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The Scottish Nation


Of the old families of this name, that of Stuart of Allanbank, Berwickshire, a branch of the house of Steuart, baronets, of Coltness, possessed a baronetcy of Nova Scotia, conferred on Robert Steuart of Allanbank, 15th August 1687, with remainder to his heirs male whatsoever. Sir John Stuart, the third baronet, passed advocate in 1737, and for many years was sheriff of Berwickshire. His son, Sir John, fourth baronet, married in 1778, Frances, daughter of James Coutts, Esq., banker in London, and by her had two sons and five daughters. Sir James Stuart, the elder son, succeeded his father as fifth baronet, and died 29th January 1849, when the title became extinct.


The Stuarts of Dunearn, Fifeshire, were descended from the Hon. Archibald Stuart, fourth son of the third earl of Moray. The Rev. Charles Stuart of Dunearn, at one time minister of Cramond, resigned that charge from conscientious scruples, and having taken the degree of M.D. at the university of Edinburgh in 1795, afterwards practiced medicine in that city. He died in 1828. His eldest son, James Stuart, for a long time styled younger of Dunearn, was bred to the law, and became a writer to the signet in 1798, but was more attached to agricultural pursuits than to those of his profession. A zealous and uncompromising Whig, he made himself prominent by his constant opposition to the Tory rule, which then reigned paramount in Scotland. One of the most eminent partisans on the Tory side was Sir Alexander Boswell of Auchinleck, baronet, a gentleman gifted with much witty pleasantry and caustic humour, which he used unsparingly against his political adversaries. Unfortunately, by the betrayal of MSS., some squibs which he had contributed to a Glasgow newspaper called the Sentinel, one of them reflecting personally on Mr. Stuart, were traced to his pen, and refusing to apologize, a duel was the consequence, when Sir Alexander met his death. This took place in 1822. Mr. Stuart was tried for his murder before the high court of justiciary, but acquitted, it being universally admitted that he could not have acted otherwise than he did. Having subsequently engaged in extensive speculations in land, he became deeply involved by the catastrophe of the disastrous year 1825, and thought it prudent to retire to the United States. On his return, he published an account of his travels in America, which attracted much attention at the time. Soon after, he was appointed editor of the Courier, at that period an influential evening paper, and in that capacity he gave every support in his power to the liberal party. Appointed by Lord Melbourne, when prime minister, inspector of factories, he held that situation till his death, which took place 3d November 1849, in his 74th year. He married Miss Moubray of Cockairny, Fifeshire, but had no issue.


Stuart de Decies, baron, a title in the peerage of the United Kingdom, conferred in 1839, on Henry Stuart Villiers of Dromona, county Waterford, Ireland, eldest son of Lord Henry Stuart, fifth son of the first marquis of Bute, and Lady Gertrude Emilia Villiers, only daughter and heiress of the last earl of Grandison. With his brothers and sisters he assumed the additional name of Villiers by sign manual in 1822.


Stuart de Rothesay, baron, a title in the peerage of the United Kingdom, conferred in January 1828, for his diplomatic services, on Sir Charles Stuart, G.C.B., eldest son of General the Hon. Sir Charles Stuart. Lord Stuart de Rothesay died in 1845, without issue, when the title became extinct.


Of Lord Dudley Coutts Stuart, eighth son of the first marquis of Bute, and the only son of his second marriage with Frances, second daughter of Thomas Coutts, Esq., banker in London, mention has been made under that title. From his early years he was distinguished for his liberal opinions in politics and his sympathy with the sufferings of the oppressed. In 1830 he was elected M.P. for Arundel, and his first speech in parliament was made in favour of the Reform Bill. His name was associated with the cause of the Polish people, as one of their most unflinching friends, and, after the unfortunate result of the revolt of 1830, he was mainly instrumental in obtaining from parliament a vote of £10,000, for the relief of the Polish exiles in England. In 1847, after being ten years out of the House of Commons, he was returned to parliament for the borough of Marylebone, by a large majority, and in 1852, was re-elected, without opposition. In the beginning of September 1854, he left England in the hope of recruiting his health, and after visiting Denmark, went to Sweden. He arrived at Stockholm on the 1st October, and immediately after was seized with a complaint resembling cholera, succeeded by typhus fever. On his partial recovery, he had a long audience with the king of Sweden, and attended the meetings of the chambers. Attacked, soon after, with an affection of the lungs, he died 17th November 1854, at the age of fifty-one. In 1824, he had married Christina Alexandrina Egypta, daughter of Lucien Bonaparte, prince of Canino. That lady died 14th May 1847, leaving an only son, Paul Asmadeus Francis Coutts Stuart, an officer in the army.


The Stuarts of Inchbreck and Laithers, Aberdeenshire, are descended from Andrew Stewart of Johnston, Laurencekirk, great-grandson of Murdach, duke of Albany, executed by James I., in 1425. Andrew’s son, David Stewart, was the first of Inchbreck, 1547. He had a son, John, whose great-grandson, William Stuart of Inchbreck, married Margaret, eldest daughter and heiress of David Guthrie of Kair, and grand-daughter and heiress of Henry Guthrie of Halkerton, Forfarshire, by his wife, Margaret Sibbald, heiress and last of the ancient family of the Sibbalds of Kair in the Mearns. They had two sons, John, the representative of the Kair family, who succeeded to Inchbreck, and James, who, after serving with the army in Holland, joined the Pretender in 1745, and after the battle of Culloden, fled to France, and entered the French service. He died at St. Omer in 1776, a knight of the order of St. Louis.

John Stuart of Inchbreck, the eighth of this family, was professor of Greek in Marischal college, Aberdeen, and died in 1827. His eldest son, George Andrew Stuart of Inchbreck, died, without issue, 16th June 1844, and was succeeded by his brother, Alexander Stuart of Laithers; married, with issue.

STUART, ARABELLA, commonly called the Lady Arabella Stuart (see article LENNOX). Her portrait is subjoined.

[portrait of Arabella Stuart]

STUART, JAMES, prior of St. Andrews and earl of Moray, celebrated as “the Good Regent,” was the natural son of James V. by Lady Margaret Erskine, daughter of the fifth earl of Mar, who afterwards married Sir Robert Douglas of Lochleven. He was born in 1533, and in his infancy was placed under the care of the celebrated George Buchanan. In 1538, though then only fifteen years of age, at the head of a little band of patriots, he repulsed an English force which had made a descent on the coast of Fife. He accompanied his sister, the young Queen Mary, when she went to France for her education; and having, in addition to the priories of St. Andrews and Pittenweem, acquired that of Mascon in France, he received, in 1555, a dispensation from the Pope to hold the three benefices. Three years after, he was one of the commissioners sent to France by the Scots Estates to be present at the marriage of the queen to the dauphin.

At the commencement of the religious struggles in Scotland, the Lord James Stuart, as he was then called, adhered at first to the party of the queen regent; but, disgusted with her insincerity and disregard of treaties, he joined the Lords of the Congregation in 1559; and by his sagacity and penetration, as well as his boldness in defence of the Reformed doctrines, soon became the leader of his party. During all the transactions which followed, he continued to direct their counsels with great wisdom, prudence, and ability; and, next to John Knox, it may be said that to him it was principally owing that the Reformation made so great progress in Scotland. Soon after the death of the queen regent, in June 1560, he was chosen one of the lords of the articles; and, in 1561, he was sent by the convention of estates to France, to invite Mary to return home. On her arrival in Scotland, he became her prime minister and adviser. To him and to Maitland of Lethington was committed the chief direction of affairs, and by their prudent advice she conducted herself for some time with great moderation. As the queen’s lieutenant he dispersed a numerous band of moss-troopers which infested the borders, and brought the leaders of them to condign punishment. In February 1562 he was created earl of Mar, and he soon after married Lady Agnes Keith, daughter of the earl Marischal, by whom he had two daughters. The earldom of Mar having been claimed by Lord Erskine, the Lord James received the title of earl of Moray, by which he is best known in history.

The earl of Huntly, the leader of the Popish party, having, with his two sons, appeared in arms in the north, Moray, with an inferior force, immediately marched against him, and by his steady courage and prudent conduct entirely defeated the rebels, at Corrichie, October 28, 1562, Huntly himself being slain, and his two sons taken prisoners. Moray continued to direct the counsels of the queen till her nuptials with Darnley in July 1565. He warmly opposed the marriage, and finding that the earl of Bothwell and others of his declared enemies were openly received and encouraged by the queen, he withdrew from court, and declined to attend a convention which was ordered to meet at Perth. Three days after the marriage he was summoned to court by the queen, and refusing to appear, was proclaimed an outlaw, and, in self-defence, with others of the nobility, was compelled to have recourse to arms. Being pursued, however, from place to place, by Mary, in person, at the head of a superior force, he was at last obliged, with his adherents, to take refuge in England.

The day after the assassination of Rizzio, March 10, 1566, Moray and the banished lords returned to Edinburgh, having been invited home by the conspirators against the unfortunate secretary. Moray was graciously received both by Mary and her husband, and he and the Protestant nobles soon after obtained a full pardon. Perceiving, however, that he had not regained the confidence of her majesty, and disapproving of her conduct, he declined taking any active part in public affairs, and appeared very seldom at court. After the murder of Darnley he obtained her majesty’s permission to leave the kingdom, and, in April 1567, went to France, where he remained till recalled by a message from the confederated lords.

He arrived in Edinburgh about August 10th of the same year, when he found that Mary, then a prisoner in Lochleven, had subscribed the instruments by which she resigned the crown, and appointed him regent. He was formally invested with the regency, August 22d, 1567, and, as soon as he was confirmed in the government, he exerted himself with great zeal and prudence to secure the peace of the kingdom, and to settle the affairs of the church. He was actively occupied in restoring tranquility and confidence to the nation, and in receiving the submission of many of the queen’s faction, when, on May 2d, 1568, Mary escaped from Lochleven, and the discontented nobles immediately joined her standard. At this critical juncture the genius and prudence of the regent were eminently displayed. He was at Glasgow at the time, holding a court of justice; and, while he amused the queen for some days with negotiations, he employed himself with the utmost activity in drawing together his adherents from different parts of the kingdom.

As soon as he was in a condition to take the field, he broke off the negotiation, and determined to hazard a battle. Mary, whose interest it was to avoid a contest, imprudently attacked his army in an advantageous position at Langside, May 19, 1568, and, being completely defeated, fled to England, and threw herself on the generosity of Elizabeth. In October of the same year, the English queen having procured herself to be chosen umpire between the two parties, he went with other commissioners to England, and, at the conference held at Westminster, in vindication of his own conduct, he openly charged Mary not only with having consented to the murder of Darnley, but with being accessory to its contrivance and execution. He returned to Scotland in February 1569, and, by his prompt and vigorous measures, broke the party of the queen, under the duke of Chatelherault, whom he committed prisoner to the castle of Edinburgh.

The partisans of Mary now resolved to cut him off by private means. During the year 1568, two persons were employed to assassinate him, but the design was discovered and prevented. He at last fell a victim to the resentment and party feelings of Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh, one of the prisoners taken at Langside, who, after being tried, condemned, and brought out to execution, had his life and liberty granted to him by the regent. Unfortunately, a forfeited estate of his had been bestowed on one of the regent’s favourites, and his wife was turned out naked, in a cold night, into the open fields, where, before morning, she became furiously mad. Hamilton, therefore, resolved on the most signal vengeance. By this man the regent was shot through the body by a musket-ball at Linlithgow, January 21, 1570, and died the same evening, in the 37th year of his age.

STUART, MARY, Queen of Scots. See MARY STUART.

STUART, JOHN, third earl of Bute, a statesman and patron of literature. See BUTE, title of.

STUART, DR. GILBERT, an eminent historical and miscellaneous writer, was born at Edinburgh in 1742. He was educated in the university of that city, where his father, Mr. George Stuart, was professor of humanity, and was destined for the bar, but relinquished law for literature. In 1768 he published ‘An Historical Dissertation concerning the antiquity of the English Constitution.’ This was the fruit of his early and vigorous application to the study of history and the general principles of legislation, and the merit of which procured him the degree of doctor of laws from the university of Edinburgh. In 1772 he edited Sullivan’s Lectures on the English Constitution, to which he prefixed a ‘Discourse on the Government and Laws of England.’ Being disappointed, principally through the influence of Dr. Robertson exerted against him, in an attempt to obtain one of the law professorships in the university of Edinburgh, he removed to London, and from 1768 to 1773 he was a regular contributor to the Monthly Review.

In the latter year Dr. Stuart returned to his native city, and, in conjunction with Mr. Smellie and others, commenced the Edinburgh Magazine and Review; but his illiberal and virulent criticisms and coarse personalities ruined the character of the work, which was discontinued in 1776. Two of his most prominent characteristics were arrogance of manners, and a lofty idea of his own genius and learning. On the failure of the Magazine, he thus wrote: “It is my constant fate to be disappointed in everything I attempt; I do not think I ever had a wish that was gratified, and never dreaded an event that did not come. With this felicity of fate, I wonder how the devil I could turn projector. I am now sorry that I left London; and the moment I have money enough to carry me back to it I shall set off. I mortally abhor and detest this place, and everybody in it. Never was there a city where there was so much pretension to knowledge and that had so little of it. The solemn foppery, and the gross stupidity of the Scottish literati are perfectly insupportable. Nothing will do in this country that has common sense in it; only cant, hypocrisy, and superstition will flourish here. A curse on the country, and on all the men, women, and children of it.”

In 1778 he published his ‘View of Society in Europe, in its Progress from Rudeness to Refinement,’ which became the most popular of his works. The year following appeared his ‘Observations concerning the Public Law and Constitutional History of Scotland;’ in 1780 ‘The History of the Reformation in Scotland;’ and, in 1782, ‘The History of Scotland, from the establishment of the Reformation to the Death of Queen Mary,’ in 2 vols. His object in this publication was to vindicate the character of the queen, and to expose the weakness of the proofs of her guilt brought forward by Dr. Robertson, whose writings he assailed throughout life with unrelenting animosity. In 1782 he again repaired to London, and engaged in writing for the Political Herald and English Review; but habits of intemperance had undermined his constitution, and being attacked with dropsy, he returned to his father’s house at Musselburgh, where he died, August 13, 1786.

STUART, SIR CHARLES, a distinguished general, fourth son of the third earl of Bute, was born in January 1753. He was educated under the superintendence of his father, and after having made the tour of Europe, and been presented at the principal courts, he entered the army in 1768, as ensign in the 37th foot. He was rapidly promoted through the intermediate steps, and in 1777 was made lieutenant-colonel of the 26th foot or Cameronians. He continued in that regiment for several years, and eminently distinguished himself in the American revolutionary war. In 1782, he had the rank of colonel, and in 1793 of major-general. In October 1794 he was appointed colonel of the 68th foot, and in the following March of his old regiment, the 26th. In 1794 and following year he was employed in the Mediterranean, and made himself master of Corsica. In December 1796, he was appointed to the command of the auxiliary British force in Portugal, and the measures he adopted, on his arrival with the troops, effectually secured that country against the then threatened invasion of the French.

On his return to Britain, he was, in January 1798, promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general. In September of that year he again sailed for Portugal, took the British troops there under his command, and proceeded with them to Minorca. He landed November 7, and by the 18th of the same month, he had made a conquest of the whole island, without the loss of a man, the Spanish forces, to the number of 3,700, having capitulated. For this important service, he was invested with the order of the Bath, January 8, 1799, and the same year was appointed governor of Minorca. He was afterwards summoned to the defence of Sicily, and at the close of the same year was ordered to Malta, which Bonaparte had conquered on his voyage to Egypt. After taking the fortress of La Valette by blockade, he returned to England, and to his representations it was partly owing that the British government retained possession of that island. He died at Richmond Lodge, May 25, 1801, in his 49th year, leaving two sons, the elder of whom, for his diplomatic services, was, in January 1828, created a British peer, by the title of Baron Stuart de Rothesay.

The Winter Queen
Being the Unhappy History of Elizabeth Stuart, Electress Palatine, Queen of Bohemia by Marie Hay (1910)

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