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

Tranent Church, burial place of Colonel Gardiner

He was born at Carriden and 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.

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 has returned to plunder the dead. He was however spared after being mistaken for a French soldier.

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 he was looted by the highlanders. Gardiner was carried from the field by a servant after the battle to nearby Tranent where he soon died. By a quirk of fate Gardiner lived close to the battlefield in Bankton House.

Monumment 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.

External links

This article incorporates text from the public domain 1907 edition of The Nuttall Encyclopædia.



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