John Stuart, 1st Marquess of Bute
Background and education
Stuart was the son of John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute and the former Mary Wortley Montagu, a granddaughter of the 1st Duke of Kingston-upon-Hull and great-granddaughter of the 1st Earl of Sandwich. He was educated at Winchester and Oxford University, and around 1757 he began to be tutored by the later famous Scottish philosopher Adam Ferguson.
Lord Mount Stuart was Tory Member of Parliament for Bossiney from 1766 to 1776. On 2 November 1775 he announced in the House of Commons his intention to introduce a bill to establish a militia in Scotland, and during the next few months James Boswell assisted in seeking support for the bill in Scotland. In March 1776 the bill was debated, but ultimately failed to pass.
In 1776 Mount Stuart was elevated to the Peerage of Great Britain in his own right as Baron Cardiff, of Cardiff Castle in the County of Glamorgan. Though this title was also used, he continued to be known by his courtesy title of Lord Mount Stuart. (He ranked higher in the order of precedence as the heir to an earldom than he did as a substantive baron.) In 1779 he was sworn of the Privy Council and was sent as an envoy to the court of Turin. He was ambassador to Spain in 1783. He held the sinecure of Auditor of the imprests from 1781 until the abolition of the office in 1785, upon which he was paid £7000 compensation.
He succeeded his father in the earldom in 1792. In 1794 he was created Viscount Mountjoy, in the Isle of Wight, Earl of Windsor and Marquess of Bute. (The Mountjoy and Windsor titles recognised the Barony of Mountjoy and Viscountcy of Windsor previously held by his father-in-law, the 2nd Viscount Windsor, which had both become extinct on Lord Windsor's death in 1758.) Lord Bute was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society on 12 December 1799.
Lord Bute married the Honourable Charlotte Hickman-Windsor, daughter of Herbert Hickman-Windsor, 2nd Viscount Windsor, on 12 November 1766. They had several children:
- John Stuart, Lord Mount Stuart (25 September 1767 – 22 January 1794), whose son succeeded as 2nd Marquess
- Lord Evelyn Stuart (1773–1842), a colonel in the army
- Lady Charlotte Stuart (c. 1775 – 5 September 1847), married Sir William Homan, 1st Baronet
- Lord Henry Stuart (7 June 1777 – 19 August 1809), father of Henry Villiers-Stuart, 1st Baron Stuart de Decies
- Captain Lord William Stuart (18 November 1778 – 28 July 1814)
- Rear-Admiral Lord George Stuart (1 March 1780 – 19 February 1841)
His first wife died on 28 January 1800. He married Frances Coutts, daughter of Thomas Coutts, on 17 September 1800. They had two children:
- Lady Frances Stuart (d. 29 March 1859) - Dudley Ryder, 2nd Earl of Harrowby
- Lord Dudley Coutts Stuart (11 January 1803 – 17 November 1854)
His second wife outlived him, and died on 12 November 1832.
- "John Stuart, 1st Marquess of the County of Bute," thePeerage.com. John Robertson, The Scottish Enlightenment and the Militia Issue (Edinburgh: John Donald Publishers, 1985), pp. 83 and 96, n. 75.
- Robertson, pp. 130-32.
- C. Evans (ed.), The Letterbook of Richard Crawshay, 1788-1797 (South Wales Record Society 6, 1991), p. 181.
- McCahill, M.W., The House of Lords in the Age of George III (Chichester: Wiley, 2009), p. 17, n. 23.
- Roland Thorne, ‘Stuart, John, first marquess of Bute (1744–1814)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008) , accessed 5 May 2008.
- Paola Bianchi, Nella specola dell'ambasciatore. Torino agli occhi di John Stuart, lord Mountstuart e marchese di Bute (1779-1783), in Architettura e città negli Stati sabaudi, a cura di E. Piccoli e F. De Pieri, Macerata, Quodlibet, 2012, pp. 135–160
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Marquess of Bute