John Stuart (judge)

For other people named John Stuart, see John Stuart (disambiguation).

Sir John Stuart (1793 – 29 October 1876)[1] was a British Conservative Party politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1846 to 1852, before becoming a judge.

Early life

Stuart was the son of Dugald Stuart, of Ballachulish in Argyll.[2] He was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in November 1819.[2]


He was elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) for the borough of Newark-on-Trent at an unopposed by-election in January 1846.[3][4] The borough was at that time under the patronage of the under the patronage of the Dukes of Newcastle-under-Lyne, and the 4th Duke was a staunch Conservative and protectionist.[2] In an address "to the free and independent-minded electors of the borough of Newark", he pledged himself as a "firm supporter" of the Church of England and of the Corn Laws, claiming that their abolition would "injure the best interests of our empire".[5] The hustings took place in the town square of Newark in heavy rain on the morning of 29 January 1846, where Stuart spoke in favour of protection for agriculture and for industry.[6] Since no other candidate was proposed, Stuart was nominated and promptly declared elected.[6] He was re-elected at the 1847 general election.[7]

At the 1852 general election he did not stand again in Newark.[3] The 5th Duke (who had succeeded in 1851) was a supporter of free trade, and declined to support Stuart.[8] Stuart was elected instead for the borough of Bury St Edmunds.[9][10] He resigned that seat later the same year to take up the post of Vice Chancellor[11] (i.e. a judge of the Court of Chancery). He succeeded James Parker, who had died,[12] after some speculation. Earlier that year Stuart had refused the post of Solicitor General in Lord Derby's new government, and was reported to be indignant that he was not appointed Lord Chancellor.[13] Whilst he was reported by The Times to be eminently qualified for the role, it was suggested that his Ultra-Toryism and opposition to reform of Chancery would make his appointment unpopular.[13]

He was knighted in 1853,[14] and sat as a judge until 1871, when he retired on a pension and was sworn as member of the Privy Council.[2]


In 1813, Stuart married Jessie, the daughter of Duncan Stewart.[2]

He was a landlord in Scotland, with estates at Loch Carron in Ross-shire and Grishernish on the Isle of Skye. He was reported by The Times newspaper to be a "deservedly popular" landlord.[2]


  1. Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "N" (part 1)
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Ex-Vice-Chancellor Stuart". The Times. London. 31 October 1876. pp. 9, col C.
  3. 1 2 Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1977]. British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 215. ISBN 0-900178-26-4.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 20565. p. 327. 30 January 1846. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  5. "Newark Election". The Times. London. 9 January 1846. p. 6.
  6. 1 2 "Newark Election". The Times. London. 30 January 1846. p. 7, col. D.
  7. The London Gazette: no. 20764. p. 2951. 13 August 1847. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  8. "Election Intelligence. Newark". The Times. London. 22 March 1852. p. 8, col. B.
  9. Craig, page 73
  10. The London Gazette: no. 21342. p. 2037. 23 July 1852. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  11. The London Gazette: no. 21389. p. 3576. 7 December 1852. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  12. The London Gazette: no. 21360. p. 2527. 21 September 1852. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  13. 1 2 "The Vacant Vice-Chancellorship". The Times. London. 18 August 1852. pp. 4, col F.
  14. Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "B" (part 6)
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
William Ewart Gladstone
Lord John Manners
Member of Parliament for Newark
1846 – 1852
With: Lord John Manners
John Manners-Sutton
Succeeded by
Granville Harcourt-Vernon
John Manners-Sutton
Preceded by
Edward Bunbury
The Earl Jermyn
Member of Parliament for Bury St Edmunds
1852 – 1852
With: The Earl Jermyn
Succeeded by
James Oakes
The Earl Jermyn
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 8/27/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.