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Exploring Colonel Gardiner's Vices and Virtues - Prestonpans Battle Trust's Next Theatrepiece

Colonel Gardiner's Deathbed Sequence at Tranent Manse is played out ....

It seems to be a 'well established' fact the the Colonel died not in his own home at Bankton House but at Tranent Manse the morning after the battle i.e. on September 22nd. The plaque at The Manse says this. But Dr. Philip Doddrige in his autobiography of Gardiner suggests late in the forenoon the same day, i.e. the 21st. Regardless of date, he was attended there by the Jenkinson sisters, daughters of the visiting Minister from Athelstanford, who had met and impressed HRH Prince Charles Edward at The Cottage in Duddingston on September 19th. His wife, Lady Frances, was away in Stirling. He had been brought to The Manse by his servant disguised as a miller after his mortal wounding beneath the famous thorntree.

All the above we have re-enacted over recent years. And the Colonel has a fine memorial obelisk at the end of the garden of his restored old home.

What we have not been able to explore thus far was what passed through the mind of the Colonel in those final moments of life. It is this which Andrew Dallmeyer seeks to illuminate in his exciting new play: Colonel Gardiner: Vice & Virtue.

What we know is that he had followed the life of a rake until his Damascene conversion to Christianity in Paris. As must be expected he recalls those earlier experiences as well as the latter years of his life.

Premiere will be on July 24th at the annual Alan Breck Regimental Dinner at The Prestoungrange Gothenburg

Andrew Dallmeyer will be presenting the new play at three performances during the Clans' Exhibition at The Prestoungrange Gothenburg which the Battle Trust is organising with Homecoming promotional support from July 18th/ 31st. Its premiere will be at the annual Regimental Dinner presided over by Colonel-in-Chief Martin Margulies on July 24th.

It will also be performed on September 18th at 8 pm at The Prestoungrange Gothenburg after the redcoats have once again occupied The Pans for the start of the annual battle re-enactments.

click to enlarge cutting from the East Lothian Courier

Published Date: April 8th 2009

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