Gladstanes, John (DNB00)

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GLADSTANES, JOHN, LL.D. (d. 1574), advocate, is first mentioned on 21 Feb. 1533, at which date he was designated ‘M. Johannes Gladstanes, licentiatus utroque jure.’ In 1534 there was a James Gladstanes of Coklaw, an estate with a defensible tower in Roxburghshire, which had been possessed by the family for many previous generations. It is averred that John Gladstanes was a member of the Coklaw family, and his mother was a Fraser; but circumstances rather indicate the upper ward of Lanarkshire as the locality of his birth. Among the students incorporated in the university of St. Andrews in 1506 appears the name of ‘Johannes Gledstains,’ among determinants in 1507 ‘Johannes Gledstanys,’ and among licentiates in 1509 ‘Johannes Gledstains.’ There is little doubt that the future lord of session is indicated in these references. In 1533 he was a young man, and with his cousin, Robert Fraser, applied to the council for a passport to spend some time in France and elsewhere. It was declared under the great seal that both young men were well born, and belonged to ancient and honourable families.

Gladstanes was in practice as an advocate early in 1534. At a sitting of the lords of session on 2 March that year, it was decided, in compliance with a royal letter, to appoint a new official, to be called ‘Advocatus Pauperum.’ He was to swear that he would act for the king's lieges who should prove that they were too poor to afford a lawsuit. This advocate was to have 10l. yearly from the king's treasurer. The court thereupon chose Master Thomas Marjoribanks and Master John Gladstanes conjunctly and severally to be advocates for all the poor. On 27 April 1535, in consequence of another royal letter, it was arranged that Friday in each week should be set apart for the poor, as they could not afford to be kept long in waiting. On 23 March 1536 Gladstanes appears as witness to a document at Dundee.

In the sederunt on 30 Sept. 1546 Gladstanes appears for the first time as a lord of session. On that day he was appointed their procurator, to receive certain dues from the prelates. On 1 and 4 Feb. 1549 the accounts were audited; a sum of 40l. was available for each of the judges, and a surplus of 17l. 7s. 10d. was divided equally between the king's advocate and Gladstanes. As a gift from the court Gladstanes likewise obtained the arrears of the contribution due by the minister of Failford, Ayrshire, superior of the Trinity or Red Friars. He died without issue in April 1574, leaving to a nephew some oxgates of land in Quothquam, Lanarkshire.

[Register of the Great Seal of Scotland; original manuscript in General Register House, Edinburgh; Retours in Register House; Munimenta de Melros, p. 486; Regist. Episc. Brechinensis, ii. 319; Regist. Univ. Glasguensis, ii. 75–469; Acta Dom. Con. et Sess. 1811, pp. 24, 45; Lord Hailes's Catalogue of the College of Justice; Brunton and Haig's Senators of the College of Justice; Records of University of St. Andrews.]

J. T.