On 25 May Gladstone's body was brought from Hawarden to London, and the coffin was placed in Westminster Hall. During the 26th and 27th the hall was open to the public, an unbroken procession moved round the bier, and it was estimated that a quarter of a million people joined in it. On Saturday, 28 May, Gladstone was buried in the Abbey, and laid in 'Statesmen's Corner,' where the public pass daily over his grave. Mrs. Gladstone was present at the funeral, which was attended by both houses of parliament, though not in state. The queen was represented by the lord steward, the Earl of Pembroke. The pall-bearers were the Prince of Wales and his son the Duke of York; Lord Salisbury and Lord Kimberley, Mr. Balfour and Sir William Harcourt (the four leaders of the two houses); Lord Rosebery, his immediate successor in the premiership, and the Duke of Rutland, his former colleague in the representation of Newark; Lord Rendel and Mr. Armitstead, two of his most intimate friends. The queen, writing to Mrs. Gladstone, said: 'I shall ever gratefully remember his devotion and zeal in all that concerned my personal welfare and that of my family.' The ceremony was none the less impressive because, in obedience to Gladstone's wishes, it was conducted with the utmost simplicity and all possible avoidance of pomp.
Mrs. Gladstone survived her husband nearly two years, dying on 14 June 1900 at the age of eighty-seven; she was privately interred beside her husband's grave in Westminster Abbey. By her Gladstone was father of four sons and four daughters. The eldest son, William Henry Gladstone (1840-1891), who died seven years before his father, leaving issue, was M.P. for Chester from 1865 to 1868, for Whitby from 1868 to 1880, and for East Worcestershire from 1880 to 1885; he was junior lord of the treasury in his father's first ministry, 1869-74. The second son, Stephen Edward, is rector of Hawarden. The third son is Henry Neville Gladstone, and the fourth son is Herbert John, who has sat in parliament for Leeds since 1880, and held office under his father and under Lord Rosebery. The eldest daughter, Agnes, married Rev. E. C. Wickham, now dean of Lincoln; the second daughter, Catherine, died in 1850, an infant; the third daughter, Mary, married in 1886 the Rev. Harry Drew; the fourth daughter, Helen, is principal of Newnham College, Cambridge.
Gladstone was for the greater part of his life a frequent, though irregular, contributor to reviews and magazines. Most of these contributions, except such as were avowedly controversial or purely classical, he republished in seven volumes in 1879 under the title of 'Gleanings from Past Years.' An eighth and supplementary volume was printed in 1890. This collection of essays, ranging over forty years, and dealing with a great variety of subjects, contains much which is only interesting because Gladstone wrote it, some literary criticisms which have a permanent value, and a few constitutional essays of the highest possible importance. Several competent judges have expressed the opinion that Gladstone's article on Leopardi, in the 'Quarterly Review' for March 1850, is the high-water mark of his critical capacity. It is an interesting study of a strange, brilliant, and pathetic career. Gladstone was always an ardent admirer of Tennyson's poetry, and in October 1859, on the appearance of the 'Idylls,' he wrote for the 'Quarterly Review' a comprehensive survey of the poems which Tennyson had then published, including 'The Princess,' 'In Memoriam,' and 'Maud.' Although the general tone of the article was laudatory, and even enthusiastic, Gladstone protested against the glorification of war in 'Maud.' But he recognised the unfairness of attributing to an author opinions dramatically expressed, and in a note, added twenty years afterwards, he admitted that he had done less than justice to the poem. The 'Quarterly Review' for July 1876 contains from his pen the fullest, fairest, and most original estimate passed upon Sir George Trevelyan's 'Life of Macaulay.'
Gladstone's constitutional essays consist of three articles upon three successive volumes of Sir Theodore Martin's 'Life of the Prince Consort,' and of one article in the 'North American Review' called 'Kin beyond Sea.' The first essay—or the first chapter in what is really a prime minister's commentary upon the former half of the queen's reign—appeared in the 'Contemporary Review' of June 1875, and was signed 'Etonensis.' In it Gladstone contrasted the present powers of the British monarchy with those which it had wielded in the past, and described the change as the substitution of influence for authority. When the second volume of Sir Theodore's book appeared, Gladstone wrote a notice of it in the 'Church Quarterly Review' for January 1877. Exactly a year later, in January 1878, Gladstone contributed to the same periodical a review of Sir Theodore Martin's third volume, in which he argued anew that the object of the Crimean war was to vindicate public law in Europe. He also enforced his views on public economy, pointing out that the panics