James Stuart (scientist)

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James Stuart
James Stuart.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Sunderland
In office
8 February 1906 – 15 January 1910
Serving with Thomas Summerbell
Preceded bySir Theodore Doxford
Succeeded bySamuel Storey
Member of Parliament
for Hoxton
In office
18 December 1885 – 26 September 1900
Preceded byConstituency created
Succeeded byClaude Hay
Member of Parliament
for Hackney
In office
20 November 1884 – 24 November 1885
Serving with John Holms
Preceded byHenry Fawcett
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Born2 January 1843
Markinch, Fife, Scotland
Died12 October 1913 (aged 70)
Norwich, Norfolk, England
Political partyLiberal
Laura Elizabeth Colman
(m. 1890)
  • Joseph Gordo Stuart
  • Catherine Booth
Alma materMadras College
University of St Andrews
Trinity College, Cambridge
OccupationScientist; Educator

James Stuart (2 January 1843 – 12 October 1913) was a British educator and politician. He was born in Markinch, Fife, and attended the University of St Andrews before going to Trinity College, Cambridge.[1] He later became a Fellow of the College and Professor of Mechanism and Applied Mechanics at Cambridge University from 1875; he was also Lord Rector of St Andrews from 1898 to 1901. Stuart was interested in popularising scientific topics and published several books on the subject.

Stuart was an unsuccessful Liberal candidate for the Cambridge University parliamentary seat in an 1882 by-election; in 1884 he was elected for Hackney. From the 1885 election he sat for the Hoxton division of Shoreditch. He became known for his contribution to London politics and in February 1890 was chosen as an Alderman of the London County Council, the added work caused him to resign his chair at Cambridge. The Progressive Party on the LCC chose him as its Leader shortly after his election but he stood down after the 1892 council election.

In the 1900 general election, Stuart lost his seat in Parliament. He returned briefly for Sunderland from 1906 until again being defeated in January 1910. He was appointed to the Privy Council in 1909. Suffering poor health, he published his memoirs ("Reminiscences") in 1912.

Vanity Fair[edit]

"Hoxton Division"
Stuart as caricatured in Vanity Fair, October 1899

On 5 October 1899, his caricature appeared in Vanity Fair, accompanied by the following biographical note-

"Statesmen No.715
Dr James Stuart, M.P.
He became a Fifeshire Scotchman six-and-fifty years ago; and having been doubly educated (at St. Andrews University and at Trinity, Cambridge) he fashioned himself into a Professor of Mechanics and Applied Mechanics. Then he tried to become Member for Cambridge University; but Cambridge University refusing the honour, he went to Hackney, which place he represented for precisely one year. Since then he has sat for the Hoxton Division of Shoreditch, while he lives in Grosvenor Road.
He neither shoots nor fishes, and he seldom takes a holiday; but he yachts, he cycles, he plays golf, and he sketches. He has also dabbled in journalism, being Chairman of the Board of The Star and Morning Leader Newspaper and Publishing Company, Limited. He is also the husband of the eldest daughter of Jeremiah James Colman: wherefore The Pall Mall Gazette once accused him of introducing mustard into The Star. He has done much to develop the pernicious system of University Extension; and his friends say that the most wonderful thing about him is how little he has been understood by the public. He is many-sided and too enthusiastic. He champions Women's Suffrage because, being a student of Exact Science, he cannot understand Woman. He has, indeed, championed more than one unpopular movement; though he is said to have more intimate knowledge of London political and social questions than anyone else. But he is a wicked Radical, whom the Water Companies hate, although he has friends among the Tories. He is a most tireless person of extraordinary physique, who can go all day without food; and though he can dine, he generally eats.
Although he is a Professor he is neither a prude nor a pedant; and if it were not for his pernicious Politics he would be a good fellow."


  1. ^ "Stuart, James (STRT862J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Henry Fawcett
John Holms
Member of Parliament for Hackney
With: John Holms
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Hoxton
Succeeded by
Claude Hay
Preceded by
Theodore Doxford
John Stapylton Grey Pemberton
Member of Parliament for Sunderland
1906January 1910
With: Thomas Summerbell
Succeeded by
Samuel Storey
James Knott
Party political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Farrer
Leader of the Progressive Party
Succeeded by
Charles Harrison
Academic offices
Preceded by
The Marquess of Bute
Rector of the University of St Andrews
Succeeded by
Andrew Carnegie