The Earl of Bute
3rd Earl of Bute by Sir Joshua Reynolds
|Prime Minister of Great Britain|
26 May 1762 –8 April 1763
|Preceded by||The Duke of Newcastle|
|Succeeded by||George Grenville|
|Leader of the House of Lords|
26 May 1762 –8 April 1763
|Preceded by||The Duke of Newcastle|
|Secretary of State for the Northern Department|
25 March 1761 –27 May 1762
|Prime Minister||The Duke of Newcastle|
|Preceded by||The Earl of Holdernesse|
|Succeeded by||George Grenville|
25 May 1713
|Died||10 March 1792 78) (aged|
|Resting place||St Mary's Chapel, Rothesay, Isle of Bute|
|Nationality||Scottish and British|
Mary Wortley Montagu (m. 1736)
|Parents|| James Stuart, 2nd Earl of Bute |
Lady Anne Campbell
|Alma mater||Leiden University|
John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, // ; 25 May 1713 – 10 March 1792) was a British nobleman who served as Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1762 to 1763 under George III. He was arguably the last important favourite in British politics. He was the first Prime Minister from Scotland following the Acts of Union in 1707 and the first Tory to have held the post. He was also elected as the first President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland when it was founded in 1780.(
He was born in Parliament Close, close to St Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh on 25 May 1713, the son of James Stuart, 2nd Earl of Bute, and his wife, Lady Anne Campbell.He attended Eton College from midsummer 1724 to Whitsun 1730. He went on to study civil law at the Universities of Groningen (1730–32) and Leiden (1732–34) in the Netherlands, graduating from the latter with a degree in civil law.
A close relative of the Clan Campbell (his mother was a daughter of the 1st Duke of Argyll), Bute succeeded to the Earldom of Bute (named after the Isle of Bute) upon the death of his father, James Stuart, 2nd Earl of Bute, in 1723. He was brought up thereafter by his maternal uncles, the 2nd Duke of Argyll and Archibald Campbell, 3rd Duke of Argyll, 1st and only Earl of Ilay. In August 1735, he eloped with Mary Wortley Montagu, whose parents Sir Edward and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu were slow to consent to the marriage. [ citation needed ]In 1737, he was elected a Scottish representative peer; despite being in London in December of that year, he did not participate in deliberations in the House of Lords. Because of his support for Argyll against Walpole, he was not re-elected in 1741. For the next several years he retired to his estates in Scotland to manage his affairs and indulge his interest in botany.
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In 1745, Bute moved to Westminster, London, where his family rented a house at Twickenham for forty-five pounds per annum. [ citation needed ] Bute furthermore became close to Prince Frederick's widow, Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, the Dowager Princess of Wales, and it was rumoured that the couple were having an affair. Indeed, one of the Prince of Wales's associates, John Horne Tooke, published a scandalous pamphlet alluding to the liaison, but the rumours were almost certainly untrue, since Bute held sincere religious beliefs against adultery[ citation needed ] and, by all indications, appeared happily married.He met Frederick, Prince of Wales, in 1747 at the Egham Races and became a close friend. After the Prince's death in 1751, Bute was appointed tutor to Prince George, the new Prince of Wales. Bute arranged for the Prince and his brother Prince Edward to follow a course of lectures on natural philosophy by the itinerant lecturer Stephen Demainbray. This led to an interest in natural philosophy on the part of the young prince and may have led to George III's collection of natural philosophical instruments.
In 1780, Bute was elected as the first President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
Because of the influence he had over his pupil, Bute expected to rise quickly to political power following George's accession to the throne in 1760, but his plans were premature. It would first be necessary to remove both the incumbent Prime Minister (the Duke of Newcastle) and arguably the even more powerful Secretary of State for the Southern Department (William Pitt the Elder).The Government of the day, buoyed by recent successes in the Seven Years' War, was popular, however, and did well at the general election which, as was customary at the time, took place on the accession of the new monarch.
Supported by the King, Bute manoeuvred himself into power by first allying himself with Newcastle against Pitt over the latter's desire to declare war on Spain. Once thwarted in his designs against Spain by Bute and Newcastle, Pitt resigned his post as Secretary of State for the Southern Department. Next, Bute forced Newcastle's resignation as Prime Minister when he found himself in a small minority within the government over the level of funding and direction of the Seven Years' War. [ citation needed ]Re-elected as a Scottish representative peer in 1760, Bute was appointed the de facto Prime Minister after the resignations of Pitt and Newcastle, thus ending a long period of Whig dominance.
Bute's premiership was notable for the negotiation of the Treaty of Paris (1763) which concluded the Seven Years' War. In so doing, Bute had to soften his previous stance in relation to concessions given to France in that he agreed that the important fisheries in Newfoundland be returned to France without Britain's possession of Guadeloupe in return.
After peace was concluded, Bute and the King decided that Britain's military expenditure should not exceed its prewar levels, but they thought a large presence was necessary in America to deal with the French and Spanish threat. They therefore charged the colonists for the increased military levels, thus catalysing the resistance to taxes which led to the American Revolution.Bute also introduced a cider tax of four shillings per hogshead in 1763 to help finance the Seven Years' War.
King George began to see through Bute and turned against him after being criticised for an official speech which the press recognised as Bute's own work.[ citation needed ]
The journalist John Wilkes published a newspaper, The North Briton , in which both Bute and the Dowager Princess of Wales were savagely satirised. Bute resigned as prime minister shortly afterwards, although he remained in the House of Lords as a Scottish representative peer until 1780. He remained friendly with the Dowager Princess of Wales, but her attempts to reconcile him with George III proved futile.[ citation needed ]
For the remainder of his life, Bute remained at his estate in Hampshire, where he built himself a mansion called High Cliff near Christchurch. [ citation needed ] He financed Alberto Fortis's travels into Dalmatia. His botanical work culminated in the publication of Botanical Tables Containing the Families of British Plants in 1785. Even after his retirement, Bute was accused by many Americans in the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War as having an undue corrupting influence over the British government. He died at his home in South Audley Street, Grosvenor Square, Westminster, from complications of a fall suffered while staying at Highcliffe, and was buried at Rothesay on the Isle of Bute.From there he continued his pursuit of botany and became a major literary and artistic patron. Among his beneficiaries were Samuel Johnson, Tobias Smollett, Robert Adam, William Robertson and John Hill. He also gave considerably to the Scottish universities.
The flowering plant genus Stewartia is named after him.According to historian John Naish, the 18th-century expression "Jack Boot" meaning a stupid person originated as disparagement of Stuart's performance as Prime Minister.
Bute purchased Luton Hoo, or Luton Park, from Francis Herne MP in 1763 for the sum of £94,700. [ citation needed ]Recognising that the existing buildings were unsuitable, Bute commissioned the neoclassical architect Robert Adam to oversee the redesign of the estate house. Initial designs were unsatisfactory and, coupled with the sale of Bute House, Adams submitted new designs for a larger complex, which Bute further adjusted to include five book rooms and seven water closets. The building also housed an extensive art collection, particularly paintings of the Dutch and Flemish schools. A fire in March 1771 "did considerable damage" according to contemporary reports. The project was completed by 1773 but not according to the full plan, the second phase of which was abandoned. Dr. Samuel Johnson visiting the house in 1781 is quoted as saying, "This is one of the places I do not regret coming to see...in the house magnificence is not sacrificed to convenience, nor convenience to magnificence".
He died on 10 March 1792 at his London address, South Audley Street off Grosvenor Square.
In 1736 he married Mary Wortley Montagu. They had at least eleven children:
John Stuart was variously styled:
William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire,, styled Lord Cavendish before 1729 and Marquess of Hartington between 1729 and 1755, was a British Whig statesman and nobleman who was briefly nominal Prime Minister of Great Britain. He was the first son of William Cavendish, 3rd Duke of Devonshire and his wife, the former Catherine Hoskins.
Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford, KG of Chenies in Buckinghamshire and of Bedford House in Exeter, Devon, was an English nobleman, soldier, and politician. He was a godfather to the Devon-born sailor Sir Francis Drake. He served as Lord Lieutenant of Devon (1584-5).
John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford, was an 18th-century British statesman. He was the fourth son of Wriothesley Russell, 2nd Duke of Bedford, by his wife, Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of John Howland of Streatham, Surrey. Known as Lord John Russell, he married in October 1731 Diana Spencer, daughter of Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland; became Duke of Bedford on his brother's death a year later; and having lost his first wife in 1735, married in April 1737 Lady Gertrude Leveson-Gower, daughter of John Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Gower.
Colonel James Archibald Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie, 1st Baron Wharncliffe, PC was a British soldier and politician. A grandson of Prime Minister John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, he held office under Sir Robert Peel as Lord Privy Seal between 1834 and 1835 and as Lord President of the Council between 1841 and 1845.
Marquess of the County of Bute, shortened in general usage to Marquess of Bute, is a title in the Peerage of Great Britain. It was created in 1796 for John Stuart, 4th Earl of Bute.
John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute,, KGCHS, was a landed aristocrat, industrial magnate, antiquarian, scholar, philanthropist, and architectural patron.
Earl of Wharncliffe, in the West Riding of the County of York, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.
John Crichton-Stuart, 4th Marquess of Bute, KT, was a Scottish peer.
John Crichton-Stuart, 6th Marquess of Bute, KBE FRSE FRIAS(Hon) FRSA LLD was a Scottish peer, benefactor and patron of the arts. He was largely known either as Lord Bute or simply John Bute.
Mary Stuart, Countess of Bute, 1st Baroness Mount Stuart was the wife of British nobleman John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, who served as Prime Minister from 1762 to 1763.
John Stuart, Lord Mount Stuart, was an England-born Scottish Tory politician.
Lieutenant-general Sir Charles Stuart,, was a British nobleman and soldier. The fourth son of John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, and Mary Wortley Montagu, he was born in Kenwood House, London. There is a famous painting in the Tate Gallery, London, of him aged 10 stealing eggs and chicks from a bird's nest.
Lady Louisa Stuart was a British writer of the 18th and 19th centuries. Her long life spanned nearly ninety-four years.
The Hon James Stuart-Mackenzie FRSE FSA was a Scottish politician and joint founder of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1783.
Clan Stuart of Bute is a Highland Scottish Clan and is a branch of the larger Clan Stewart.
John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, served as Prime Minister of Great Britain during 1762–1763. He was the first Tory Prime Minister since the Harley ministry during 1710–1714 though his ministry was largely made up of Whigs.
The Anglo-Prussian Convention was agreed on 11 April 1758 between Great Britain and the Kingdom of Prussia formalising the alliance between them that had effectively existed since the Convention of Westminster in 1756.
Frederick Stuart was a British East India Company employee and politician.
Frances Douglas, Lady Douglas, formerly Lady Frances Scott, was the wife of Archibald Douglas, 1st Baron Douglas, and the mother of novelist Caroline Lucy Scott. Like her brother, Henry Scott, 3rd Duke of Buccleuch, she was closely acquainted with the novelist Walter Scott. She was an amateur artist, some of whose works have survived.
He left Eton College in 1730, and subsequently travelled to the Netherlands where he too pursued civil law, first attending Groningen University, before moving to Leiden University in 1732. After spending two years in Leiden, Bute left in March 1734 with a degree in civil law.
The Earl of Holdernesse
| Secretary of State for the Northern Department |
The Duke of Newcastle
| Prime Minister of Great Britain |
26 May 1762 – 8 April 1763
| First Lord of the Treasury |
| Keeper of the Privy Purse |
The Earl of Chatham
| Oldest living Prime Minister of Great Britain |
|Peerage of Scotland|
| Earl of Bute |