Monday, March 22, 2021

The 7th Marquess of Bute 1958-2021

 _. The 7th Marquess of Bute died 22 March, 2021, after a short illness at the age of 62. He was head of Scotland's most prominent Roman Catholic dynasty.

The peer spent much of his time on his namesake Scottish island at his ancestral home, Mount Stuart, on the Isle of Bute, and had chaired the Board of Mount Stuart Trust since 2005. The 7th Marquess, once ranked 616th in the Rich List, was also a Formula 1 driver in 1986 as he partnered Ayrton Senna and raced under the name 'Johnny Dumfries'. During his racing career he also won the 24-hour race, Le Mans, in 1988.

Mount Stuart, the family’s ancestral Victorian gothic palace on the Isle of Bute that he inherited in 1993 along with the 18th-century Dumfries House in southwest Scotland. As though to emphasise the point, he preferred to live in Ladbroke Grove, west London. 

The marquisate had been created in 1794 for the 4th Earl of Bute, whose father, John Stuart, the 3rd Earl, was George III’s despotic prime minister for 11 months in 1762-63. The first marquess served as ambassador to Spain; the second built Cardiff docks and owned substantial oil and coal plants in the region; and the third scandalised Victorian society by converting to Catholicism, restoring Cardiff Castle and building the eccentric Castle Coch in south Wales.

He inherited not only the title but also an estate worth an estimated £144 million, including 25,000 acres of Scotland — as well as a £12 million overdraft. He dropped the Johnny Dumfries name, preferring to be known as John Bute.

The Marquess, a friend of the Prince of Wales, is believed to have died of cancer. The Crichton-Stuarts owned Dumfries House, having been inherited by the 2nd Marquess of Bute in 1814, it remained in his family until 2007 when the 7th Marquess sold it to the nation for £45 million due to the cost of upkeep.

The Marquess was descended from Mary Tudor, daughter of King Henry VII, and her husband, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk.

The Marquess of Bute [created in the Peerage of Gt Britain, 1796], was also 12th Earl of Dumfries [in the Peerage of Scotland, cr 1633], 10th Earl of Bute [Peerage of Scotland cr 1703], 7th Earl of Windsor [Peerage of Gt Britain cr 1796], 12th Viscount of Ayr [Peerage of Scotland, cr 1622], 10th Viscount Kingarth [Peerage of Scotland cr 1703], 7th Viscount Mountjoy [Peerage of Gt Britain, cr 1796], 20th Lord Crichton of Sanquhar [Peerage of Scotland cr 1487], 12th Lord Sanquhar [Peerage of Scotland cr 1622], 12th Lord Crichton of Sanquhar & Cumnock, [cr Peerage of Scotland 1633], 10th Lord Mount Stuart, Cumra and Inchmarnock [Peerage of Scotland cr 1703], 8th Baron Mount Stuart of Wortley [Peerage of Gt Britain, cr 1761], 7th Baron Cardiff [Peerage of Gt Britain, cr 1776], 12th Baronet, of Bute [Nova Scotia creation, 1627], Hereditary Keeper of Rothesay Castle, and Hereditary Sheriff and Coroner of Bute.

John Colum Crichton-Stuart was born in a cottage hospital on the Isle of Bute, 26 April, 1958, son of the 6th Marquess of Bute, KBE [1933-93], and his first wife the former [Beatrice] Nicola Grace Weld-Forester [born 19 Nov, 1933], scion of the Barons Forester. He was put in the care of Helen Lightbody, former nanny to Prince Charles and Princess Anne.

He succeeded his father, 21 July, 1993, as 7th Marquess.

The Marquess of Bute married firsly, 1984 [div 1993], Carolyn Waddell, daughter of Bryson Waddell; married secondly, 13 Feb, 1999, Serena Solitaire Wendell, daughter of Maj Jac Wendell [later Maxwell-Hyslop], and his wife the former Anthea Petronelle Hyslop, only dau of Maj Hugh John Maxwell Hyslop, of that landed gentry family.

He leaves a son, John, and two daughters, Lady Caroline Crichton-Stuart [born 1984], and Lady Cathleen Crichton-Stuart [born 1986], from his first marriage, and a daughter, Lady Lola Affrica Crichton-Stuart [born 1999], from his second marriage.

The son, John Bryson Crichton-Stuart, styled Lord Mount Stuart [born 21 December, 1989], now succeeds as 8th Marquess of Bute.


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