Page last updated at 15:33 GMT, Saturday, 26 July 2008 16:33 UK

Gladstone books go under hammer

William Gladstone
Gladstone stored the books at the family home in Aberdeenshire

A collection of books belonging to 19th Century prime minister William Gladstone has been auctioned in Angus.

About 2,000 books from the library at Fasque House - the former Gladstone family home in Aberdeenshire - went under the hammer in Montrose.

More than 400 lots raised a total in excess of 65,000.

Gladstone was a four-time Liberal prime minister - taking up the post in 1868, 1880, 1886 and 1892. In total, he spent more than 12 years in the role.

Auctioneer Jonathan Taylor said it had been a "busy day".

"The auction went very well. I am very pleased and looking forward to the next one," he added.

Mr Taylor said that the most expensive lots had been a collection of family diaries which had been found in the attic of the house.

They were sold to an Edinburgh professor for 3,400.

Gladstone family bible
Family bibles were among the books being auctioned in Montrose

Before the auction Mr Taylor said: "The library itself is quite widespread. There are a lot of books on travel, military history, politics obviously, religion, there are books on everything... you name it.

"There are a lot of very unusual books, there are books on travel to the likes of Hindustan and there are unusual books on Scotland.

"We've got some of their bibles, the actual family bible of the Gladstone family with the family tree - it's got births and deaths of the family, we've got some personal diaries of the Gladstones and there are some books with inscriptions from one family member to another."

Gladstone was so fond of books that he created an even larger library at Hawarden in Wales.

A second auction from Gladstone's Fasque collection - containing about another 2,000 books - is expected to take place in October.

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06 Dec 06 |  Northamptonshire
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04 Apr 06 |  North East Wales


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