James Stuart, 1st Viscount Stuart of Findhorn

James Gray Stuart, 1st Viscount Stuart of Findhorn, CH, MVO, MC*, PC (9 February 1897 – 20 February 1971) was a British Unionist politician. He was joint-Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury in Winston Churchill's war-time coalition government and later served as Secretary of State for Scotland under Churchill and then Sir Anthony Eden from 1951 to 1957. In 1959 he was elevated to the peerage as Viscount Stuart of Findhorn.

The Viscount Stuart of Findhorn
Photograph of Stuart by Walter Stoneman, taken August 1943.
Secretary of State for Scotland
In office
30 October 1951 – 9 January 1957
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Sir Anthony Eden
Preceded byHector McNeil
Succeeded byJohn Maclay
Chief Whip of the House of Commons
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
In office
14 January 1941 – 26 July 1945
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Preceded byCharles Edwards
Succeeded byWilliam Whiteley
Lord Commissioner of the Treasury
In office
1 May 1935 – 14 January 1941
Prime MinisterRamsay MacDonald
Stanley Baldwin
Neville Chamberlain
Winston Churchill
Preceded byLambert Ward
Succeeded by Thomas Dugdale
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
20 November 1959 – 20 February 1971
Hereditary Peerage
Preceded byPeerage created
Succeeded byThe 2nd Viscount Stuart of Findhorn
Member of Parliament
for Moray and Nairn
In office
6 December 1923 – 8 October 1959
Preceded byThomas Maule Guthrie
Succeeded byGordon Campbell
Personal details
Born(1897-02-09)9 February 1897
Edinburgh, Scotland
Died20 February 1971(1971-02-20) (aged 74)
Political partyUnionist
Lady Rachel Cavendish
(m. 1923)

Background edit

Born in Edinburgh, Stuart was the third and youngest son of Morton Stuart, 17th Earl of Moray, and Edith Douglas Palmer, daughter of Rear-Admiral George Palmer.

Military service edit

Shortly after the outbreak of World War I Stuart was commissioned from the Officers' Training Corps into the Special Reserve as a probationary Second lieutenant in the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, Royal Scots[1] (his probation completed in Jan 1915[2]) and served in the war, reaching the rank of Captain. He was awarded the Military Cross[3] and Bar[4] in 1917.

He was appointed Equerry to HRH Prince Albert in June 1920,[5] and was appointed a Member (4th Class) of the Royal Victorian Order in the 1922 New Year Honours, with the award dated 3 Dec 1921.[6]

Political career edit

Stuart sat as Member of Parliament (MP) for Moray and Nairn from 1923 to 1959.[7] He served as a Lord of the Treasury from 1935 to 1941 under successively Ramsay MacDonald, Stanley Baldwin, Neville Chamberlain and Winston Churchill and was sworn of the Privy Council in the 1939 Birthday Honours.[8] In 1941 Churchill promoted him to joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Government Chief Whip), which he remained until 1945. He continued as Conservative Chief Whip until 1948. In 1950 he became Chairman of the Scottish Unionist Party, a post he held until 1962.

When the Conservatives returned to power under Churchill in 1951, Stuart was made Secretary of State for Scotland, with a seat in the cabinet. He continued in this post until 1957, the last two years under the premiership of Sir Anthony Eden. He was appointed a Companion of Honour in 1957. On 20 November 1959 he was elevated to the peerage as Viscount Stuart of Findhorn, of Findhorn in the County of Moray.[9]

Family edit

Rachel Cavendish c. 1920–1925

Lord Stuart of Findhorn married Lady Rachel Cavendish,[10] daughter of Victor Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire (and sister of Dorothy Cavendish, wife of Harold Macmillan), in 1923.

He had earlier been noted as a suitor of Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon while serving as an equerry to her eventual husband Prince Albert, Duke of York (the future King George VI).

Lord and Lady Stuart had two sons and one daughter.

  • David, 2nd Viscount Stuart of Findhorn (1924-1999)
  • John, a Royal Navy lieutenant (1925-1990)
  • Jean (Mrs Michael Ritchie) born 7 January 1932.

Lord Stuart died in February 1971, aged 74, and was succeeded in the viscountcy by his eldest son, David. Lady Stuart of Findhorn died in October 1977.

Arms edit

Coat of arms of James Stuart, 1st Viscount Stuart of Findhorn
In a nest Vert a pelican feeding her young Or about her neck a collar engrailed Gules.
Quarterly 1st Or a lion rampant within a double tressure flory counterflory Gules all within a bordure compony Azure and Argent (Stuart) 2nd Or a fess chequy Azure and Argent (Stewart of Downe) 3rd Or three cushions within a double tressure flory counterflory Gules (Randolph) 4th Gules a lion rampant within a bordure engrailed Argent (Gray) all within a bordure Or for difference.
Two capercailzie Proper their wings closed.
Saius Per Christum Redemptorem[11]

References edit

  1. ^ "No. 28899". The London Gazette. 11 September 1914. p. 7226.
  2. ^ "No. 29053". The London Gazette. 26 January 1915. p. 919.
  3. ^ "No. 13033". The Edinburgh Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 1917. p. 42.
  4. ^ "No. 30188". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 July 1917. p. 7218.
  5. ^ "No. 31924". The London Gazette. 1 June 1920. p. 6040.
  6. ^ "No. 32563". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1921. p. 10717.
  7. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "M" (part 3)
  8. ^ "No. 34633". The London Gazette (Supplement). 6 June 1939. p. 3852.
  9. ^ "No. 41874". The London Gazette. 20 November 1959. p. 7359.
  10. ^ de László, Philip Alexius. "Portrait of Lady Rachel Cavendish, later Viscountess Stuart of Findhorn, O. B. E. , 1923–1923". Artnet.
  11. ^ Debrett's Peerage. 2019. p. 4508.

Sources edit

  • Torrance, David, The Scottish Secretaries (Birlinn 2006)
  • Stuart, James; Viscount Stuart of Findhorn. Within the Fringe: An Autobiography

External links edit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Moray and Nairn
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
1941–July 1945
With: Sir Charles Edwards 1941–1942
William Whiteley 1942–May 1945
Succeeded by
Preceded by Secretary of State for Scotland
Succeeded by
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Viscount Stuart of Findhorn
Succeeded by