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Significant Scots
James Gardiner


GARDINER, JAMES, a distinguished military officer, and Christian hero, was born at Carriden in Linlithgowshire, January 11, 1688. Of this remarkable person we shall abridge the pleasing and popular memoir, written by Dr Dodridge, adding each additional particulars as have fallen under our observation in other sources of intelligence.

Colonel Gardiner was the son of captain Patrick Gardiner, of the family of Torwood-head, by Mrs. Mary Hodge, of the family of Gladsmuir. The captain, who was master of a handsome estate, served many years in the army of king William and queen Anne, and died abroad with the British forces in Germany, shortly after the battle of Hochstet, through the fatigues he underwent in the duties of that celebrated campaign. He had a company in the regiment of foot once commanded by colonel Hodge, his brother-in-law, who was slain at the head of that regiment, at the battle of Steinkirk, 1692.

Mrs. Gardiner, the colonel’s mother, was a lady of a very valuable character; but it pleased God to exercise her with very uncommon trials; for she not only lost her husband and her brother in the service of their country, but also her eldest son, Mr Robert Gardiner, on the day which completed the 16th year of his age, at the siege of Namur in 1695.

She took care to instruct her second son, the subject of this memoir, at a very early period of his life in the principles of Christianity. He was also trained up in human literature at the school of Linlithgow, where he made a very considerable progress in the languages. Could his mother, or a very religious aunt, of whose good instructions and exhortations he often spoke with pleasure, have prevailed, he would not have thought of a military life. But it suited his taste; and the ardour of his spirit, animated by the persuasions of a friend who greatly urged it, was not to be restrained. Nor will the reader wonder, that thus excited and supported, it easily overbore their tender remonstrances, when he knows, that this lively youth fought three duels before he attained to the stature of a man; in one of which, when he was but eight years old, he received from a boy much older than himself, a wound in his right cheek, the scar of which was always very apparent. The false sense of honour which instigated him to it, might seem indeed something excusable in those unripened years, and considering the profession of his father, brother, and uncle; but he was often heard to mention this rashness with that regret, which the reflection would naturally give to so wise and good a man in the maturity of life.

He served first as a cadet, which must have been very early; and when at fourteen years old, he bore an ensign’s commission in a Scots regiment in the Dutch service; in which he continued till the year 1702, when he received an ensign’s commission from queen Anne, which he bore in the battle of Ramillies, being then in the nineteenth year of his age. In this memorable action, which was fought May 23, 1706, our young officer was of a party in a forlorn hope, commanded to dispossess the French of the church-yard at Ramillies, where a considerable number of them were posted to remarkable advantage. They succeeded much better than was expected; and it may well be supposed, that Mr Gardiner, who had before been in several encounters, and had the view of making his fortune, to animate the natural intrepidity of his spirit, was glad of such an opportunity of signalizing himself. Accordingly, he had planted his colours on an advanced ground; and while he was calling to his men, he received a shot into his mouth; which, without beating out any of his teeth, or touching the fore part of his tongue, went through his neck, and came out about an inch and a half on the left side of the vertebra. Not feeling at first the pain of the stroke, he wondered what was become of the ball, and in the wildness of his surprise, began to suspect he had swallowed it; but dropping soon after, he traced the passage of it by his finger, when he could discover it no other way. This accident happened about five or six in the evening; and the army pursuing its advantages against the French, without ever regarding the wounded, (which was the duke of Marlborough’s constant method,) the young officer lay all night in the field, agitated, as may well be supposed, with a great variety of thoughts. When he reflected upon the circumstances of his wound, that a ball should, as he then conceived it, go through his head without killing him, he thought God had preserved him by miracle; and therefore assuredly concluded, that he should live, abandoned and desperate as his state seemed to be. His mind, at the same time, was taken up with contrivances to secure his gold, of which he had a good deal about him; and he had recourse to a very odd expedient, which proved successful. Expecting to be stripped, he first took out a handful of that clotted gore, of which he was frequently obliged to clear his mouth, or he would have been choked; and putting it into his left hand, he took out his money, (about 19 pistoles,) and shutting his hand, and besmearing the back part of it with blood, he kept it in this position till the blood dried in such a manner, that his hand could not easily fall open, though any sudden surprise should happen, in which he might lose the presence of mind which that concealment otherwise would have required.

In the morning the French, who were masters of that spot, though their forces were defeated at some distance, came to plunder the slain; and seeing him to appearance almost expiring, one of them was just applying a sword to his breast, to destroy the little remainder of life; when, in the critical moment, a Cordelier, who attended the plunderers, interposed, taking him by his dress for a Frenchman; and said, "Do not kill that poor child." Our young soldier heard all that passed, though he was not able to speak one word; and, opening his eyes, made a sign for something to drink. They gave him a sup of some spirituous liquor, which happened to be at hand; by which he said he found a more sensible refreshment than he could remember from any thing he had tasted either before or since. He was afterwards carried by the French to a convent in the neighbourhood, and, cured by the benevolent lady-abbess in the course of a few months. His protectress called him her son, and treated him with all the affection and care of a mother; and he always declared, that every thing which he saw within these walls, was conducted with the strictest decency and decorum. He received a great many devout admonitions from the ladies there, and they would fain have persuaded him to acknowledge what they thought so miraculous a deliverance, by embracing the Catholic Faith, as they were pleased to call it. But they could not succeed: for though no religion lay near his heart, yet he had too much of the spirit of a gentleman lightly to change that form of religion which he wore, as it were, loose about him.

He served with distinction in all the other glorious actions fought by the duke of Marlborough, and rose through a course of rapid and deserved promotion. In 1706, he was made a lieutenant, and very quickly after he received a cornet’s commission in the Scots Greys, then commanded by the earl of Stair. On the 31st of January, 1714-15, he was made captain-lieutenant in colonel Ker’s regiment of dragoons. At the taking of Preston in Lancashire, 1715, he headed a party of twelve, and, advancing to the barricades of the insurgents, set them on fire, notwithstanding a furious storm of musketry, by which eight of his men were killed. A long peace ensued after this action, and Gardiner being favourably known to the earl of Stair, was made his aid-de-camp, and accompanied his lordship on his celebrated embassy to Paris. When lord Stair made his splendid entrance into Paris, captain Gardiner was his master of the horse; and a great deal of the care of that admirably well-adjusted ceremony fell upon him; so that he gained great credit by the manner in which he conducted it. Under the benign influences of his lordship’s favour, which to the last day of his life he retained, a captain’s commission was procured for him, dated July 22, 1715, in the regiment of dragoons commanded by colonel Stanhope, then earl of Harrington; and in 1717, he was advanced to the majority of that regiment; in which office he continued till it was reduced, November 10, 1716, when he was put out of commission. But his majesty, king George I., was so thoroughly apprised of his faithful and important services, that he gave him his sign manual, entitling him to the first majority that should become vacant in any regiment of horse or dragoons, which happened about five years after to be in Croft’s regiment of dragoons, in which he received a commission, dated June 1st, 1724; and on the 20th of July, the same year, he was made major of an older regiment, commanded by the earl of Stair.

The remainder of his military appointments may be here summed up. On the 24th January, 1729-30, he was advanced to the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the same regiment, long under the command of lord Cadogan, with whose friendship this brave and vigilant officer was also honoured for many years; and he continued in this rank and regiment till the 19th of April, 1743, when he received a colonel’s commission over a new regiment of dragoons, at the head of which he was destined to fall, about two years and a half after he had received it.

Captain Gardiner lived for several years a very gay and dissolute life, inso-much as even to distinguish himself at the dissolute court of the regent Orleans. His conduct was characterized by every species of vice, and his constitution enabled him to pursue his courses with such insouciance of manner, that he acquired the name of "the happy rake."

Still the checks of conscience, and some remaining principles of good education, would break in upon his most licentious hours; and I particulary remember, says Dr Doddridge, he told me, that when some of his dissolute companions were once congratulating him on his distinguished felicity, a dog happening at that time to come into the room; he could not forbear groaning inwardly, and saying to himself "Oh that I were that dog!" But these remonstrances of reason and conscience were in vain; and, in short, he carried things so far, in this wretched part of his life, that I am well assured, some sober English gentlemen, who made no great pretences to religion, how agreeable soever he might have been to them on other accounts, rather declined than sought his company, as fearing they might have been ensnared and corrupted by it.

The crisis, however, of this course of wickedness, arrived at last. I am now come, says his biographer, to that astonishing part of his story, the account of his conversion, which I cannot enter upon without assuring the reader, that I have sometimes been tempted to suppress many circumstances of it; not only as they may seem incredible to some, and enthusiastical to others, but I am very sensible they are liable to great abuses; which was the reason that he gave me for concealing the most extraordinary from many persons to whom he mentioned some of the rest.

This memorable event happened towards the middle of July, 1719; but I cannot be exact as to the day. The major had spent the evening (and, if I mistake not, it was the Sabbath) in some gay company, and had an unhappy assignation with a married woman, of what rank or quality I did not particularly inquire, whom he was to attend exactly at twelve. The company broke up about eleven; and not judging it convenient to anticipate the time appointed, he went into his chamber to kill the tedious hour, perhaps with some amusing book, or some other way. But it very accidentally happened, that he took up a religious book, which his good mother or aunt had, without his knowledge, slipped into his portmanteau. It was called, if I remember the title exactly, The Christian Soldier, or Heaven taken by Storm; and was written by Mr Thomas Watson. Guessing by the title of it, that he should find some phrases of his own profession spiritualized, in a manner which he thought might afford him some diversion, he resolved to dip into it; but he took no serious notice of any thing he read in it: and yet, while this book was in his hand, an impression was made upon his mind, (perhaps God only knows how,) which drew after it a train of the most important and happy consequences. There is indeed a possibility, that while he was sitting in this solitude, and reading in this careless and profane manner, he might suddenly fall asleep, and only dream of what he apprehended he saw. But nothing can be more certain, than that, when he gave me this relation, he judged himself to have been as broad awake during the whole time, as he ever was in any part of his life; and he mentioned it to me several times afterwards as what undoubtedly passed, not only in his imagination, but before his eyes.

He thought he saw an unusual blaze of light fall on the book while he was reading, which he at first imagined might happen by some accident in the candle. But lifting up his eyes, he apprehended, to his extreme amazement, that there was before him, as it were suspended in the air, a visible representation of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross, surrounded on all sides with a glory; and was impressed, as if a voice, or something equivalent to a voice, had come to him, to the effect, (for he was not confident as to the very words,) ‘Oh, sinner! did I suffer this for thee, and are these the returns?" But whether this were an audible voice, or only a strong impression on his mind equally striking, he did not seem very confident, though to the best of my remembrance, he rather judged it to be the former. Struck with so amazing a phenomenon as this, there remained hardly any life in him, so that he sank down in the armchair in which he sat, and continued, he knew not exactly how long, insensible; which was one circumstance, that made me several times take the liberty to suggest, that he might possibly be all this while asleep; but however that were, he quickly after opened his eyes, and saw nothing more than usual.

It may easily be supposed, he was in no condition to make any observation upon the time in which he had remained in an insensible state. Nor did he, throughout all the remainder of the night, once recollect that criminal and detestable assignation, which had before engrossed all his thoughts. He rose in a tumult of passions, not to be conceived; and walked to and fro in his chamber, till he was ready to drop down, in unutterable astonishment and agony of heart; appearing to himself the vilest monster in the creation of God, who had all his lifetime been crucifying Christ afresh by his sins, and now saw, as he assuredly believed, by a miraculous vision, the horror of what he had done. With this was connected such a view, both of the majesty and goodness of God, as caused him to loath and abhor himself, and to repent as in dust and ashes. He immediately gave judgment against himself, that he was most justly worthy of eternal damnation: he was astonished, that he had not been immediately struck dead in the midst of his wickedness: and (which I think deserves particular remark,) though he assuredly believed that he should ere long be in hell, and settled it as a point with himself for several months, that the wisdom and justice of God did almost necessarily require, that such an enormous sinner should be made an example of everlasting vengeance, and a spectacle as such both to angels and men, so that he hardly durst presume to pray for pardon; yet what he then suffered, was not so much from the fear of hell, though he concluded it would soon be his portion, as from a sense of that horrible ingratitude he had shown to the God of his life, and to that blessed Redeemer who had been in so affecting a manner set forth as crucified before him.

The mind of major Gardiner continued from this remarkable time till toward the end of October, (that is, rather more than three months, but especially the two first of them,) in as extraordinary a situation as one can well imagine. He knew nothing of the joys arising from a sense of pardon; but, on the contrary, for the greater part of that time, and with very short intervals of hope towards the end of it, took it for granted, that he must in all probability quickly perish. Nevertheless, he had such a sense of the evil of sin, and of the goodness of the Divine Being, and of the admirable tendency of the Christian revelation, that he resolved to spend the remainder of his life, while God continued him out of hell, in as rational and as useful a manner as he could; and to continue casting himself at the foot of divine mercy, every day, and often in a day, if peradventure there might be hope of pardon, of which all that he could say was, that he did not absolutely despair. He had at that time such a sense of the degeneracy of his own heart, that he hardly durst form any determinate resolution against sin, or pretend to engage himself by any vow in the presence of God; but he was continually crying to him, that he would deliver him from the bondage of corruption. He perceived in himself a most surprising alteration with regard to the dispositions of his heart; so that, though he felt little of the delight of religious duties, he extremely desired opportunities of being engaged in them; and those licentious pleasures which had before been his heaven, were now absolutely his aversion. And indeed, when I consider how habitual all those criminal indulgences were grown to him, and that he was now in the prime of life, and all this while in high health too, I cannot but be astonished to reflect upon it, that he should be so wonderfully sanctified in body, as well as in soul and spirit, as that, for all the future years of his life, he, from that hour, should find so constant a disinclination to, and abhorrence of, those criminal sensualities, to which he fancied he was before so invincibly impelled by his very constitution, that he was used strangely to think and to say, that Omnipotence itself could not reform him, without destroying that body and giving him another.

Nor was he only delivered from that bondage of corruption which had been habitual to him for many years, but felt in his breast so contrary a disposition, that he was grieved to see human nature, in those to whom he was most entirely a stranger, prostituted to such low and contemptible pursuits. He, therefore, exerted his natural courage in a very new kind of combat, and became an open advocate for religion, in all its principles, so far as he was acquainted with them, and all its precepts, relating to sobriety, righteousness and godliness. Yet he was very desirous and cautious that he might not run into an extreme, and made it one of his first petitions to God, the very day after these amazing impressions had been wrought in his mind, that he might not be suffered to behave with such an affected strictness and preciseness, as would lead others about him into mistaken notions of religion, and expose it to reproach or suspicion, as if it were an unlovely or uncomfortable thing. For this reason he endeavoured to appear as cheerful in conversation as he conscientiously could; though, in spite of all his precautions, some traces of that deep inward sense which he had of his guilt and misery, would at times appear. He made no secret of it, however, that his views were entirely changed, though he concealed the particular circumstances attending that change. He told his most intimate companions freely, that he had reflected on the course of life in which he had so long joined them, and found it to be folly and madness, unworthy a rational creature, and much more unworthy persons calling themselves Christians. And he set up his standard, upon all occasions, against principles of infidelity and practices of vice, as determinately and as boldly as ever he displayed or planted his colours, when he bore them with so much honour in the field.

Such is the account given by an exceedingly honest, able, and pious writer of the remarkable conversion of colonel Gardiner; an account too minute and curious to be passed over by a modern biographer, whatever credence may be given to the circumstances of which it is composed. While the minds of our readers will probably find an easy explanation of the "phenomenon" in the theories which some late writers have started respecting such impressions of the senses, we shall present a remarkably interesting notice of the pious soldier, which was written twenty years before his death, and a still longer period antecedent to Doddridge’s publication, and must therefore be considered as entitled to particular attention and credit. It is extracted from a journal of the historian Wodrow, where it appears under date May 1725, as having just been taken down from the mouths of various informants:

"From him and others, I have a very pleasant account of major Gardiner, formerly master of horse to the earl of Stair, and now lately on the death of Craig, made major of Stair’s grey horse. He seems to be one of the most remarkable instances of free grace that has been in our times. He is one of the bravest and gallantest men in Britain, and understands military affairs exactly well. He was a lieutenant or a captain many years ago in Glasgow, where he was extremely vicious. He had a criminal correspondence with -, [The name is expressed in a secret hand used by the venerable historian.] as my informer tells us he owns with sorrow. He acknowledges with the deepest concern there was scarce an evil but what he was addicted to it, and he observes that he on many accounts has reason to reckon himself the chief of sinners, much more than Paul, for besides the multitude of the most horrid sins, he did them not ignorantly and through unbelief, but over the belly of light and knowledge. When he was with my lord Stair, ambassador at Paris, he was riding on one of his most unruly and fiery horses, which could not bear the spur, and in the streets met the hostie and crowd with it. Whether of design or accidentally I cannot say, but his horse and he soon made a clean street, and the hostie came to the ground. The ambassador’s house was attacked for the abuse of the hostie, and he was obliged to write over to court about it. The change wrought on the Major a few years ago was gradual and imperceptible. I think profane swearing was the first thing he refrained from, and then other vices, and still as he refrained from them, he bore testimony against them in others, in the army, at court, and every where, and reproved them in great and small with the utmost boldness. At length he is thoroughly reformed, and walks most closely in ordinances, and while with his troops in Galloway, he haunts mostly at the houses of the ministers; and has made a sensible reformation among the troops he commands, and nothing like vice is to be seen among them. His walk and conversation is most tender and christian; he rises by four in summer and winter, and nobody has access to him till eight, and some later, and these hours he spends in secret religion. He is a close and exemplary keeper of ordinances, and a constant terror to vice wherever he is, and a serious keeper of the Sabbath. We have at this time several excellent officers in the army, and who have been in it. Colonel Blackader, colonel Erskine, lieutenant-colonel Cunningham, and this gentleman. May the Lord increase them!"

"This resolute and exemplary Christian now entered upon that methodical manner of living, which he pursued through so many succeeding years of life. A life any thing like his, could not be entered upon in the midst of such company as he had been accustomed to keep, without great opposition; especially as he did not entirely withdraw himself from all the circles of cheerful conversation; but, on the contrary, gave several hours every day to it, lest religion should be reproached, as having made him morose. He, however, early began a practice, which to the last day of his life he retained, of reproving vice and profaneness; and was never afraid to debate the matter with any, under the consciousness of such superiority in the goodness of his cause.

A remarkable instance of this happened about the middle of the year 1720, though I cannot be very exact as to the date of the story. It was, however, on his first return, to make any considerable abode in England, after this remarkable change. He had heard, on the other side of the water, that it was currently reported among his companions at home, that he was stark mad: a report at which no reader, who knows the wisdom of the world in these matters, will be much surprised, any more than himself. He concluded, therefore, that he should have many battles to fight, and was willing to despatch the business as fast as he could. And therefore, being to spend a few days at the country-house of a person of distinguished rank, with whom he had been very intimate, (whose name I do not remember that he told me, nor did I think it proper to inquire after it,) he begged the favour of him that he would contrive matters so, that a day or two after he came down, several of their former gay companions might meet at his lordship’s table; that he might have an opportunity of making his apology to them, and acquainting them with the nature and reasons of his change. It was accordingly agreed to; and a pretty large company met on the day appointed, with previous notice that major Gardiner would be there. A good deal of raillery passed at dinner, to which the major made very little answer. But when the cloth was taken away, and the servants retired, he begged their patience for a few minutes, and then plainly and seriously told them what notions he entertained of virtue and religion, and on what considerations he had absolutely determined, that by the grace of God he would make it the care and business of life, whatever he might lose by it, and whatever censure and contempt he might incur, he well knew how improper it was in such company to relate the extraordinary manner he was awakened; which they would probably have interpreted as a demonstration of lunacy, against all the gravity and solidity of his discourse; but he contented himself with such a rational defence of a righteous, sober, and godly life, as he knew none of them could with any shadow of reason contest. He then challenged them to propose any thing they could urge, to prove that a life of irreligion and debauchery was preferable to the fear, love, and worship of the eternal God, and a conduct agreeable to the precepts of his gospel. And he failed not to bear his testimony from his own experience, that after having run the widest round of sensual pleasures, with all the advantages the best constitution and spirits could give him, he had never tasted any thing that deserved to be called happiness, till he had made religion his refuge and his delight. He testified calmly and boldly, the habitual serenity and peace that he now felt in his own breast, and the composure and pleasure with which he looked forward to objects, which the gayest sinner must acknowledge to be equally unavoidable and dreadful. I know not what might be attempted by some of the company in answer to this; but I well remember he told me, the master of the table, a person of a very frank and candid disposition, cut short the debate, and said, ‘Come, let us call another cause: we thought this man mad, and he is in good earnest proving that we are so.’ On the whole, this well-judged circumstance saved him a great deal of future trouble. When his former acquaintance observed that he was still conversable and innocently cheerful, and that he was immoveable in his resolutions, they desisted from farther importunity. And he has assured me, that instead of losing any one valuable friend by this change in his character, he found himself much more esteemed and regarded by many who could not persuade themselves to imitate his example.

I meet not with any other remarkable event relating to major Gardiner, which can properly be introduced here, till the year 1726; when, on the 11th of July, he was married to the right honourable lady Frances Erskine, daughter to the fourth earl of Buchan, by whom he had thirteen children, five only of which survived their father,—two sons and three daughters. From this period till the commencement of the French war, he lived either at his villa of Bankton in East Lothian, or moved about through the country with his regiment. Towards the latter end of 1742, he embarked for Flanders, and spent some considerable time with the regiment at Ghent; where he much regretted the want of those religious ordinances and opportunities which had made his other abodes delightful. As he had the promise of a regiment before he quitted England, his friends were continually expecting an occasion of congratulating him on having received the command of one. But still they were disappointed; and on some of them the disappointment seemed to sit heavy. As for the colonel himself, he seemed quite easy about it; and appeared much greater in that easy situation of mind, than the highest military honours and preferments could have made him. His majesty was at length pleased to give him a regiment of dragoons, which was then quartered just in the neighbourhood of his own house in Scotland. It appeared to him, that by this remarkable event providence called him home. Accordingly, though he had other preferments offered him in the army, he chose to return, and I believe, the more willingly, as he did not expect there would have been an action."

The latter years of his life were rendered gloomy by bad health, and for some time before his death he appeared to move constantly under a serious anticipation of that event. When the insurrection of 1745 commenced in the Highlands, his raw regiment of dragoons constituted an important part of the small military force with which Sir John Cope was required to meet the coming storm. Cope marched in August into the Highlands, leaving Gardiner’s and Hamilton’s dragoon regiments in the low country; and when the insurgents, by a strange manoeuvre, eluded the government general and descended upon the Lowlands, these inexperienced troops were all that remained to oppose their course. After an ineffectual attempt to protect Edinburgh, the two regiments fled in a panic to Dunbar, where they were rejoined by the foot under the command of Sir John Cope, and the whole army then marched towards the capital in order to meet and give battle to the clans. The worthy colonel was much depressed by the conduct of his men, and anticipated that they would not behave better in the action about to take place: he said, however, that though he could not influence the conduct of others, he had one life to sacrifice for his country’s safety, and he would not spare it.

"The two hostile bodies came into view of each other on the 20th of September in the neighbourhood of his own house near Prestonpans. The Colonel drew up his regiment in the afternoon, and rode through all their ranks, addressing them at once in the most respectful and animating manner, both as soldiers and as Christians, to engage them to exert themselves courageously in the service of their country, and to neglect nothing that might have a tendency to prepare them for whatever event might happen. They seemed much affected with the address, and expressed a very ardent desire of attacking the enemy immediately: a desire, in which he and another very gallant officer of distinguished rank, dignity, and character, both for bravery and conduct, would gladly have gratified them, if it had been in the power of either. He earnestly pressed it on the commanding officer, as the soldiers were then in better spirits than it could be supposed they would be after having passed the night under arms. He also apprehended, that by marching to meet them, some advantage might have been secured with regard to the ground; with which, it is natural to imagine, he must have been perfectly acquainted. He was overruled in this advice, as also in the disposition of the cannon, which he would have planted in the centre of our small army, rather than just before his regiment, which was in the right wing. And when he found that he could not carry either of these points, nor some others, which, out of regard to the common safety, he insisted upon with unusual earnestness, he dropped some intimations of the consequences he apprehended, and which did in fact follow; and submitting to providence, spent the remainder of the day in making as good a disposition as circumstances would allow.

He continued all night under arms, wrapped up in his cloak, and generally sheltered under a rick of barley which happened to be in the field. About three in the morning, he called his domestic servants to him, of which there were four in waiting. He dismissed three of them, with most affectionate Christian advice, and such solemn charges relating to the performance of their duty and the care of their souls, as plainly seemed to intimate, that he apprehended it at least very probable he was taking his last farewell of them. There is great reason to believe, that he spent the little remainder of the time, which could not be much above an hour, in those devout exercises of soul, which had so long been habitual to him, and to which so many circumstances did then concur to call him. The army was alarmed by break of day by the noise of the approach of the enemy, and the attack was made before sunrise; yet it was light enough to discern what passed. As soon as the enemy came within gunshot, they made a furious fire; and it is said that the dragoons which constituted the left wing immediately fled. The Colonel, at the beginning of the onset, which in the whole lasted but a few minutes, received a wound by a bullet in his left breast, which made him give a sudden spring in his saddle; upon which his servant, who had led the horse, would have persuaded him to retreat: but he said, it was only a wound in the flesh, and fought on, though he presently after received a shot in his right thigh. In the meantime it was discerned that some of the insurgents fell by him.

Events of this kind pass in less time than the description of them can be written, or than it can be read. The Colonel was for a few moments supported by his men, and particularly by lieutenant-colonel Whitney, who was shot through the arm here, and a few months after fell nobly in the battle of Falkirk; and by lieutenant West, a man of distinguished bravery; as also by about fifteen dragoons, who stood by him to the last. But after a faint fire, the regiment in general was seized with a panic: and though their Colonel and some other gallant officers, did what they could to rally them once or twice, they at last took a precipitate flight. And just in the moment when colonel Gardiner seemed to be making a pause, to deliberate what duty required him to do in such a circumstance, he saw a party of the foot, who were then bravely fighting near him, and whom he was ordered to support, had no officer to head them; upon which he said eagerly, "Those brave fellows will be cut to pieces for want of a commander;" or words to that effect: which while he was speaking, he rode up to them, and cried out aloud, "Fire on, my lads, and fear nothing." But just as they were out of his mouth, a Highlander advanced towards him with a scythe fastened on a long pole, with which he gave him such a deep wound on his right arm that his sword dropped out of his hand; and at the same time several others coming about him while he was this dreadfully entangled with that cruel weapon, he was dragged off his horse. The moment he fell, another Highlander gave him a stroke, either with a broad-sword, or a Lochaber-axe, on the hinder part of his head, which was the mortal blow. All that his faithful attendant saw farther at this time was, that as his hat was falling off, he took it in his left hand, and waved it as a signal to him to retreat; and added, what were the last words he ever heard him to speak, "Take care of yourself:" upon which the servant retired, and fled to a mill, at the distance of about two miles from the spot of ground on which the Colonel fell; where he changed his dress, and disguised like a miller’s servant, returned as soon as possible; yet not till nearly two hours after the engagement. The hurry of the action was then over, and he found his much honoured master, not only plundered of his watch and other things of value, but also stripped of his upper garments and boots; yet still breathing, though not capable of speech. In this condition, he conveyed him to the church of Tranent, from whence he was immediately taken into the minister’s house and laid in bed; where he continued breathing and frequently groaning, till about eleven in the forenoon; when he took his final leave of pain and sorrow. Such was the close of a life, which had been so zealously devoted to God, and filled up with so many honourable services.

His remains were interred the Tuesday following, September 24, at the parish church at Tranent—where he had usually attended divine service—with great solemnity. His obsequies were honoured with the presence of some persons of distinction, who were not afraid of paying that piece of respect to his memory, though the country was then in the hands of the enemy. But indeed there was no great hazard in this; for his character was so well known, that even they themselves spoke honourably of him, and seemed to join with his friends in lamenting the fall of so brave and so worthy a man.

In personal appearance, colonel Gardiner was tall, well proportioned, and strongly built, his eyes of a dark grey, and not very large; his forehead pretty high; his nose of a length and height no way remarkable, but very well suited to his other features; his cheeks not very prominent, his mouth moderately large, and his chin rather a little inclining to be peaked. He had a strong voice, and lively accent; with an air very intrepid, yet attempered with much gentleness: and there was something in his manner of address most perfectly easy and obliging, which was in a great measure the result of the great candour and benevolence of his natural temper; and which, no doubt, was much improved by the deep humility which divine grace had wrought into his heart; as well as his having been accustomed from his early youth, to the company of persons of distinguished rank and polite behaviour."


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