William Stuart (bishop)

The Most Reverend and Honourable
William Stuart
Archbishop of Armagh
Province Armagh
Diocese Armagh
Installed 1800
Term ended 1822
Predecessor William Newcome
Successor Lord John Beresford
Other posts Bishop of St David's
Consecration 12 January 1794
Personal details
Born March 1755
Died 6 May 1822(1822-05-06) (aged 67)
Buried Luton Hoo, England
Nationality British
Parents John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute
Mary Wortley-Montagu
Spouse Sophia Penn
Children Mary, William, Henry
Education Winchester College
Alma mater St John's College, Cambridge
Archbishop William Stuart sculpted by Francis Chantrey.

William Stuart PC (17551822) was an Anglican prelate who served as the Bishop of St David's in Wales from 1794 to 1800 and then Archbishop of Armagh in Ireland from 1800 until his death.

Family life

Stuart was the son of John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute (Prime Minister of Great Britain 1762–1763) and Mary Wortley-Montagu.[1] There is a painting in the Tate Gallery in London of him aged 12 stealing eggs and chicks from a bird's nest.[2]

He was educated at Winchester College and St John's College, Cambridge.

On 3 May 1796, William married Sophia Penn, daughter of Thomas Penn, and had three children:[1]

Episcopal ministry

In 1793 he was appointed Canon of the fourth stall at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, a position he held until 1800.

He was consecrated Bishop of St David's on 12 January 1794.[4] Six years later, he was nominated Archbishop of Armagh on 30 October 1800 and appointed by letters patent on 22 November 1800.[5]

He died in London (or possibly in Bath) from accidentally taking an improper medicine on 6 May 1822, aged 67.[5][6] He was buried at his family's seat, Luton Hoo in Bedfordshire.[6] In St Patrick's Anglican Cathedral in Armagh is a full length marble figure of the Archbishop, in the attitude of prayer; and beneath it is the following Latin inscription:[6]

M. S. / Reverendissimi in Christo patris / GULIELMI STUART, S T P. / per annos xxii hujusce Ecclesiæ / Archiepiscopi. / Hoc monumentum / Clerici Armachani / pio functi munere / posuerunt. / Obiit anno salutis MDCCCXXII / Ætat. Suæ Ixviii.[6]
In sacred memory of the most reverend father in Christ, William Stuart STP, for 22 years archbishop of this church. The clergy of Armagh, making a pious offering, placed this monument. He died in the year of grace 1822, in the 68th year of his age.


  1. 1 2 Most Rev. Hon. William Stuart. Peerage.com. Retrieved on 19 March 2010.
  2. Source: Cambridge University Alumni, 1261–1900.
  3. Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 299. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.
  4. 1 2 Fryde, ibid., p. 380.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Cotton, Henry (1849). The Succession of the Prelates and Members of the Cathedral Bodies of Ireland. Fasti ecclesiae Hiberniae. Vol. 3, The Province of Ulster. Dublin: Hodges and Smith. p. 28.
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Samuel Horsley
Bishop of St David's
Succeeded by
Lord George Murray
Church of Ireland titles
Preceded by
William Newcome
Archbishop of Armagh
Succeeded by
Lord John Beresford
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