Henry Villiers-Stuart

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Henry Windsor Villiers-Stuart (13 September 1827 – 12 October 1895), was a British soldier, politician, clergyman and author.


He was the son of Henry Villiers-Stuart, 1st and last Baron Stuart de Decies,[1] son of Lord Henry Stuart and his wife, Lady Gertrude Amelia, daughter of George Mason-Villiers, 2nd Earl Grandison.[2] His paternal great-grandfather was John Stuart, 1st Marquess of Bute, son of Prime Minister John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute.[3][4] Henry Villiers-Stuart had a younger sister, Pauline, later Lady Wheeler Cuffe (died 5 July 1895).[5]

His mother was Theresia Pauline (née Ott), an Austrian Roman Catholic from Vienna. His parents married on 12 January 1826 in a Roman Catholic service at St James's, Spanish Place, London, and also under Scottish law, but there was uncertainty over whether Theresia was free to marry.[clarification needed] Theresia's married name became Villiers-Stuart, and, as a result of her marriage, she was styled as Baroness Stuart de Decies on 10 March 1839. She died on 7 August 1867 at Wiesbaden, Hesse, Germany and was interred at Villierstown, County Waterford, Ireland.[6][clarification needed]


Villiers-Stuart was educated at University College, Durham[7] and served in the Austrian Imperial Army from 1844–46 and in the British Army from 1846-47.

He was ordained in the Church of England and served as Vicar of Bulkington, Warwickshire from 1852–55, and of Napton from 1855–71, when he resigned Holy Orders to pursue a political career and was successfully returned to Parliament for County Waterford in 1873.[3][4]

His father died the following year and he then resigned his seat so that he could pursue his claim to the barony of Stuart de Decies. However, Stuart-Villiers was unable to satisfactorily claim that his parents were legally married and was not allowed to assume the title. He was again elected to the House of Commons for County Waterford in 1880, a seat he held until 1885. After the British intervention in Egypt in 1882 he was sent by the British government to report on the conditions of the people in that country, and produced several books on the topic, including Egypt after the War, which received the special recognition of Lord Dufferin, and his reports were published as a parliamentary blue-book.[3]

Villiers-Stuart was appointed High Sheriff of County Waterford for 1889.[8][9]

Personal life[edit]

Villiers-Stuart married Mary Power in 1865. They had five sons and four daughters. He died in October 1895, aged 68, after falling from his boat on the River Blackwater, and drowning off Villierstown Quay, near his residence at Dromana, Waterford. His wife survived him by twelve years, dying in September 1907.[3][9]


  • Eve of the Deluge. London, 1851.
  • Nile Gleanings. Concerning the Ethnology, History, and Art of Ancient Egypt,' London, 1879.
  • The Funeral Tent of an Egyptian Queen. London, 1882.
  • Egypt after the War. London, 1883. Being The Narrative of a Tour of Inspection, Including Experiences Among The Natives, With Descriptions of Their Homes And Habits.
  • Adventures amidst the Equatorial Forests and Rivers of South America. London, 1891

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Henry Windsor Villiers-Stuart profile, thepeerage.com; accessed 8 April 2014.
  2. ^ Victim, Beneficiary and Follower of his Father's Legacy; accessed 8 April 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d Villiers-Stuart Collection in University College Cork Library Fund, ucc.ie; accessed 8 April 2014.
  4. ^ a b Villiers-Stuart Papers at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland 2007, proni.gov.uk; accessed 8 April 2014.
  5. ^ Pauline, Lady Wheeler Cuffe profile, npg.org.uk; accessed 8 April 2014.
  6. ^ Profile of Theresia, Baroness Stuart de Decies, thepeerage.com; accessed 8 April 2014.
  7. ^ University College, Durham website; accessed 8 April 2014.
  8. ^ Castle and mansion-house of Dromana, County Waterford; accessed 8 April 2014.
  9. ^ a b Profile, waterfordcountymuseum.org; accessed 8 April 2014.


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir John Esmonde, Bt
Edmond de la Poer
Member of Parliament for County Waterford
With: Sir John Esmonde, Bt
Succeeded by
Sir John Esmonde, Bt
Lord Charles Beresford
Preceded by
Lord Charles Beresford
James Delahunty
Member of Parliament for County Waterford
With: John Aloysius Blake 1880–1884
Patrick Joseph Power 1884–1885
Constituency abolished