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Marquess of Bute

Marquessate of Bute
Creation date 27 February 1796
Monarch King George III
Peerage Peerage of Great Britain
First holder John Stuart, 1st Marquess of Bute
Present holder John Crichton-Stuart, 7th Marquess of Bute
Heir apparent John Crichton-Stuart, Earl of Dumfries
Remainder to the 1st Marquess's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten
Subsidiary titles Baron Mount Stuart; Baron Cardiff; Viscount of Kingarth; Viscount Mountjoy; Earl of Bute; Earl of Windsor
Currently the Earldom of Dumfries resides with the Marquesses of Bute. However, the Dumfries title, can be inherited through the female line through an amendment to its original creation and the title could be separated from the Marquesses of Bute should heirs presumptive to the titles of Bute and Dumfries be male and female, respectively, inherit.

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.


  • Family history 1
  • Other family members 2
  • Seats 3
  • Stuart Baronets, of Bute (1627) 4
  • Earls of Bute (1703) 5
  • Marquesses of Bute (1796) 6
  • Barons Mount Stuart (1761) 7
  • Family Tree 8
  • See also 9
  • Notes 10
  • References 11

Family history

John Stuart was the member of a family that descended from John Stewart (born 1360), Sheriff of Bute, a natural son of Robert II of Scotland and his mistress Moira Leitch, married to Janet Sympil and in 1407 to Elizabeth Graham. This John Stewart was granted the lands of Bute, Arran and Cumbrae by his father. He was known as the 'Black Stewart' because of his dark complexion; his brother John Stewart of Dundonald was known as the 'Red Stewart'. The grant of lands was confirmed in 1400 by a charter of Robert III.[1][2]

About 1385, John Stewart of Bute was granted the hereditary office of Sheriff of Bute by his father Robert II. He died in 1449, aged 89. At about the time of Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1762 to 1763. Lord Bute married Mary, daughter of Edward Wortley Montagu and his wife, the writer Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. In 1761 Mary was raised to the Peerage of Great Britain in her own right as Baroness Mount Stuart, of Wortley in the County of York, with remainder to the heirs male of her body by her then husband Lord Bute.

They were both succeeded by their eldest son, the fourth Earl. In 1766, he married the Hon. Charlotte Jane, daughter and heiress of Herbert Windsor, 2nd Viscount Windsor, son of Thomas Windsor, 1st Viscount Windsor (see John Stuart, Lord Mount Stuart (who predeceased his father), married Lady Elizabeth Penelope, daughter and heiress of Patrick McDouall, 6th Earl of Dumfries (see the Earl of Dumfries). Lord Mount Stuart's eldest son John succeeded his maternal grandfather as seventh Earl of Dumfries in 1803, and his paternal grandfather as second Marquess of Bute in 1814. In 1805, he assumed by Royal license the additional surname of Crichton before Stuart. He was succeeded by his only child, the third Marquess. He was an antiquarian, scholar, philanthropist and architectural patron and also held the post of Lord-Lieutenant of Buteshire. It was the 3rd Marquess who first converted to Catholicism (in late 1868),[3] since which time the family have remained Catholic. His son, the fourth Marquess, was also Lord-Lieutenant of Buteshire. His grandson, the sixth Marquess (who succeeded his father), was Lord-Lieutenant of Buteshire from 1967 to 1975. As of 2013, the titles are held by the latter's eldest son, the seventh Marquess, who succeeded in 1993. He is a successful racing driver.

Other family members

John Patrick Crichton-Stuart,
3rd Marquess of Bute

Numerous other members of the family have also gained distinction. Robert Stuart, younger son of the first Baronet, was created a Baronet in his own right in 1707. The Hon. James Stuart-Mackenzie, younger son of the second Earl, succeeded to the Mackenzie estates through his paternal grandmother and assumed by Royal license the additional surname of Mackenzie. He was a Member of Parliament. The Hon. James Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie, second son of the third Earl, was a politician and the father of James Stuart-Wortley, 1st Baron Wharncliffe (see the Earl of Wharncliffe for more information on this branch of the family). Lieutenant-General the Hon. Sir Charles Stuart, fourth son of the third Earl, was a distinguished soldier and the father of Charles Stuart, 1st Baron Stuart de Rothesay (see the Baron Stuart de Rothesay). The Most Reverend the Hon. William Stuart, fifth son of the third Earl, was Archbishop of Armagh. His son Sir William Stuart was a Member of Parliament. His eldest son William Stuart also sat as a Member of Parliament. Lady Louisa Stuart, daughter of the third Earl, was a writer. Lord Evelyn Stuart, second son of the first Marquess, was a soldier and politician. Lord Henry Crichton-Stuart, third son of the first Marquess, was the father of Henry Villiers-Stuart, 1st Baron Stuart de Decies (see the Baron Stuart de Decies for more information on this branch of the family).

Rear-Admiral in the Royal Navy. Lord Dudley Stuart, sixth son of the first Marquess (and eldest from his second marriage), was a Member of Parliament. Lord Patrick Crichton-Stuart, second son of Lord Mount Stuart, eldest son of the first Marquess, was Member of Parliament for Cardiff. His eldest son James Crichton-Stuart also represented this constituency in Parliament. Lord Ninian Crichton-Stuart, second son of the third Marquess, was also Member of Parliament for Cardiff before his early death in the First World War. Lord Colum Crichton-Stuart, third and youngest son of the third Marquess, sat as Member of Parliament for Northwich for many years. Lord Robert Crichton-Stuart, second son of the fourth Marquess, was Lord-Lieutenant of Buteshire.

The Earls and Marquesses of Bute originally used the courtesy title Lord Mount Stuart for the heir apparent. After the earldom of Dumfries was inherited by the second Marquess, the heir apparent has been styled Earl of Dumfries and his heir apparent is styled Lord Mount Stuart. The current heir John Bryson Crichton-Stuart was styled as Lord Mount Stuart for some years after his father inherited the marquessate in 1993. This was because his father was well known as Johnny Dumfries, Earl of Dumfries. However, the current heir is now styled using the traditional title of the heir – Earl of Dumfries. He is known as Jack Dumfries for short, and his father is often known as John or Johnny Bute.


The family seat is Mount Stuart near Rothesay on the Isle of Bute. The current Marquess put the other family residence Dumfries House, near Cumnock, East Ayrshire up for sale. The National Trust for Scotland had an offer for the property rejected in 2005. Dumfries House was acquired by a charitable trust, The Great Steward of Scotland's Dumfries House Trust, with financial support from HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay. Following refurbishment, it opened to the public on 6 June 2008.[4]

Stuart Baronets, of Bute (1627)

Earls of Bute (1703)

Marquesses of Bute (1796)

The heir apparent is the present holder's son John Bryson Crichton-Stuart, Earl of Dumfries (b. 1989).

Barons Mount Stuart (1761)

see above for further succession

Family Tree

Sir James Stuart
1st Baronet
(died 1662)
William Crichton
1st Earl of Dumfries
Sir Dugald Stuart
2nd Baronet
(died 1670)
William Crichton
2nd Earl of Dumfries

James Stuart
1st Earl of Bute

(died 1710)
John Dalrymple
1st Earl of Stair

The Hon. Charles Chricton
Lord Crichton
James Stuart
2nd Earl of Bute

(died 1722/3)
William Dalrymple
of Glenmure
(died 1744)
Penelope Crichton
suo jure
4th Countess of Dumfries
(died 1641/2)
William Crichton
3rd Earl of Dumfries
(died 1694)
John Stuart
3rd Earl of Bute

Elizabeth Daylrymple
William Dalrymple-Crichton
5th Earl of Dumfries

4th Earl of Stair
John Stuart
1st Marquess of Bute

6th Earl of Dumfries

John Stuart
Viscount Mount Stuart

Elizabeth Penelope
John Crichton-Stuart
2nd Marquess of Bute
7th Earl of Dumfries

John Patrick Crichton-Stuart
3rd Marquess of Bute
8th Earl of Dumfries

John Patrick Crichton-Stuart
4th Marquess of Bute
9th Earl of Dumfries

John Crichton-Stuart
5th Marquess of Bute
10th Earl of Dumfries

John Crichton-Stuart
6th Marquess of Bute
11th Earl of Dumfries

John Colum Crichton-Stuart
7th Marquess of Bute
12th Earl of Dumfries

(born 1958)
John Bryson Crichton-Stuart
Lord Mount Stuart
(born 1989)

See also


  1. ^ a b Stewart Clan Scots Connection (accessed 12 March 2008)
  2. ^ Anderson, William, The Scottish Nation: or The Surnames, Families, Literature, Honours, and Biographical History of the People of Scotland (vol. I, ABE-CUR, Edinburgh, A. Fullarton & Co., 1862) pp 514-515, The Scottish nation Google Books, (accessed 12 March 2008)
  3. ^ Bence-Jones, Mark, The Catholic Families (1992) London: Constable and Company Ltd., pp. 203-4
  4. ^ Dumfries House accessed 11 June 2008.


  • Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition) New York: St Martin's Press, 1990,
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