James Gardiner (British Army officer)

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Colonel James Gardiner (11 January 1688 – 21 September 1745) was a Scottish soldier who fought in the British Army, including during the 1745 Jacobite rising.[1]

File:Tranent parish church.JPG
Tranent Church, burial place of Colonel Gardiner

He was born at Carriden, educated in Linlithgow, and joined the army at the age of fourteen. He served with distinction in several battles and was promoted through the ranks to Colonel in 1743.[2]

Gardiner was known as a rake in his youth, but had a religious experience in 1719 and became a devout convert. In 1726 he married Frances Erskine, daughter to the ninth Earl of Buchan; five of their thirteen children survived to adulthood.

During the Battle of Ramillies he was shot through the mouth and nearly killed by a French soldier who had returned to plunder the dead. However, Gardiner was spared after being mistaken for a French soldier.[3]

At the Battle of Prestonpans he was mortally wounded by the Highlanders after his dragoons had fled the field and he was attempting to rally some footsoldiers. He received a mortal blow whilst wounded on the ground and was stripped to the waist as his possessions were looted by the Highlanders. After the battle Gardiner was carried from the field by a servant to nearby Tranent where he soon died. By a quirk of fate Gardiner lived close to the battlefield in Bankton House.

File:Gardiner's Monument and Bankton House. Prestonpans - geograph.org.uk - 672181.jpg
Monument to Col. Gardiner at Prestonpans, with Bankton House in the background


An influential biography was written by Philip Doddridge. He is commemorated locally with a memorial and with a plaque on Bankton House. The play, Colonel Gardiner: Vice and Virtue, written by playwright Andrew Dallmeyer was performed as part of Prestonpans' 2009 Homecoming celebrations.[4]


  1. "Col. James Gardiner". http://www.clanmacfarlanegenealogy.info. External link in |journal= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Significant Scots James Gardiner". http://www.electricscotland.com. External link in |journal= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Colonel James Gardiner - Roger Fay". http://www.evangelical-times.org. August 1998. External link in |journal= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Rudden, Liam (24 July 2009). "Vice and virtue of Gardiner". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 1 March 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links