Bute. I. John Stuart, third earl of, a British statesman, born in Scotland in 1713, died in London, March 10, 1792. In his 10th year he succeeded to his father's title and estates. He was educated at Eton. In 1736 he married the only daughter of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, and in February,* 1737, was elected one of the 16 representative peers of Scotland. In 1738 he was appointed lord of the bedchamber to Frederick, prince of Wales, eldest son of George II. On the death of his royal patron, in March, 1751, the widowed princess of Wales gave him her confidence and friendship, and he also obtained a great influence over the youthful prince of Wales, who, when elevated to the throne in 1760 as George III., made him a member of the privy council, and in March, 1761, one of the secretaries of state. His wife was created a British peeress in her own right, as Baroness Mountstuart. In the following October, William Pitt, finding his powers as nominal head of the administration weakened by the vast influence of the new secretary, retired from the cabinet; and in May, 1762, when the duke of Newcastle also resigned, Lord Bute succeeded him as prime minister. With considerable ambition and inconsiderable abilities, Lord Bute was now in an»oftice for which he was ill adapted, and soon became unpopular.
He was vigorously attacked by John Wilkes in the " North Briton," and by Churchill the poet, who assailed him because he was a Scotchman. England was then involved in the seven years' war. Lord Bute made peace, but was accused, in conjunction with the princess dowager, of having been bribed to grant too favorable terms to the enemy; and even Lord Camden, many years later, stated his conviction of the truth of the charge, as Bute's patrimonial estate was worth only £1,500 a year, and he was only life tenant of Wortley, though he invested £300,000 in land and houses. Junius also intimates corruption, but without supporting his charges by evidence. At last, on April 7, 1763, within five days after he had been bitterly attacked by name in the "North Briton," Bute suddenly resigned. Retaining his influence over the king, he nominated his immediate successors; but a cessation of all intercourse with his majesty soon followed, though for a long time after his influence was supposed to continue. Lord Bute went back into private life, passing his time between Scotland and England, with an occasional visit to the continent.
The closing years of his life were spent in a villa on the coast in Hampshire. He had some literary tastes, gave a sinecure to Home, the author of "Douglas," granted a pension of £300 per annum to Dr. Johnson, and published at his own expense (£10,000) 9 quarto volumes delineating English botany, and after 12 copies were printed destroyed the plates. - Bute's eldest son was created marquis of Bute in the British peerage in 1796. One of his grandsons was created Baron Wharncliffe in 1826. Another (born 1799, died Nov. 6, 1845) was created Baron Stuart de Rothesay in 1828, and was ambassador to France. H. John Patrick Crich-ton Stuart, third marquis of, fourth in descent from the preceding, born Sept. 12, 1847. He succeeded his father March 18, 1848. He is noted for his great wealth and for his many titles, including, besides the marquisate, three earldoms (Windsor, Bute, and Dumfries), two viscountships, six baronies and lordships, and a Nova Scotia baronetcy. In 1869 he joined the Roman Catholic church, and on April 16, 1872, married a lady of the same faith, a daughter of Lord Edward George Fitzalan Howard, the second son of the late duke of Norfolk. He purchased some land near Jerusalem for the endowment of an asylum for pilgrims, and is the reputed hero of Disraeli's "Lothair".