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Armenian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Armen Sarkissian’s visit to Gladstone’s Library

22.05.2017

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 On May 22 Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the United Kingdom Armen Sarkissian visited Hawarden village in Wales, where the library of renowned statesman, former Prime Minister of Great Britain William Gladstone is located.

During the visit Ambassador Sarkissian had a meeting with Charlie Gladstone - a descendent of William Gladstone, visited the Gladstone Library and was also hosted at St Deiniol’s Church, located in the vicinity of the library.

After acquainting himself with Gladstonian heritage related to Armenians, Ambassador Sarkissian noted that such rich texts and testimonies can be a good basis for studying Armenian-British historical ties.

The leadership of the Library attached importance to the visit by the Armenian Ambassador and expressed their readiness for mutually beneficial co-operation.

At the end of the meeting Ambassador Sarkissian gifted the library a number of books dedicated to Armenia and Armenian history.

Reference: In the second half of the 19th century, William Gladstone (1809-1898), who served as the Prime Minister of Great Britain for four terms, made several speeches in defence of Armenians suffering under Turkish tyranny and for that reason enjoyed the respect of Armenians throughout the world.

To this day, the book of gratitude gifted to William Gladstone from the Armenian community of Moscow is kept and exhibited at Gladstone’s office.

At Gladstone’s Library, the only prime ministerial library in the United Kingdom, one can find the portrait of Mkrtich Khrimian, the Catholicos of All Armenians. Furthermore the New Testament of the Bible in Armenian gifted to Gladstone by Armenians from the Caucasus, Gladstone's 6 August 1895 speech at the Chester city council in defence of Armenians published in The Daily Graphic, and a number of other interesting materials have been kept there since 1895.

At the center of the altar of St Deiniol’s Church is a silver cross-handled cup, gifted to Gladstone by Armenians of London and Paris on 29 December 1894 on the occasion of his 85th birthday, which contains the following engraving in Armenian: "I will raise the cup of salvation and call it in the name of God."

 

The Church also has another symbol of the friendship of Armenians with Gladstone. Namely one of the stained glasses of the church, where St. Gregory the Illuminator and the Apostle of Bartholomew are depicted, which in 1987 was donated by an Armenian to the glory of God and to the memory of the Armenians in Turkey who suffered for the sake of faith, and as an expression of eternal gratitude to William Ewart Gladstone's inspirational example.

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