STEWART, Hon. James (c.1699-1768), of Auchleand, Wigtown.
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Family and Education
b. c.1699, 2nd s. of James, 5th Earl of Galloway [S], by Lady Catherine Montgomerie, da. of Alexander, 9th Earl of Eglintoun [S]. educ. Eton.1 unm.
Entered 3 Ft. Gds; capt. and lt.-col. 1736; col. army 1744; col. 37 Ft. 1752- d.; maj.-gen. 1754; lt.-gen. 1758.
Stewart was a soldier, unambitious of a parliamentary career, who represented the county or the burghs as the Galloway interest and local political expediency required. In 1754 he was elected apparently in absentia (in May he was with his regiment in Minorca); returned in July 1754;2 was counted by Dupplin as an Administration supporter; and presumably attended Parliament when not engaged on regimental and recruiting duties. In November 1755 he was ordered to return to Minorca, but did not leave until April 1756, when he sailed in Byng’s squadron. He carried letters of instruction from the War Office to Gen. Fowke, governor of Gibraltar, whose council of war he attended; concurred in the view not to send a detachment from Gibraltar to Mahon; resumed his voyage with Byng, and again took part in the council of war which resolved to abandon Minorca and return to Gibraltar. Stewart, summoned home to answer for his conduct before a board of generals, was, however, in December found not guilty of disobedience and neglect of duty.3 He then resumed his parliamentary duties; in March 1757 he was counted among the Scots personally attached to Newcastle,4 and voted 2 May 1757 with Newcastle and Fox on the Minorca inquiry.
Stewart does not appear to have gone abroad again. He remained an obscure Member of Parliament; was nominated to the committee to prepare the Scottish militia bill; but is not known to have spoken in the House. Maj. Robert Hall of the 37th wrote to his brother Sir John Hall, 26 July 1759:5
As General Stewart is not only to the last degree infirm and indolent, has no great interest, and besides there is a kind of quarrel between him and the regiment upon account of a return of accoutrements we gave, which he was obliged to supply his regiment with—all this with other things make us think he will give himself but very little trouble in the succession of the regiment.
In accordance with the family tradition that elderly uncles must make way for the younger generation, Stewart was not a candidate for Parliament in 1761.
He died 27 Apr. 1768.