National Records of Scotland

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John Stuart, third earl of Bute (1713-1792)

John Stuart, third earl of Bute (1713-1792)

Prime Minister, 1762-1763

John Stuart succeeded his father as earl of Bute in 1733 and studied law at the University of Leiden before returning to Mount Stuart to improve the family estates. After moving to London he was tutor and trusted adviser to the young George III. This resulted in political advancement and appointment as first Lord of the Treasury in 1762. The main achievement of his government was a peace treaty with France but he resigned in April 1763 when unpopularity led to threats of assassination. Wealth inherited through his wife's estates enabled him to become a patron of the sciences and the arts - beneficiaries included Robert Adam and William Robertson. A long-term interest in botany culminated in the publication of several volumes on the subject and his oversight of major developments to the collections and buildings at Kew. He donated his library to Marischal College in Aberdeen where he supported the museum and observatory. He died in London on 10 March 1792 and was buried at Rothesay, Isle of Bute.

Birth in 1713

John Stuart was born on 25 May 1713, the son of James, earl of Bute and Anne Campbell. The entry in the Old Parish Register (OPR) for Edinburgh records the surname as Boot and the witnesses to the baptism on 26 May as Neill Campbell (advocate), Ronald Campbell (Writer to the Signet) and John Campbell (baillie).

Birth and baptism entry for John Stuart

Birth and baptism entry for John Stuart (23 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 685-1/15, page 154