The Man behind the Name

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Items from Gallery & Museum historical archives

The Man behind the Name

Visitors to the Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum can soon learn all about our region's namesake, William Ewart Gladstone (b. 29 December 1809 - d. 19 May 1898).

In 1853, Governor Fitzroy announced that a town called 'Gladstone' was to be established at Port Curtis, Australia. The colony was named after William Ewart Gladstone, who initially sent Colonel Barney to the shores of Port Curtis.

Mr Gladstone, or the 'Grand Old Man' as he came to be known as, was a great statesman of his time. He was the Prime Minister of Great Britain four times and used his position in parliament to deliver socio-economic reform and set standards of morality in politics. His political career spanned over 60 years and in that time he supported both the conservative and liberal movements prevalent at the time.

A 19th Century marble statue of Mr Gladstone rests in the glass walkway at the Gallery & Museum and is on constant show to passers-by on Goondoon Street.

Now accompanying the sculpture is a brand new local history exhibition that celebrates the life of William Ewart Gladstone. On display from 4 March - 8 April 2017, 'W.E. Gladstone' will contain artworks and collectables from the Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum's historical archives.

Although the man himself never made the visit to our town, there will be plenty of interesting and unique memorabilia to explore when you visit the exhibition.

William Ewart's personal 'Gladstone Bag', donated by his great grandson Peter Gladstone, will be on display, as well as commemorative wall plates, mugs, and a plaster bust, still in its original newspaper wrapping, dated 1896.



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