Blind Harry tells us in a picturesque way, Wallace put to rout 'the reyffar King,' as he scornfully and defiantly called him,--the hated Edward. We need not meanwhile disturb the old tradition. There is the ancient Pass of Corscryne by which the broken English host fled southwards to Birkhill and the Solway. The faces of old warriors and the scenes of old battles are about us in a way tempting us to tarry over the past. But we have no time to-day for this.

It is the 2nd of January, 1880; the day is short, the sky is grey, and we have a long walk before us. So, turning our back on the railway station and the heights of Culter Fell and Cardon, we make our way northwards for the line of the Biggar Burn; we pass through the head of the town and up the hill by the burn-side. We pause but for a moment by the wall of the ancient church, with its quaint Gothic exterior and its pointed Romanesque windows. It dates from the turmoil of the period immediately before the Reformation, and it recalls the earnest but shortsighted and fruitless efforts of the Lords Fleming to arrest the upbreaking of the ancient faith by finely wrought building and new ecclesiastical endowments. For many more centuries than the present Church has stood, the townsfolk and burgesses of Biggar have been laid in the surrounding churchyard. And in it there is a spot set apart to a name in which we take an interest, and into whose history we are now inquiring. There we find lying several generations of men who bore the name of Gledstanes, Gladstones, and finally Gladstone. The first of the name was laid in Biggar churchyard in 1756. Before that period the Gledstanes had been buried in the churchyard of Liberton, then a moorland parish to the north of Biggar. 'I cannot do that in a moment. You know what evidence is, a hundred times as well as I do. And in this cold room you must not stop. Sir Duncan, I am not a coddler, any more than you are. And I do not presume to dictate to you. But I am as resolute a man as yourself. And I refuse to go further with this subject until you are thoroughly warmed and refreshed.'

· Mordacks, you shall have your way,' said his visitor, after a heavy frown, which produced no effect upon the factor; you are as kind-hearted as you are shrewd. Tell me, once more, what your conviction is; and I will wait for your reasons, till— till you are ready.

* Then, sir, my settled conviction is, that your son is purely innocent of this crime; and that we shall be able to establish that.

• God bless you for thinking so, my dear friend. I can bear a great deal; and I would do my duty. But I did love that boy's mother so.

The general factor always understood his business; and he knew that no part of it compelled him now to keep watch upon the eyes of a stern proud man.

'Sir, I am your agent, and I magnify mine office,' he said, as he took up his hat to go forth. One branch of my duty is to fettle your horse ; and in Flamborough they fettle them on stale fish.' Mr. Mordacks strode, with a military tramp, and a loud shout for the landlord, who had finished his joke by this time, and was paying the penalties of reaction. "Gil Beilby, thoo'st nobbut a fondhead, " he was saying to himself. Thoo mun hev thy lahtel jawk, thof it crack’th thy own pure back. For he thought that he was driving two great customers away, by the flashing independence of too brilliant a mind; and many clever people of his native place had told him so. Make a roaring fire in that room,' said Mordacks.

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(To be continued.)

MR. GLADSTONE'S ANCESTORS.

THE GLEDSTANES OF GLEDSTANES AND COKLAW:

A CHAPTER IN OLD SCOTTISH STORY.

THE

JHE small, yet ancient and picturesque town of Biggar lies in the

Upper Ward of Lanarkshire. It is some three miles eastward from the main valley of the Clyde. But it has a stream of its own the Biggar Burn—which afterwards rises to the dignity of the Biggar Water; and to the west and south of the town, Tinto and Culter Fell throw grand shadows, towards the afternoon, over the otherwise flat and uninteresting haughs. Biggar has grown up through the centuries under the protection of the Lords Fleming, and their towers of Boghall. In itself and its surroundings it has many interesting associations with old story. Near it is Biggar Moss, where, as Blind Harry tells us in a picturesque way, Wallace put to rout the reyffar King,' as he scornfully and defiantly called him,—the hated Edward. We need not meanwhile disturb the old tradition. There is the ancient Pass of Corscryne by which the broken English host fled southwards to Birkhill and the Solway. The faces of old warriors and the scenes of old battles are about us in a way tempting us to tarry over the past. But we have no time to-day for this. It is the 2nd of January, 1880; the day is short, the sky is grey, and we have a long walk before us. So, turning our back on the railway station and the heights of Culter Fell and Cardon, we make our way northwards for the line of the Biggar Burn; we pass through the head of the town and up the hill by the burn-side. We pause but for a moment by the wall of the ancient church, with its quaint Gothic exterior and its pointed Romanesque windows. It dates from the turmoil of the period immediately before the Reformation, and it recalls the earnest but shortsighted and fruitless efforts of the Lords Fleming to arrest the upbreaking of the ancient faith by finely wrought building and new ecclesiastical endowments. For many more centuries than the present Church has stood, the townsfolk and burgesses of Biggar have been laid in the surrounding churchyard. And in it there is a spot set apart to a name in which we take an interest, and into whose history we are now inquiring. There we find lying several generations of men who bore the name of Gledstanes, Gladstones, and finally Gladstone. The first of the name was laid in Biggar churchyard in 1756. Before that period the Gledstanes had been buried in the churchyard of Liberton, then a moorland parish to the north of Biggar. the family. When they buried in Liberton, they were laid there as the lairds of The Gledstanes—as Gledstades of that Ilk-and latterly as the lairds of Arthurshiel in the same parish, and they were consigned with all the reverence of privacy to their own aisle. But since 1756, they have been laid in Biggar churchyard simply as honest tradesmen and burgesses of the town are laid-in the picce of ground set apart for them among their neighbours and equals in the daily life of the place. The men whose dust lies here thus belong to a family to which a great interest attaches, not only from the striking vicissitudes of fortune which it has undergone, but also for the part which its members have played in local, especially Border story, for its restoration in our times to its original landed position, above all for the power which one of its members in our own day has had and still has in moulding the policy and the destinies of the British nation. For the great-grandson of the Gladstones who was first laid in Biggar churchyard is the statesman and scholarWilliam Ewart Gladstone.

Let us go on now to see the original seat of this ancient and stalwart line, and let us look for a little at the story of the race. We leave the churchyard to the right and proceed northwards, following for the most part the line of the Biggar Burn. We leave CambusWallace, and go on through the Carwood. Still ascending, we come to the pastoral uplands of Muirlee. We go on past Castlelochy, and then reach the Bell Craig, 1,005 feet above the sea. Here the road descends, passes across a streamlet, and on the rising knowes on the opposite side we first see the object of our walk and interest—the two Gledstanes, Wester and Easter. It was on that knowe lying below us, known as Easter Gledstanes, that the family named of that Ilk had its original seat; it was there they lived in very early times and for several generations, and it was from that spot they came forth to add to the deeds—many of them valiant, some of them dark enough-of Border story.

Looking down and around from the Bell Craig, let us note the surroundings of The Gledstanes. In the small valley on this side a streamlet or syke makes its way as a feeder to a burn which flows northward to the valley of the South Medwyn now before us, and joins it ere it fuses with the North Medwyn, and the united stream makes its way to the Clyde. This burn has its source in a long hill to our right, which slopes upwards to the north, rises to a height of more than 1,000 feet, and is named Coklaw. The burn is the Ghyll Burn, showing that the Scandinavians, who left a good sprinkling of their names along the head-waters of the Tweed and the Clyde, reached as far as the valley of the Medwyn and its tributary glens.

The surrounding outlook over earth and sky is of the widest and finest kind—thoroughly characteristic of a Lowland, even a Border landscape. There is no far prospect to the west ; only the Bell

of Scotland, with the hardiest and the cheapest firs-monotonous and crowded. But to the east nature is pure, intact, and grand. The Black Mount, heather-covered to the top, and surrounded by two or three heights, rises to about 1,700 feet-à massive and shapely hill. Boreland Hill is to the north ; the Medwyn Water flanks it in that direction with its pastoral and solitary valley; and on the other side of the stream Dunsyre Hill, with its white pointed top, gives a distinct and picturesque impression in relief. Other lower hills flow along the north side of the valley of the Medwyn, accompany it, and sink with it, as it tends to its fall in the haugh of the Clyde. The plough has now told on the knowes and valleys, and the natural pasture lands only recover their verdure after being torn up, sown, and cropped ; but there is still a distinctive pastoral feeling in the region. The sheep dot the knowes, and in the olden time, and not very long ago, these heights of the Gledstanes and Coklaw would have seemed a typical specimen of the secluded and pathetic uplands which form the true heart of the Border Land of Scotland. But we make a slight descent, cross the valley, and we are at the Gledstanes. And what are the Gledstanes now ? Wester Gledstanes, which stands a few hundred yards from Easter Gledstanes, is an old abandoned farm-house, with a line of outhouses and cottages adjoining. Easter Gledstanes is a new farm-house with good capacious byres, on the best principles for rearing and fattening cattle suggesting modern markets and their demands. Both farms are now the property of the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge; and the directors are obviously careful of the farmer and the knout. But there is no mistaking the old fashion of the surroundings. There is the avenue which led to the castle, and of which one side at least retains its grand old trees—chiefly ashes, as fine as are to be seen anywhere in the country. There are lines of green mounds marking the boundaries of parks or squares, skirted also by stately trees-elms and planes, as well as ashes. They are about nine hundred feet above sea level, yet rise magnificently to the heavens. The ancient castle or peel-tower which stood in a square of trees in front of the modern farm-house has wholly disappeared. Only its green mounds remain, facing the small burn which, as was wont, determined its site. But recently was the last or ground arched roof of the tower cleared away; and so fast were its stones knit together by the old mortar, that two or three charges of dynamite were required to blast it into pieces-an application of the discoveries of modern science for which of course we ought to be duly thankful Its various coloured stones— telling of old volcanic forces in the Pentlands and regions immediately to the south-now make a curious and picturesque mosaic in the ox-stalls required by modern farming wants. But let us be just to the destroyers, or rather, I believe, to the architect acting under their instructions. The old tower had for a lintel above a window or doorway—I am not sure which-a curious

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