He joined the Royal Navy in about 1753. He attained the rank of Captain in 1762, the promotion being one of the terms of his surrendering his seat in Parliament. He commanded HMS Berwick in 1777. He served under Admiral Keppel in the action off Ushant on 27 July 1778.
In September 1778 he was given command of the squadron blockading Dutch ports. Although he resigned this appointment after a ship escaped, Stewart was a highly regarded Naval officer and his career continued. He served under Admiral Richard Howe in his expedition to Gibraltar.
Stewart became a rear admiral in 1790 and vice admiral in 1794.
Involvement in politics
He represented Wigtown Burghs for a short time in 1762, between winning a by-election on 19 February 1762 and resigning before a new MP was elected on 15 April 1762. He was MP for Wigtownshire 1768-1784.
He married 13 May 1782 Georgina Isabella d'Aguilar, daughter of Ephraim Lópes Pereira d'Aguilar, 2nd Baron d'Aguilar. Their children included Rt Hon James Alexander Stewart-Mackenzie. She married second 1797 Lt-Colonel Richard Fitzgerald (kia Battle of Waterloo).
- The London Gazette: . 2 October 1790.
- History of Parliament: House of Commons 1754-1790, by Sir Lewis Namier and James Brooke (Sidgwick & Jackson 1964)
- Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [self-published source][better source needed]
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