Mrs W.L. Gledstone

no-picture-square3Margaret Eadie, Mrs William Liddell Gledstone, née Mason, 68, (1864-1947) was moderately active in Liberal Party circles, lived in Guildford, Surrey with her husband and their only child, Margaret, and often other members of the Mason family. That’s it, so far except for…..

puzzle-piece2-50 We have one very intriguing puzzle to solve: in 1911 a Mrs Martha Elizabeth Whitehead née Gledstone from Keighley, Yorkshire, emigrated to Milwaukee, where her husband was a foreman in the Falk Company, gear manufacturers, an industry delivering the critical ingredients for industry just as silicon chips deliver the essentials for today’s business. He, also from Keighley, had become US naturalised in 1910. Her sister Mary also joined them. So far there doesn’t seem to be a family relationship with William Liddle Gledstone, born in Sheffield, more than 50 miles from Keighley, whose father was a Congregational Minister from Northumberland, but could there be a link with Lady Butterfield, the Milwaukee educated chatelaine of the castle at Keighley, seated upon the same table? A rather interesting coincidence, n’est çe pas?  At least a topic of conversation.

Seated Beside…

Perhaps one family member, let us say her brother John M. Mason and after that, hard to say. I would like to think the family intermingled with the rest of the party.

What’s On Her Mind?

We know she had met at least two of the guests the previous year (Kate Isitt of the Manchester Guardian, and Mrs Arnold Lupton) and this was another opportunity to network. She may well have been helping her daughter on the organisational side.

Margaret’s Story So Far

Margaret Eadie Mason was born on 16th May 1864 to Martha Lamb Marshall and Stephen Mason MP.[1] Margaret and William Liddle Gledstone were married by her father on 14th July 1897, at St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Allen Street, South Kensington.[2] They had two daughters, Miss Margaret Gledstone and Florence Marshall Beryl Gledstone (1910-1918), the latter dying young (the Marshall being a nod to the Marshall names in the Mason family).  We do have a rather splendid photograph of William Liddle Gledstone and his siblings, though which he is I do not know.

William Liddle Gledstone and his siblings, precise identities unknown
William Liddle Gledstone and his siblings, and their father (I assume standing left), precise identities unknown. William was the second of the four sons. Mary Louisa is the tallest of the two sisters here.[3]
So far we know little more, save that she attended the Liberal Social Council in July 1932 – an at-home with Lady Violet Bonham Carter, with fellow Rhondda dinner guests Miss Isitt (Table 8) and Mrs Arnold Lupton (Table 15) present (as well as her omnipresent sister-in-law Mrs D. M. Mason).[4] On 7th May 1932 the Gledstones’ garden at Peerie Hame, Guildown, Guildford was open to the public, so perhaps she was a keen horticulturalist.[5]

What Margaret Did Next

Apart from another attendance at the Liberal Social Council, in May 1939, and the Peerie Hame gardens being opened in 1934, we know little more of Margaret’s life.[6] On the 9th June 1939 she and her husband attended the funeral of former Liberal MP Hector Morison, a Surrey man. Margaret died on 27th September 1947, in Surrey, aged 83.[7] Her husband, William, died on 18th March 1963, in Farnham, Surrey.

puzzle-piece2-50Can you tell us more about Margaret?


[1] Sourced from a tree on, original source as yet unknown. .

[2] Scotland Selected Births and Baptisms, accessed by subscription 12.1.2018.

[3] The Times, 17.7.1897, p1

[4] The Times, 7.9.1932

[5 The Surrey Advertiser, 7.5.1932

[6] The Times, 18.5.1939, p19

[7] The Times, 27.9.1947, p1

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