STUART, Simeon (c.1721-79), of Hartley Mauditt, Hants.
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Family and Education
b. c.1721, o. surv. s. of Sir Simeon Stuart, 2nd Bt., M.P., by Elizabeth, da. and h. of Sir Richard Dereham, 3rd Bt. educ. Westminster 1734-7. m. Miss Hooke, da. of Lt.-Col. Hooke, gov. of Minorca, 1s. suc. fa. 11 Aug. 1761.
Chamberlain of the Exchequer (in succession to his father) 1761.
On a vacancy in August 1754, Stuart canvassed Hampshire for several months before Lord Winchester was put up, but next ‘very civilly gave up his No Chance’ to him;1 Winchester, on succeeding to the dukedom of Bolton, proposed at the county meeting of 1 Nov. 1759, H. B. Legge for his successor. Lord Carnarvon set up Stuart, and according to Edward Gibbon sen. a strong majority, opposed to the Bolton interest, were for him. But Hans Stanley claimed on 24 Nov. (the day Stuart gave up his claims) that on the 19th Legge’s lists showed ‘on a fair computation, at least a thousand majority’. In 1761 Stuart had the support of the new court, and, together with Legge, was returned unopposed.2
In Bute’s list of 1761 Stuart was classed ‘Bute, pro’; and he was included in Fox’s list of Members secured for the peace preliminaries. In July 1765 Rockingham classed him as ‘doubtful’; he voted against the repeal of the Stamp Act, 22 Feb. 1766; and was listed by Rockingham in 1766, and Newcastle in 1767 as a ‘Tory’. Henceforth he supported Administration with one known exception: on 25 Feb. 1774 he voted with the Opposition on Grenville’s Election Act. His only reported speech was on the bill to prevent abuses in the packing or bagging of hops, 18 Apr. 1774.3
Lord Clanricarde, though opposed to Stuart, described him in 1759 as ‘a gentleman of great merit’;4 and Gibbon, who knew him well and liked him, wrote (Journal, 97): ‘take him out of fox-hunting and country affairs he has nothing left to recommend him but his good nature’.
He died 19 Nov. 1779.