Stuart, John Patrick Crichton- (DNB01)
|←Struthers, John (1823-1899)||Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement
Stuart, John Patrick Crichton-
|Sullivan, Arthur Seymour→|
STUART, JOHN PATRICK CRICHTON-, third Marquis of Bute (1847–1900), was born at Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute, on 12 Sept. 1847, and had the courtesy title of Earl of Windsor till his father's death in the following year. He was the only child of John, second marquis, K.T., by his (second) wife, Sophia Frederica Christina, daughter of Francis, first marquis of Hastings, and his wife Flora, who in her own right was Countess of Loudoun. John Stuart, third earl of Bute [q. v.], prime minister, was his great-great-grandfather. The prime minister's eldest son was created marquis of Bute in 1796, and was succeeded in the marquisate by his grandson, the father of the subject of the present memoir. The second marquis, who, in right of his mother, Elizabeth Penelope, daughter and heiress of Patrick Crichton, earl of Dumfries, was also Earl of Dumfries, died on 18 March 1848. The boy's mother, with whom he as a child travelled much abroad, died on 28 Dec. 1859, and on 25 May 1861 the court of session, in obedience to an order from the House of Lords in its judicial capacity, authorised the removal of the boy into England in the hands of a guardian appointed by the English court of chancery (Session Cases, 2nd ser. (Dunlop), xxiii. 902). The lord-chancellor (Campbell) recorded in his judgment that the boy gave promise of considerable intellectual capacity. In January 1 862 the marquis entered Harrow, where in 1863 he gained the head-master's prize for English verse, and in the following year the head-master's fifth-form prize for Latin verse (Harrow Calendars). In 1865 he entered Christ Church, Oxford, where he left a reputation for wide reading, active intellect, and vast power of memory.
The marquis had been brought up by his mother as a presbyterian of the church of Scotland. But at an early age his attention was directed to the institutions of mediævalism, and at Oxford he devoted much time and thought to the study of the ancient faiths and forms of eastern and western Christendom, of Judaism, Islamism, and Buddhism. On 8 Dec. 1868, a few months after attaining his majority, he was received into the church of Rome, at the chapel of the Sisters of Notre Dame, Southwark, by Monsignor Capel. To the church of his choice he was always deeply devoted. His change of religion created a profound sensation, especially in Scotland. The incident doubtless suggested the plot of Lord Beaconsfield's novel, 'Lothair,' which was published in 1870, although the novel has no relation with the facts of Bute's career. Beaconsfield made Bute's acquaintance afterwards, and they remained on friendly terms until Beaconsfield's death.
Bute engaged in an exceptional number of pursuits. Besides taking the general superintendence of his vast property, he was a scholar and restorer of ancient buildings, a liturgiologist, a linguist, and a traveller, but the dominant character of his mind, to which his actions were referable, was his devotional temperament and his reverence for ancient institutions.
On coming of age Bute became the owner of estates, not only in Scotland but in Wales—at Cardiff and its neighbourhood.
Cardiff, as one of the principal ports of the United Kingdom, and the largest coal-exporting port in the world, practically owes its existence to the foresight and expenditure of the marquis's father. The Bute docks, which his father began, he carried to completion with the same courage and intelligence; they now cover over 160 acres, and cost about 4,000,000l. The population of the city, which in 1801 was two thousand, is now over one hundred and fifty thousand. He likewise sought to revive the cultivation of grapes in Wales in order to reintroduce the industry of native wine-making into the country. In 1877 he planted vineyards on his Welsh estates at Castel Coch and Swanbridge. They produce both red and white wines, and much care has been bestowed on developing the manufacture.
In 1890 he accepted the offer of the office of mayor of Cardiff, being the first to restore the ancient association of peers with civic office. After fulfilling the duties of the post for the ordinary term, he presented to the corporation on his retirement an artistic chain of office, for the perpetual use of his successors. He was also president of University College, Cardiff. He was interested in Welsh literature and history, on which he gave an address at the Eisteddfod of 1892, and restored his Welsh residences, Cardiff Castle and Castel Coch, besides recovering, through his explorations, the remains of the Greyfriars' and Blackfriars' houses at Cardiff, the outlines of which he marked out by low walls, flooring the interiors with tiles.
Though the House of Lords, sitting as a judicial body, had assumed him in boyhood to be English, he piqued himself on being a Scot. 'I well remember,' he writes in his diary, 'reading Grant's "Memorials of Edinburgh Castle" as a child, and its first raising in me a strong nationalist feeling.' This feeling strengthened until in later years (although in other matters he identified himself with the conservative party) he advocated Scottish home rule by a single chamber somewhat similar in its constitution and relations to the crown to the old Scots parliament before the union. These views he expounded in an essay called 'Parliament in Scotland,' which first appeared in the 'Scottish Review' in 1889 (published separately 1889, 1892, and 1893). He made a long and extensive study of Scottish history and institutions, but such small parts of the results of his researches as he printed he issued in the form of detached magazine articles, contributions to the 'Transactions' of learned societies, lectures, or pamphlets. They included a lecture on the 'Early Days of Wallace' (Paisley, 1876), and on 'David, duke of Rothesay' (Edinburgh, 1894), several articles on the coronations of Scottish kings in the 'Scottish Review' (1887-8), and 'An Itinerary of King Robert I,' an article in the 'Scottish Antiquary' (1899), which was intended to form part of a series of diaries of the movements of all the Scottish kings. His longest contribution to Scottish history, published during his life, was the large quarto volume on heraldry, in the preparation of which he was aided by Mr. J. R. X. Macphail and Mr. H. W. Lonsdale, viz., 'The Arms of the Royal and Parliamentary Burghs' (Edinburgh, 1897).
Anxious to retain or restore, as far as was practicable, the ancient order of things in Scotland, he deeply interested himself in the Scottish universities and was a munificent benefactor of St. Andrews, the most ancient of them, and of Glasgow. He was an active member of the Scottish Universities Commission in 1889, and was elected rector of St. Andrews in 1892, holding the office until 1898 through two successive terms. He presented to St. Andrews a medical hall, a chair of anatomy, a hall for the students' union, &c., and to Glasgow, the next in order of age, a university ('Bute') hall. His address (23 Nov. 1893) to the students of St. Andrews on his first election as rector of that university (which was published at Paisley in 1893, and reissued in 'Rectorial Addresses,' ed. Knight, in 1894), contained, according to Lord Rosebery, 'one of the strangest, most pathetic, and most striking passages of eloquence with which I am acquainted in any modern deliverance' (Earl of Roseberry, Address to Scottish Hist. Soc. 17 Nov. 1900; Scotsman, 19 Nov. 1900). He received the honorary degree of LL.D. from the university of Glasgow in 1879, of Edinburgh in 1882, and of St. Andrews in 1893. At the same time he took part in the municipal life of Scotland. Like five of his ancestors, he became provost of Rothesay from 1896 to 1899, and embellished the council chamber there with portraits and stained-glass windows, and to that borough as well as to St. Andrews and Falkland, with which he had a like territorial connection, he presented gold chains of office for the provost. In 1891 the freedom of the city of Glasgow was conferred on him, and he was lord-lieutenant of the county of Bute from 1892. When the British Archæological Association met at Glasgow in 1888 he filled the presidential chair and delivered the inaugural address 'On Scottish History.' The following are the principal edifices which he repaired or had in course of restoration at his death: the royal castles of Rothesay and Falkland, of both of which he was hereditary keeper; the Old Place at Mochrum, Crichton Peel at Sanquhar, the priories of St. Andrews and Pluscarden, the Greyfriars at Elgin, St. Blanes Chapel in the Isle of Bute. The present palatial house at Mount Stuart, Buteshire, designed in a Florentine style, under his supervision, by Dr. R. R. Anderson, stands on the site of the former house of the same name, which was burnt down on 3 Dec. 1877.
Bute travelled widely, frequently visiting the Holy Land and Italy. He systematically studied the languages of the countries in which he stayed, both ancient and modern. Hebrew, Coptic, and Arabic greatly attracted him. He published in 1882 'The Coptic Morning Service translated into English, with the original Coptic of the parts said aloud,' and in 1891 'The Ancient Language of the Natives of Teneriffe,' which he first gave as an address at Cardiff.
But his most absorbing literary occupation dealt with the liturgy of the Roman catholic church. Within two years of his conversion to the Roman church he began the work with which his name will be chiefly identified the English translation of the 'Breviary,' which, after the most assiduous labour, he completed in some nine years. It was published at Edinburgh in 1879 in two volumes octavo. In the preface he announced his aim to have been 'to reflect the ideas of the Latin in the best English mirror he could command.' 'In cases where the Latin of passages from the Bible is obscure . . . the original [in whatever language, Hebrew, Chaldee, or Greek] has been referred to when possible, in order to find out what the Latin is probably intended to mean.' Where it was possible to adopt the classical English of the 'authorised version,' he did so. The Latin hymns of the 'Breviary' appear in the form of metrical paraphrases by Drs. Neale, Newman, Littledale, Caswall, &c., and two not the least beautiful of them by Bute himself. He added to his translation a considerable number of critical and historical notes. From a literary point of view the English 'Breviary' is an excellent and lasting monument to its author. It was soon out of print, and much of its author's time in the latter part of his life was occupied in preparing a new edition of it, which will soon appear.
In 1875 Bute began to issue translations of the orders of service for the greater church festivals. Several of these he lived to complete, with other translations of a similar kind, such as 'Form of Prayers' in English for the use of catholics who are unable to attend mass (1896, new ed. 1900), and the services for Christmas Day (Glasgow, 1875), Palm Sunday and Whitsuntide (both London, 1898). He is said to have taken a large part in the preparation of a projected 'Proprium Sanctorum' for Scotland, which is under the consideration of the congregation of sacred rites at Rome, the office for St. Columba being mainly, if not wholly, from his own pen. 'The Altus of St. Columba,' with a prose paraphrase and notes, he published at Edinburgh in 1882 (sm. 4to). On all matters relating to liturgy, ritual, religious symbolism, church architecture, church antiquities, church history, and the canon law, he was an expert scholar, and was constantly a referee. Works on these subjects were frequently issued at his expense, and among the chief examples of this form of his munificence are : ' Registrum Monasterii S. Marie de Cambuskenneth, A.D. 1147-1535.' Edited by Sir William Fraser, K.C.B., Edinburgh, 1872, 4to ; presented to the Grampian Club ; ' Acta Sanctorum Hibernise ex Codice Salmanticensi nunc primum integre edita opera Caroli de Smedt et Josephi de Backer e Soc. Jesu hagiographorum Bollandianorum,' Edinburgh, 1888, 4to ; 'The Charters of the Friars Preachers of Ayr,' 4to ; presented by him to the Ayr and Wigton Archæological Society ; ' Ordinale Conventus Vallis Caulium : the Rule of the Monastic Order of Val-des-Choux in Burgundy,' by W. de Gray Birch, LL.D., London, 1900, 8vo. There were also in preparation at Lord Bute's death Gough's ' Itinerary of Edward I ' (published in 1901), a work on the 'Order of Knights Templars,' and another on the ' Forms of the Blessing of the Waters,' by Dr. Wallis Budge.
Bute's practical interest in books and bibliography brought him into relations with the Library Association, of which he was long an active member. Another topic that attracted his versatile mind was the investigation of psychic phenomena and evidence of second sight. In 1897 mysterious noises which were said to be heard in Ballechin House in Perthshire led to an elaborate controversy in the 'Times' newspaper, and he and Miss Ada Goodrich-Freer, who bad inquired into the matter, issued together a volume entitled 'The Alleged Haunting of B—— House' (London, 1899, 8vo ; 2nd dit. 1900). In later life he purchased the ' Scottish Review,' a quarterly publication, and the extraordinary variety of his interests may be well gauged by the topics of his own contributions. They include, besides those already specified in this article, 'Ancient Celtic Latin Hymns' (1883), 'The New Light on St. Patrick' (1884), 'Patmos' (1885), Some Christian Monuments of Athens' 1885), 'The Scottish Peerage' (1886), The Bayreuth Festival' (1886), 'Amalfi —the Last Resting Place of St. Andrew' (1888), 'The Trial and the Fate of Giordano Bruno' (1888), 'St. Brendan's Fabulous Voyage '(1893), as well as translations from the Greek of Demetrius Bikelas's writings on the 'Greek Question,' and translations of some novels of Tourgenieff. 'The Prophecies of St. Malachi' appeared in the 'Dublin Review' (1885). To Chambers's 'Encyclopædia' he contributed the articles 'Breviary' and 'Liturgy;' the latter article was abridged. At his death he was engaged with Mr. J. H. Stevenson and Mr. H. W. Lonsdale in preparing a work on ' The Arms of the Baronial and Police Burghs of Scotland,' the early publication of which is expected.
Bute's abilities—his deliberation, astuteness, courage, his knowledge and vast wealth—fitted him for a public career. But, although an admirable talker, he was of a retiring disposition, took no active part in politics, and preferred the life of a student. He was not a ready platform speaker, although his addresses were, like his writings, characterised by careful preparation and an admirably concise, eloquent, and simple style. Bute was liberal in his private charities as well as in his public benefactions. His diaries show that much of his time was often spent in discussing with his secretary applications for assistance. He was created a knight of the Thistle in 1895, and was also a knight Grand Cross of the orders of the Holy Sepulchre and St. Gregory.
Bute was seized in August 1899 with an apoplectic attack. He in great measure recovered. But on 8 Oct. 1900, while at Dumfries House, he experienced another seizure, to which next day he succumbed without rallying. His body was laid in the chapel by the shore at Mount Stuart, and, in obedience to the instructions he had left, his heart was conveyed to Jerusalem and buried on the Mount of Olives in presence of his family on 13 Nov. following.
In stature Bute was fully six feet. He was proportionately broad, with square shoulders, handsome, with distinguished bearing, dark brown hair and beard, blue grey eyes, and high-bridged nose. The principal portraits of him are, first, a full-length, at the age of twelve or so, by his mother's side (painted by J. R. Swinton) at Mount Stuart; secondly, a full-length, in Cardiff town council chamber (by Mr. Hubert Herkomer, R.A., 1892); thirdly, large head size in lord rector's robes in Students' Union Buildings, St. Andrews (by E. T. Haynes, 1895); fourthly, another Lead size in provost's robes in Rothesay town council chamber (by the same artist, 1898).
In 1872 he married the Hon. Guendolen Mary Anne, eldest daughter of Edward, first lord Howard of Glossop, and niece of Henry Granville, fourteenth duke of Norfolk. He left issue, first, John, born 1881, who during his father's life bore the title of Earl of Dumfries, and is now the fourth marquis; secondly, Ninian Edward, born in 1883; thirdly, Colum Edmund, born in 1886; and, fourthly, Lady Margaret.
[Asketch [by Rev. Dr. Metcalfe of Paisley, editor of the Scottish Review] in Glasgow Herald, 10 Oct. 1900; 'An Appreciation,' Glasgow-Herald, 11 Oct. 1900; Athenæum, 13 Oct. 1900; Tablet, 13 and 20 Oct. 1900; Times, 11 Oct. 1900; Letter by Mgr. Capel, 10 Nov. 1900 in San Francisco Examiner, per Rothesay Express, 19 Dec. 1900; Complete Peerage, by G. E. C[o-kayne]; private information and personal knowledge.]