The surname of GLADSTONE was originally from Gledstanes, Lanarkshire, now the name of a farm in the Upper Ward of Clydesdale. Earliest records of the name mention Herbert de Gledstan, who took the oath of fealty to Edward I in 1296. William de Gledstones witnessed a charter in 1354. The first people in Scotland to acquire fixed surnames were the nobles and great landowners, who called themselves, or were called by others, after the lands they possessed. Surnames originating in this way are known as territorial. Formerly lords of baronies and regalities and farmers were inclined to magnify their importance and to sign letters and documents with the names of their baronies and farms instead of their Christian names and surnames. The abuse of this style of speech and writing was carried so far that an Act was passed in the Scots parliament in 1672 forbidding the practice and declaring that it was allowed only to noblemen and bishops to subscribe by their titles. The most famous of the name was William Ewart GLADSTONE (1809-98) the British Liberal Statesman; Prime Minister 1868-74. His son Herbert John (1854-1930) was the English statesman. He was the Liberal MP for Leeds (188-1910) and was criticized for 'revealing' his father's intentions as to the Irish question. He became Liberal chief whip in 1899, home secretary from 1905 until 1910. He published his political reminiscenses 'After Thirty Years' in 1928. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Surnames as we recognise them today are believed to have been introduced by the Normans after the Invasion of 1066. The first mention of such names appears in the Domesday Book and they were progressively adopted between the 11th and 15th centuries. It was the nobles and upper classes who first assumed a second name, setting them apart from the common people who continued to use only the single name given to them at birth. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that is became common practice to use a secondary name, originally a name reflecting the place of birth, a nickname, an occupational name or a baptismal name which had been passed on from a parent to the child, as an additional means of identification.
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