Stuart, James (1764-1842) (DNB00)

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STUART, JAMES (1764–1842), historian of Armagh, son of James Stuart, a gentleman of co. Antrim, was born at Armagh in 1764. He was educated at Armagh Royal school, while Dr. Arthur Grueber, a pious and erudite scholar, was its master, and in 1784 took sixth place on entrance at Trinity College, Dublin, where Dr. George Miller (afterwards master of Armagh school) was his tutor. He speaks (Armagh, p. 544) with gratitude of both his teachers. He graduated B.A. in the spring term of 1789, and was soon after called to the Irish bar, but never practised. In 1811 he published ‘Poems on various Subjects,’ some of which are on places near Armagh, some on his friends, none of more than occasional interest. In 1812 he became the first editor of the ‘Newry Telegraph,’ and from 1815 to 1819 also edited ‘The Newry Magazine.’ He published at Newry in 1819 ‘Historical Memoirs of the City of Armagh for a Period of 1,373 Years.’ Armagh is the ecclesiastical metropolis of Ireland, and this book is perhaps the most learned and impartial introduction hitherto published to the general history of the island. Besides general history it contains a great collection of local information, is well arranged, and written in a lucid style. He went to live in Belfast in 1821 and became editor of the ‘News Letter.’ Some theological letters by him, which first appeared in this journal, were published as a separate volume in 1825 as ‘The Protestant Layman.’ In 1827 he founded and edited ‘The Guardian and Constitutional Advocate,’ but ill-health soon obliged him to give it up. He married Mary Ogle, but had no children, and died in September 1842 in Belfast. His will is dated 26 Sept. 1840, and his widow was universal legatee and sole executrix.

[Stuart's Historical Memoirs of Armagh, 1819; Crossle's Notes on the Literary History of Newry, 1897; Matriculation Book of Trinity College, Dublin, and original will, kindly examined by the Rev. W. Reynell.]

N. M.