Gladstone's Midlothian Campaigns

What follows is taken from H.C.G. Matthews, ed., The Gladstone Diaries with Cabinet Minutes and Prime-Ministerial Correspondence, Vol. IX, January 1875-December 1880 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986).

The text of the diary entries was copied in full, but the footnotes are ignored; the majority identify Gladstone's correspondents. The abbreviation 'Tel.' means telegram.

The First Midlothian Campaign (Nov-Dec 1879):

24. M.[Dalmeny House, Edinburgh] Set out at 8.45: the journey from Liverpool was really more like a triumphal procession. I had to make short speeches at Carlisle Hawick & Galashiels: very large numbers were assembled & at Edinburgh where we only arrived at a quarter past five, the scene even to the West end of the City was extraordinary, both from the numbers and the enthusiasm, here and there a solitary groan or howl. We drove off to Dalmeny with Ld Rosebery and were received with fireworks & torches. I have never gone through a more extraordinary day. Read Scherer.
25. Tu.Wrote to Mr Clapperton - Mr Piper - Mr Waterston - Mr Ferguson. Worked through the early day on the great mass of matter offering for discussion: Mr Böhme at the same time working on his bust of me. Off at 2.15. Much enthusiasm on the road. Spoke in the Music Hall 1hour. Then to the Liberal rooms to see Sir Jas Watson & Mr Adam. Then to the Council Rooms where I received an Address & spoke in reply. Returned to Dalmeny before seven. Read Scherer. Wrote late at night, against my rules, for Gl. Address. Conversation with Mr Böhme-Ld R.-Ld Dalrymple.
26. Wed.Wrote to Mr Brock-Mr [H. E.] Crum Ewing-Mr Forbes Mackenzie. Read Scherer. Walk with Ld Rosebery. Saw Mr Adam - Mr Douglas. 2.30-8.30. To Dalkeith. Addressed 3000 people 1hour. Then (after tea at provost Mitchell's and scores of introductions) to a 'Ladies' meeting, with Committees also, where presents were given to C. & I spoke again.
27. Th.Wrote to Ld Granville - Made O.Novikoff - Mr J.Moore - Rev. R.H.Smith - Mr J. Inglis - Sir [T.]E.Colebrooke MP - Ld Provost of Perth Tel. - Ld Mayor of London. Read Scherer. Saw Mr Tennant. Mr Böhme worked as before. Off at 12 to West Calder where I spoke I fear 1h. which they say was the time at Edinburgh. The enthusiasm, great along the road, was at the centre positively overwhelming. Returned to a dinner of forty covers: spoke on toast.
28. Fri.Wrote to Mr Mayerowicz - Ld Provost Perth - Mr Stuart Glennie - Mr Anderson - Mr Pryer - Mr Rollo - Mr Bright - A.Allan - W.S. Moir. Sat to a photographer. Drove to Hopetoun with Ld R. by the beautiful shore road: a great home with a soupçon of Vanbrugh. Conversation with Ld R. on the leadership. Received Leith Address & spoke my thanks. A luncheon of 300: made the circuit of the company. Saw Mr Adam (& agreed on the affair of E. Aberdeenshire) - Mr Jenkins respecting Dundee - Mr Richardson (Lib. Address)-Mr [blank] (Edinb. Scot). Read Scherer. Saw Mr Adam - Mr Ward U.S. - W.H.G. (on Secretary) - Ly Grant and others. Read Scherer - 19th Cent. Irish Land.
29. Sat.Wrote to Mr Crossley B.P. - T.W. Snaggel - Mr Bartholomew - Mr Macdougall - Mr Brodie - Mr Godley - Mr Potts - Mr Minchin - Mr Nicolson. 2-7. To Edinburgh: spoke 1hour on Finance to 5000 people or more: then for some 20 or 25 minutes to a wonderful meeting of 20000 at the Waverley market. People were continually handed out over the heads who had fainted and were as if dead.
30. Adv. S.10-5. To Edinb. Cathedral mg & St Giles aft. - Saw the restorations - Iuncheon at Royal Hotel - Tel. to Principal Caird with List of Doctors - conversation with Dr Wallace - Ld Aberdeen. Much conversation with Rosebery. Read Scherer - Cath. Presb. on Religion in Holland.
Dec.1 1879.[Taymouth Castle, Perthshire] Wrote to Mr Taverner Knott - Mr Ouvry - Mr Findlay - R. Corrie (O) - R. Knight - Mr Hirschin - Mrs Montgomery - A.H. Greaves - Dean Stanley - S. Grogan - Sir Jas Watson l. and Tel. After planting five trees, & arranging papers, & setting aside gifts & addresses - both very numerous -for separate packing, off at 1. Reached Taymouth at 6. Short speeches at Inverkeithing & Dunfermline - Two speeches & two drives at Perth: finally a speech at Aberfeldy. The enthusiasm everywhere marvellous seemed to culminate in this warm-hearted little town. We were greeted at T. with the utmost kindness. More gifts, more addresses. Read Hodgson's Turgot.
2. Tu.Wrote to Sir J. Watson. Worked six hours on my Glasgow Address. Saw Mr Corrie - Mr Ramsay - Lady B - Lady Airlie - Ld C. Campbell - Principal Tulloch [of St Andrews]. Read Scherer - Osborn on India.. Drive & walk on Drummond Hill. Killin deputation & Address in morning: spoke in reply.
3. Wed.Wrote to Miss Rose - Sir J. Watson - Eytinge (Tel.) Worked hard on my Glasgow Address: perhaps 6 hours or more. Walk after luncheon: fine bright frost all this time. Mr Campbell sang incomparable comic songs in evg. Conversation with Pr. Tulloch - & others.
4 Th[Glasgow] Wrote to T., Johnstone - Mr Underhill - CJ. Thomson - Mrs Buchanan - J. Morton - Mr Gowland - D. Pringle - Mrs Th. Walked to (near) Aberfeldy. Farewell in a few sentences to the crowd there: & off with many of our party to Glasgow. Fervid crowds at every station. The torchlight procession at Glasgow was a subject for Turner. Large dinner and evening party at good, kind, Sir J . Watson's.
5. Frid.An overpowering day. After a breakfast party, I put my notes in order for the afternoon. At 12, delivered the inaugural Address [as Lord Rector] to 5000. The blue caps as well as the red cheered fervently at the close. Then went to the Academical luncheon, where I spoke. Away at 4. At 5.15 off to St Andrew's Hall. Spoke 1hour to 6500 or 7000. Finally at 9 to the City Hall: spoke again to 3000. Did not God of His mercy wonderfully bear me through?
6.[Dalzell, Motherwell] Wrote to Mr Mitchell - Mr Craig - and Mr Adam. Saw Mr Adam: chiefly on the Liverpool banquet. Off at 11to Dalzell: so pretty. Addresses & speech at Motherwell on the way. The departure from Glasgow was royal. Saw Hamilton Palace in aft. How deeply mournful! Then received the Freedom from Hamilton, & spoke. Large party in aft of Lanarkshire Liberals: & some 24 at dinner. Much interesting conversation with Mr Fraser on family history. Read Scherer. A most friendly & pleasant party here.
7. 2 S. Adv.We drove to Hamilton mg: for prayers & Holy C. - Motherwell Presb. Church in evg. I rather like the older Presb. way. Wrote to six of my correspondents: & got some reading.
8.[Hawarden] Off after breakfast. Great stir all the way. Inevitable speeches at Preston Wigan Warrington Chester besides words elsewhere. At Chester we were met by a torchlight procession of working men, some thousands, with bands: probably 20000 men in the streets. No police visible. Reached Hawarden, amid demonstrations, for dinner.
9. Tu.Rose between 10 &am; 11: nursing my throat. But in aftn I joined Willy in felling a sycamore. Revised my Rectorial Address: made some notes: & sent it off to Mr Murray for publication, with a letter of instructions. Worked further on the revision of my Speeches, & dispatched a portion of the corrected proof to Mr Reid. Wrote also to the Editor of the Scotsman a letter respecting the ends of various threads. Continued my unpacking and work on accumulations. Conversation with W. Read Scherer.

The Second Midlothian Campaign (March-Apr. 1880):

15. M.Wrote to Bp of Exeter - Scotts - Ld Edw. Clinton - Mr Lambault (O) - Squire Judson - S.D.G. Russell - Mr Tanenberg - Sir B. Phillips - Mr Jardine Craig - Mr Boodle - Mr Newsome - W. Paine - M. Uranga BP - J. Miller jun. - Dr A. Clark - Sir C. Wood. Saw Mr Chick - Mr Hamilton - Mr West - Mr Godley - Mr Adam - Ld Rosebery - Lord Wolverton - Ld Cork - Mr Robinson - Dr B. Gibson - Mr Dodson - Mr Childers. Dined at Sir C. Forster's. H of C. 4-8. Spoke on the Probate Duty Bill.
16. Tu.[Dalmeny House, Edinburgh] Wrote to Mr Newton - Mr ... - Scotts. Saw Herbert G. & instructed him as Private Sec. Packing & off at 9.30. Was obliged to address the people at every point (5) before Edinburgh - At York there were I think 6000: very quiet. At Edinburgh the wonderful scene of Nov. was exactly renewed. Reached Dalmeny 8.30 PM. Read Tracts on Mr Cowan - Pr. Consort Vol V - Tourgenieff Terres Vierges. Evening with Mr Reid & Mr Richardson on the arrangements to be made.
17. Wed.Wrote to Mr Madan - Mr Toynbee - Mr Murray - Messrs C. Scribner & Sons - Mr Adam l. & 2 Tel. Drove to Edinburgh. Great & most enthusiastic meeting in the Music Hall. Spoke 1hour: questions &c. followed. Worked up Probate Duty figures. Quiet evg at Dalmeny. Read England under Lord B. Began Pr. Consort Vol. V.
18. Th.Wrote to Mr Hinde Palmer - Rev. Mr Enraght - Lord Dalrymple - Herbert John G. - Mr MacCulloch - Mr Tennant MP - T. Reeves - J. Rankin - Mr Knowles Tel. - Mr Myers WE. Meeting at Corstorphine in Free Kirk. Sp. 1hour. And at Ratho in School: hour. All signs good. And dear dear Herbert is out for Middlesex. God be with him! Read Lefevre on Game Laws - Life of Prince Consort.
19. Fr.Wrote to Mr Macewen - J.W. Burns - Rev. Mr Guthrie - Spottiswoodes - Scotts - Mr Knowles (Tel) - Ld Granville. At 12to Cramond Meeting. Free Kirk full. Spoke some 20 ... 25 min. At 3to Dalkeith. Great & enthusiastic meeting. Spoke 1 h. 20 or 25 min. Tea at Provost Mitchell's and back to D. at 7.15 special. Saw Ld Young - Rev. Mr White - Mr Nicolson cum Mr ... Read Th. Martin Vol V. - Corrected and dispatched proofs of Religion Achaian and Semitic.
20. Sat.Wrote to Mr Rippin (Tel) - Mr Atkinson - W. Wallace - Rev. Mr Hutchinson - A.E. West - Mr Jas Barr - Mr Davies - Mr Mitchison. Travelled 40 miles & delivered three speeches of 45 or 50 min each at Juniper Green, Colinton (Balerno) and Mid Calder. Tea at Rev. Mr Scotts U.P. - Enthusiasm unabated. Read Pr. Consort. Large party at Dalmeny. Saw Mr Clow (Glasgow U.) - Dr Donaldson - Mr Pillan (?) - Lady Hopetoun - Dr Wallace - and others.
21. Palm S.Down to Edinb. Cathedral. Service with H.C. 11-1. Free St George's in aft. - Walked out 7 m with Lord Rosebery, & much conversation. Wrote to Mr Macdowall - Mr P. Stanhope - Mr S. Morley. Large party at Dalmeny. Saw Dr [James] Donaldson - Mr Hoggl- Mr Reid - Mr Playfair and Lady R. on the Jews. Read Wylie on Religion - Thos a Kempis.
22. M.Wrote to Mr West (further) - Mr Jerningham - Mr Macinnes - Herbert J.G. - D. Brown - Mr M'Kenzie. To Edinb. (after working as usual on my papers) at 1.15. & short complimentary Address at the Liberal Club. Then to George St & on to the City Election Committee: short Speech. Then by train to Gilmerton: spoke 45 or 50 min then, after tea, to Loanhead, & after more tea, spoke again for some time on Russian aggrandisement. Everywhere the greatest enthusiasm. Mr ... gave me interesting details about Magyar and Bohemian Students. Back to Dalmeny at 7.20. Saw Dr Walter Smith - Prof. [H] Maine - Col. Gillon. Read Engl. under Lord B. - Life of Prince Consort.
23. Tu.Wrote to Mr Bryce (2) - Rev. Sharman (Plymouth) Tel. - Mr Vyvyan (Bridgnorth) - Mr Acton (Nottm) Tel. - T.T. Hayes - RJ. Lindsay - J.M. Wright - Dr Moxey - W.H.G. - Mr Officer - Miss Bird - Mr Adam - G. Brown. Off at 2.10 for Gilmerton: spoke there for 50 min. Then to Loanhead. Spoke over an hour. Tea at Free Manse & drive 10 m. to Rosebery. Enthusiasm everywhere the same. Saw Rev. Mr Goalen - so fresh! - Lord Reay - Mr Mackie - Mr Macfie - & others. Evening with Lord R. & much conversation. Read War of Independence - Life of Prince Consort.
24. Wed.[Edinburgh] Wrote to Herbert J.G. - Mr Adam MP - Mr Macgeagh - Mr Atkinson - Sir J. Sinclair - Ed. Daily News - Mr Cohen QC - Mr Little (O) - J. Lang - W. Graham - Mr Brogden - O. Morgan - Mr Wylie - Mr Williams - Mr Hardy Coulson - J.W. Maclaren. Saw Mr Inglis. Worked hard till 4.30. Off at 5 to Penycuick. At 7 spoke for a few minutes outside (reluctantly, but to recommend a fair hearing for all) and 1hour in the P[enicuik] Kirk. Tea at the Manse. Got out of train in Edinburgh at ten. Found my stomach had struck work & passed an uneasy night. Read Northcote on Afghanistan - Life of P. Consort - and Tracts.
25. Th.Rose for service at the Cathedral & H.C. 11-12: but went to bed afterwards. Wrote to Dr Wilton - J. Kavanaugh - and ... Tel. Read Life of Pr. Consort - War of Independence - Thomas a Kempis. Saw Ld Rosebery.
26. Good Friday.Not able to go out: but doing well. Read my books in bed. Also produced a few verses. Read Life of P. Consort - War of Independence - Lowe on the late Parlt. Saw Ld Rosebery. Wrote to Duke of Argyll - Lord Granville - Master W. Brown - Mr Cawston - Mr Bristowe - Mr Tanenhay? - Mr Donaldson - Mr Bathgate - Mr Commissioner Kerr - E. Allen - W.A. Stevens - S. Chick (2) - Mr Godley - W.E. Bruce - S. Jones - Mr Foster.
27. Sat.Wrote to Mr Barker - Mr Kitson Tel. - Mr Eldred Tel. - A.L. M'Clure - Jos. Newton - Lock & Whitfield - A.E. West - Dowager Dss Somerset Tel. - Mr Jamieson - Sir Th. Martin (draft) - Mr Miller - Jas Allan - Rich. Lees - J.H. Drake - Mr Cox - J. Craig. Saw Ld Young - Ld Shand - Ld Rosebery - Mr Richardson - Mr Stilly - Rev. Mr Sandford. Finished Vol. V of P. Consort. Much disgusted with p.148. Read also 'A Church Dignitary'. Service at Cathedral 11 A.M. and St John's 5. P.M.
28. Easter Sunday[Dalmeny] H. Commn 9 AM. Cathedral. Morning service St Johns 11 AM. Attended West Kirk aftn. Wrote to Walter L. Gladstone - C.W. Bayley - Mr Sturrock (O) - J.A. Godley - B. Taylor. Saw Ld Moncreiff - Ld Young - Mr Rollo. Much conversation with Ld R. on Dr Macgregor's Sermon, which was remarkable but covered I thought too wide a field. Read St Hilaire Bouddhisme - Roman Cathm & America - Thos a Kempis. Much could I have wished a time of more tranquility and recollection. - Back to Dalmeny.
29. Easter M.Wrote to Solicitor General - Messrs Bacon (O) - Rev Mr MacColl - Mrs Lee - Ed. Scotsman - D. Grant - Mr Halliburton. Presided at a luncheon banquet of 40 or 50 conveners: & spoke. Read many political Tracts - Ld Bath on Bulgaria - Cromb's Essay - How Ben behaved himself - T. a Kempis. Saw Mr Macfie - Mr GIendinning - Mr Brown (Newhall) - Mr Richardson - Mr Melvin - and others. Helen came.
30. Tu.[Laidlawstiel, Galashiels] Wrote to Miss Lambert (O) - Mr MacCartney - Mr Ogilvy - Ld Rosebery (Tel.) - Mr Palmer - Mr Burton - Mr Puseley - B. Taylor Tel. Read English Fragments - Ld Reay on French Land Law. Off at 12 by carriage & train. Spoke at Peebles - Innerleithen, reached Stow by Laidlaw Stiel at 4. Spoke 1 h. 20 m. to near 4000. High tide of enthusiasm. Slept at Laidlaw Stiel. Saw Sir D. Wedderburn - Mr Tennant - Ld Reay - Rev. Mr Robertson.

The beginning of the Elections. May God from heaven guide every one of them: and prosper or abase and baffle us for His glory: lift us up, or trample us down, according as we are promoting or opposing what He knows to be the cause of Truth, Liberty, and Justice.

31. Wed.[Edinburgh] Wrote to Mr H. Evans (Tel) - Mr E.R. Evans - Mr Theodore Martin K.C.B. - Mr W.H. James - Mr Geo Hens - Draft letter to the Electors - M. Gennadios. Off at about 11 for Thornilee and Edinburgh after further conversation with Lord Reay. At Edinburgh went through the Corn Exchange: first escaping from a tail through the purlieus of the Scotsman Office. Then to the Committee Meeting |[p.497]| at Lib. Club, where I spoke on the Election & on Lord Grey. Then worked in George St until dinner time. Public dinner in the Music Hall. Good speaking. Spoke twice. But the Polls proved the greatest interest. By 11 P.M. the doom of the Govt came in view & I alluded cautiously to it. Slept in Ed[inburgh].
Thursd. Ap. One 1880. [Dalmeny] Wrote to Herbert J.G. - Sir W.R. Farquhar - Mr J. M'Lean - Mr B.A. Heywood - Dr Bowie - Electors of Midlothian (Circ) - Marquess of Bath - Mr Gill Tel. - Viscount Bury - Mr Gowan - Mr W. Armstrong - Mr West - Dean of Windsor - Liberals of Leeds (Tel.) Read Monmouth. Drove by Eskdale & Dalkeith Gate to Bonnyrigg, where I spoke near an hour, amidst the usual manifestations. We drove past the Buccleuch Gate which I last saw as a guest at Dalkeith thirty years ago. Such changes!
2. Fr.Wrote to Walter Gladstone - .Sir W.R. Farquhar - Mr J. Morley - Mr Buchanan - Dr Bowie - Sir D. Marjoribanks - Rev. Mr Smith - Mr W.W. Hunter - Ld Halifax. Went by carriage & rail to West Calder. Spoke 1 h. 25 m, amidst the old enthusiasm. Great hospitality of the U.P. Manse. Home about seven. Read England under Lord B. And so ends the second series of the speeches in which I have hammered with all my little might at the fabric of the present Tory power.
3. Sat.Wrote to Sir Thos G. - Solicitor General - Ld Wolverton - A.W. Gordon - Mr Wilkinson - Sec. Hampstead Lib. Committee - Mrs Russell - Prof. Hodgson - Mr Marshall - Dr Kirk - Mr Havelock - J. Latey - Mr Keeling - Mr Taylor (O) - M. Victor Oger. Cut down a Spanish chestnut in the Dalmeny Park: by order. Party at Dalmeny in evg. The day was quiet: but my papers & Ietters, & the incoming news made it busy. It seemed as if the arm of the Lord had bared itself for a work He has made His own.
4. 1 S.East. St John's Edinb. and H.C. mg. Free St George's aft. Wrote to Editor Northern Advr - Ed. Scotsman - Walter L.G. - Mr Laporte BP. - Mr Jenkins - Mr Jas Thomson - Mr Barclay. Saw Mr Cooper - Ld Young - Ld Rosebery. Read Lee's Liturgical Offices - Thos a Kempis. Sir D. Macnee told more of his stories. A lull in Election news: but the reflections on what has past are overpowering.
5. M.Wrote to Mr Cool Tel. - W.L. Gladstone Tel. - Accrington Committee Tel. - Mayor of Leeds - Mrs May, or Ankey - W. Lawrence - W.H. Gladstone - Lord Wolverton - Mr Howard - Mr Guild - Mr Creyke MP - Mr Barran MP - F. Söhns - J.R. Godley - Mons. A. Gigot - Mr Fawcett MP - Rev. [J.]E. Gladstone - F. Bremner - T. Knott - C. Russell - J.C. Swan - Mr Woolsey - Mr Macewan (O). Drove into Edinburgh about four. Saw Mrs Russell - Mr Butti - Mr Bremner - Mr Reid - Youngs - Breadalbanes. At 7.20 Mr Reid brought the figures of the poll G[ladstone] 1579, D[alkeith] 1368: Quite satisfactory. Soon after, 15000 people being gathered in George St I spoke very shortly from the windows & Rosebery followed, excellently well. Home about ten. Wonderful, & nothing less, has been the disposing guiding hand of God in all this matter. Finished England under Lord B. Wrote my address of thanks.
6. Tu.[In train] Wrote to Mr Cremer Tel. - Mr Chipham (Tel) Leicester - Herbert J.G. - Miss Hilson (O) - Ed. Scotsman - Mr Neale (O) - S. Cartmell - Mr Dicks (O) - Mr Kitson Tel. - Mr Schutz - Lib. Comm. Droitwich Tel. - Mr Gibson Carmichael - Mr Childers. A heavy day with post, incessant Telegrams, and preparations for departure. We drove however to Linlithgow, saw the beautiful Church & fine old castle; & I made a short non-polemical speech to the people. Saw Mr Thomson - (a distant cousin). Careful concealment of the plans of departure, until well on in the evening. Left this most hospitable of all houses at 8.30 and got into the 9.25 escaping by secrecy all demonstration except from some 200 who seemed to gather on the instant. Travelled all night & had time to ruminate on the great hand of God so evidently displayed.
7. Wed.[Hawarden] After 3 hours of successful sleep amidst frightful unearthly noises at Warrington we went off to Chester and Hawarden, saluted enthusiastically but escaping all crowds. Hawarden was preparing to decorate and make a festival but we got it postponed for Herbert's entry tomorrow. Set to work at once on a mass of letters & papers. Wrote to Electors of Leeds - Mr Jas Kitson and draft - Mr E. Hussy - Viscount Bury (2) - Editor of Echo - Mr O.R. Griffiths - Messrs Paterson - Mr Geo. Howard - Messrs Bickers - Sec. Glasgow Univ Lib. Club - Mr D. Sutherland - Ld Granville - Rev. D. Macgregor. The day occupied with papers, letters, and Telegrams: and reading my Vatican Tracts.
8. Th.Ch. 8AM. Wrote to Mr Reed Edinb. Tel. - Mr Johnson (Devon) Tel. - Mr Beal Tel. - Ld Wolverton - Mr Jas. Kitson - Rev. J J. Goadby - W.M. Murray - W. Rathbone - Ed. Exeter Gazette - Sir T. Acland MP - Mr Ralph Richardson - Mr Earp Tel. - Lord Bury - Mr Erldwick - Mr Whitworth - Mr Keeling - Rev. J. Hopkins - Mr Townshend - G. Harrison. About one Herbert entered in triumph. We were there and could not but be much moved. He made a capital .speech to the people. I followed him. We considered the difficult case of Leeds; and I was much perplexed with the Question of the London entry. The triumph grows & grows: to God be the praise.

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