Colonel James Gardiner

1687 - 1745

Soldier. Born at Carriden (Falkirk) and educated in Linlithgow, Gardiner joined the army at the age of fourteen and was commissioned as an Ensign. He fought bravely with the Duke of Marlborough's army against the French at the Battle of Ramillies (1706), where he was wounded and taken prisoner. He subsequently served in different Dragoon regiments. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel (1730) and Colonel (1743).

Gardiner fought under General Sir John Cope at the disastrous engagement with the Jacobites at Prestonpans (21st September, 1745). He was killed when his Dragoons fled the field when attacked by the Jacobite army. He had bravely tried to rally his troops, but was brought down by the cuts of the Highlander's claymores.

In his youth, a reckless and profligate rake, Gardiner became an enthusiastic and devout religious convert following a vision in 1719. His biography was written by the celebrated English hymn-writer Philip Doddridge as Some Remarkable Passages in the Life of Col. James Gardiner (1747) and he also figures in Sir Walter Scott's historical novel Waverley.

Gardiner was buried in the kirkyard of Tranent Parish Church. He is remembered by a sizeable memorial next to his former home at Bankton House (Prestonpans) and a more modest tablet at Carriden.

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