Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Stuart, Henry Windsor Villiers

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STUART, HENRY WINDSOR VILLIERS (1827–1895), of Dromana, politician, born in 1827, was only son of Henry Villiers Stuart, baron Stuart de Decies. His father, born in London on 8 June 1803, was the fifth son of John Stuart, first marquis of Bute, by his wife Gertrude Emilia, daughter and heiress of George Mason Villiers, earl Grandison. On the death of his mother on 30 Aug. 1809 he succeeded to the estates of his maternal grandfather, and took by royal license on 17 Nov. 1822 the name of Villiers before that of Stuart. He was M.P. in the liberal interest for Waterford from 1826 to 1830, and for Banbury from 1830 to 1831. On 18 May 1839 he was created Baron Stuart de Decies. He died at Dromana on 23 Jan. 1874. Madame de Ott, who was mother of the subject of this notice, is stated to have been married to Lord Stuart de Decies in 1826, but on his death his son was unable to establish his claim to the peerage (cf. Gent. Mag. 1867, ii. 405).

Henry Windsor was educated at University College, Durham, where he graduated in 1850. He was ordained in 1850, and appointed vicar of Bulkington, Warwickshire, in 1854, and of Napton-on-the-Hill, Southam, Warwickshire, in 1855.

From 1871 to 1874 he was vice-lieutenant of county Waterford, and, on his father's death in the latter year, succeeded to the property of Dromana in that county. In 1873 he surrendered his holy orders and successfully contested co. Waterford for parliament in the liberal interest. He held this seat until the following year, and again from 1880 to 1885. At the general election of 1885 he contested East Cork as a loyalist, but was defeated.

Stuart travelled extensively, and published many accounts of his wanderings. He was in South America in 1858, in Jamaica in 1881, and he made several journeys through Egypt. After the English occupation of Egypt he was attached to Lord Dufferin's mission of reconstruction, and in the spring of 1883 was commissioned to investigate the condition of the country. His work received the special recognition of Lord Dufferin, and his reports were published as a parliamentary blue-book. He took a keen interest in Egyptian exploration, and was a member of the Society of Biblical Archæology. He was also a member of the committee of the Royal Literary Fund.

He was drowned on 12 Oct. 1895 off Villierstown Quay on the Blackwater, near his residence at Dromana, having slipped while entering a boat. He married, on 3 Aug. 1865, Mary, second daughter of the Venerable Ambrose Power, archdeacon of Lismore, and by her had several children.

His works are: 1. ‘Eve of the Deluge,’ London, 1851. 2. ‘Nile Gleanings, concerning the Ethnology, History, and Art of Ancient Egypt,’ London, 1879. 3. ‘The Funeral Tent of an Egyptian Queen,’ London, 1882. 4. ‘Egypt after the War,’ London, 1883. 5. ‘Adventures amidst the Equatorial Forests and Rivers of South America,’ London, 1891.

[Burke's Peerage, 1875, p. 1115; G. E. C[okayne]'s Peerage; Parliamentary Papers, Egypt, No. 7, 1883; Crockford, 1860 p. 586, 1874 p. 1003; Times, 14 Oct. 1895.]

J. R. M.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.261
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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85 i 40 Stuart, Henry W. V.: for 1849 read 1850