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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 Scottish 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. The latter year he was elevated to the peerage as Viscount Stuart of Findhorn.

The Viscount Stuart of Findhorn

Secretary of State for Scotland
In office
30 October 1951 – 9 January 1957
MonarchGeorge VI
Elizabeth II
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Sir Anthony Eden
Preceded byHector McNeil
Succeeded byJohn Maclay
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)



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 serviceEdit

Stuart was commissioned into the Royal Scots (Special Reserve) and served in the First World War, reaching the rank of Captain. He was awarded the Military Cross and Bar in 1917.

Political careerEdit

Stuart sat as Member of Parliament (MP) for Moray and Nairn from 1923 to 1959.[1] 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 1939. 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.


Lord Stuart of Findhorn married Lady Rachel Cavendish,[2] 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 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.


  1. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "M" (part 3)
  2. ^ de László, Philip Alexius. "Portrait of Lady Rachel Cavendish, later Viscountess Stuart of Findhorn, O. B. E. , 1923–1923". Artnet.
  • Torrance, David, The Scottish Secretaries (Birlinn 2006)
  • Stuart, James; Viscount Stuart of Findhorn. Within the Fringe: An Autobiography

External linksEdit