Catherine Glynne was born on 6 January 1812 at Hawarden Castle, Flintshire, Wales to Sir Stephen Richard Glynne, 8th Baronet, and to Mary Griffin, who was the daughter of Catherine Grenville and Richard Griffin, SecondLord Braybrooke, Baron of Braybrooke.Her future husband,William Ewart Gladstone, was 2 years old at the time.William Gladstone was born on 29 December 1809 to Anne MacKenzie Robertson and Sir John Gladstone, 1st Baronet. He was educated at Eton College, Windsor, Berkshire, England; graduating from Christ Church, Oxford University, Oxford,Oxfordshire, England, in 1831 with a Master of Arts (M.A.) and he held the office of Member of Parliament (M.P.) (Tory) for Newark commencing on 1832.
Catherine Glynne married William Ewart Gladstone on 25 July 1839 at Liverpool, Lancashire,England in a double wedding with Catherine's sister, Mary Glynne, who married George Lyttelton, of HagleyHall, Worcestershire, fourth Lord Lyttelton aged 21, four year younger than his wife (1).Mr. Gladsone continued his distinguished and illustrious political career continuing to hold the office of Member of Parliament (M.P.) (Tory) for Newark to 1845, the office of Secretary of State for the Colonies in 1845, office of Member of Parliament (M.P.) (Liberal)for Oxford University between 1847 and 1865, the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1852, the office of Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands in1858, the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer between 1859 and 1866; was invested as a Privy Counsellor (P.C.); then held the office of Member of Parliament (M.P.) (Liberal) for South Lancashire between 1865 and 1868, the office of Member of Parliament (M.P.) (Liberal) for Greenwich between 1868 and 1880, the office of Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury between December 1868 and February 1874; was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Laws (D.C.L.); held the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer between 1880 and 1882; the office of Member of Parliament (M.P.)(Liberal) for Midlothian between 1880 and 1895, the office of Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury between April 1880 and June 1885, the office of Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury from February 1886 to August1886, and the office of Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury when he was 82 years of age serving between August 1892 and February 1894 (2).Catherine Glynne and William Gladstone were married for 59 years.Roy Jenkins, William Gladstone's biographer, noted "…[she] was passionately engaged with the success and well being of her husband, but not very interested in either politics or the intricacies of religious doctrine and observance, the two subjects which most interested him." (3)Roy Jenkins, who was also Baron Jenkins of Hillhead OM, PC, summed up their relationship this way:It could be argued that their marriage was not particularly close.They were often and sometimes unnecessarily in different houses conjoined only by regular but not notably intimate letters. Gladstone nearly always singed himself to her"Ever yours affty., W.E. Gladstone". Later in life he occasionally alternated this with 'From your old WEG'. For decades, however, he never varied in writing 'Mrs W.E. Gladstone', as though it were a business communication, across the bottom of the letter. But when the last of the wives of his three elder brothers had died, he suddenly shifted, with an extraordinary sense of precedential precision, to writing' Mrs. Gladstone.' (4)Catherine Glynne had eight children.Her husband died on May 19, 1898 at the age of 88.She survived him by about two years to 14 June 1900 dying at the age 88 at Hawarden Castle, Flintshire, Wales.Footnotes
- Roy Jenkins, Gladstone: A Biography (London, 1995), p. 55
- Gladstone: A Biography, p. 55
- Gladstone: A Biography, p. 55