J.R. Gladstone's Iron Campaign Bed by Hill & Millard

J.R. Gladstone's Iron Campaign Bed by Hill & Millard

Maker / Retailer


A painted iron Campaign Bed with canvas in a painted pine box belonging to J.R. Gladstone Esq.

Most surviving campaign beds do not retain their original packing cases or canvas. This one retains both and they impart to us two valuable pieces of information: the owner and the maker. The celebrated maker's stencil of Hill & Millard is on the bed's canvas and the owner J. R. Gladstone of the Coldstream Guards had his details painted to the front of the case.

Hill & Millard's showrooms were at 7 Duncannon Street, on the corner of Trafalgar Square in London. Their work enjoys a very good reputation and more can be read about them on our website.

John Robert Gladstone was born in 1852. His uncle, William Ewart Gladstone, became British Prime Minister in 1868. He succeeded his father as Baronet of Fasque and it is no surprise that coming from such a well-established family he joined the Coldstream Guards as a Sub Lieutenant on the 6th of December 1873. He served with the 2nd Battalion in the Egyptian War of 1882 and was present at both Tel-el-Mahuta and Tel-el-Kebir for which he received a medal with clasp and the Khedive's Star. He rose to Captain in 1885 and was Aide-de-Camp to Major General Lyon-Freemantle for the Sudan expedition and fought at Hasheen and at the destruction of Temai, receiving a clasp. He retired from the army in 1891, two years after he succeeded his father as Baron. He also followed in his father's footsteps as Lord Lieutenant of Kincardineshire. He became a Justice of the Peace for the county and a Brigadier in the Royal Company of Archers. Sir John Gladstone died in 1826 aged 74.

The bed is formed of two side rails that are hinged to the centre at the point of the middle legs. The side rails have threaded ends and bolt through the end rails and the four corner legs. Two bracing bars, to hold the width of the bed, are fitted to the middle legs and bars are also added to form the foot and head of the bed. The canvas is packed fitted to the side rails so only needs to be stretched and fixed by the three leather belts to each end. It can be pulled taught using the looped rope that joins the two parts of the canvas.

With a mattress added, the bed is still useable although it might be considered too heavy to take on campaign these days. It stands out for retaining its packing case, having a good maker and an excellent provenance connected to one of Britain's most recognised regiments. The bed dates to between 1873 and 1889 when Gladstone became Baron as his title is not used on the box. Circa 1875.

The Bed size is given. The length for sleeping is 75 inches (190.5cm)


Height 86.33 cm / 34 "
Width 209.47 cm / 82 "
Depth 86.33 cm / 34 "

Circa 1875


Wrought Iron, Painted Pine Box




J.R.Gladstone Esq. Coldstream Guards Hill & Millard


Antique Campaign Furniture

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