Sir William Gladstone, 7th Baronet

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Arms of Sir William Gladstone

Sir Erskine William Gladstone of Fasque and Balfour, 7th Baronet, KG, JP, DL (29 October 1925 – 29 March 2018) was a teacher and an officer in the Royal Navy. He was Chief Scout of the United Kingdom from 1972 to 1982.

Gladstone was the son of Sir Charles Gladstone and Isla Margaret Gladstone (née Crum), and a great-grandson of the former prime minister, William Ewart Gladstone. He was educated at Eton, and joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve in 1943 and saw action in World War II mainly based on destroyers in the Indian Ocean. Upon leaving the navy (with the rank of lieutenant), he received an honours degree in history at Christ Church, Oxford. He then entered the teaching profession, with positions at Shrewsbury and Eton, and he became head master of Lancing in 1961. He retired from the teaching profession in 1969.

He married Rosamund Anne Hambro (born 1939) on 10 September 1962. They had three children: Charles Angus Gladstone (born 1964), Victoria Frances Gladstone (born 1967), and Robert Nicolas Gladstone (born 1968).

Rosamund is daughter of Major Robert Alexander Hambro (1910–43) and Barbara Jessica Hardy Beaton (1912–73). She is also a niece of Sir Cecil Beaton (1904–80) [1] and Lady Nancy Smiley (1909–99) married to Sir Hugh Houston Smiley, 3rd Baronet (1905–90). [2]

At the death of his father in 1968, he became the 7th Gladstone Baronet. He was made a Knight of the Garter in 1999.[3] He was Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd from 1985 to 2000.[4]

Gladstone became a Scout whilst a student at Eton. He encouraged the school Scout Group whilst Head Master at Lancing. He became Chief Scout of the United Kingdom in 1972, a position he held until 1982.[5] During his tenure he took special interest in the development of Scouting in deprived areas, particularly the inner cities and new housing estates. In 1979 he was elected Chairman of the World Scout Committee.

His residence was Hawarden Castle in Flintshire, Wales.[6]

He died on 29 March 2018 at the age of 92.[7]


  1. ^ "Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton". The Peerage.
  2. ^ "Nancy Elizabeth Louise Hardy Beaton". The Peerage.
  3. ^ "No. 55466". The London Gazette. 23 April 1999. p. 4575.
  4. ^ Sir Erskine William Gladstone of Fasque and Balfour, 7th Bt.
  5. ^ "Meet the Chiefs" (PDF). The Scout Information Centre. October 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 October 2007. Retrieved 8 December 2007.
  6. ^ "Gladstone, of Fasque and Balfour, Kincardineshire". Cracroft's Peerage.
  7. ^ Gladstone
Honorary titles
Preceded by
James Ellis Evans
Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd
Succeeded by
Trefor Jones
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Andrew Gladstone
(of Fasque)
Succeeded by
Charles Gladstone
The Scout Association
Preceded by
Lord Maclean
Chief Scout of the United Kingdom
and Overseas Territories

Succeeded by
Michael Walsh
World Organization of the Scout Movement
Preceded by
Chairman, World Scout Committee
Succeeded by
Kamarul Ariffin bin Mohamad Yassin