STEWART, Sir James, 7th Bt. (?1756-1827), of Fort Stewart, co. Donegal.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Constituency

Dates

1802 - 1818

Family and Education

b. ?1756, 1st s, of Sir Annesley Stewart, 6th Bt., MP [I], of Fort Stewart by Mary, da. of John Moore, MP [I] of Drumbanagher, co. Armagh. educ. by Rev. R. Norris, Drogheda; Trinity, Dublin 30 Oct. 1773, aged 17. m. 19 Dec. 1778, Mary Susanna, da. of Richard Chapell Whaley, MP [I], of Whaley Abbey, co. Wicklow, 2s. 3da. suc. fa. as 7th Bt. Mar. 1801.

Offices Held

MP [I] 1783-1790.

Sheriff, co. Donegal 1799-1800.

Capt. commdt. Ramelton vol. inf. 1796.

Biography

Stewart came of well-established Donegal gentry with insufficient property to command a parliamentary seat. Like his fater he sat for a close borough in the Irish parliament. In 1802 he was returned for the county under the aegis of Lord Abercorn and held it with the concurrence of Lord Conyngham, who had the other major interest. It was generally agreed that he could not afford a contest.

In the Irish parliament Stewart had shared his father’s opposition politics. At Westminster he was reckoned a supporter of each successive administration, except for Lord Grenville’s, which was doubtful of him. Nevertheless, he seems to have voted against Addington’s ministry on the division that brought it down, 25 Apr. 1804. He is rarely reported to have spoken, though on 7 June 1804 he presented a petition complaining of the peremptory conduct of Mr Justice Fox of the common pleas at the Donegal assizes. This involved him in giving evidence in the Lords in February and June 1805. Subsequently he was not to be relied on for attendance. In October 1807 he was not expected to live long. He voted with government on the Scheldt inquiry, 5 and 30 Mar. 1810, after being pressed to attend, and on sinecures, 4 May 1812, as well as against Stuart Wortley’s motion, 21 May, being prepared to go into opposition with the Liverpool administration at that time. He voted against Catholic relief in 1813 and 1816 and either he or Sir John Stewart voted in favour in 1815 and against in 1817. He retired in 1818 by arrangement with Lord Conyngham and died 20 May 1827.

NLI, Richmond mss 73/1757; Wellington Supp. Despatches, v. 152; Add. 37297, f. 172; 40280, f. 46.

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