John Crichton-Stuart, 6th Marquess of Bute

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The Marquess of Bute

Personal details
Born27 February 1933
Mayfair, London, England
Died21 July 1993(1993-07-21) (aged 60)
Mount Stuart House
Cause of deathCancer
Beatrice Weld-Forester
(m. 1955; div. 1977)

Jennifer Home-Rigg
(m. 1978)
ChildrenLady Sophia Bain
Lady Caroline Crichton-Stuart
John Crichton-Stuart, 7th Marquess of Bute
Lord Anthony Crichton-Stuart
ParentsJohn Crichton-Stuart, 5th Marquess of Bute
Lady Eileen Forbes
Alma materAmpleforth College
Trinity College, Cambridge

John Crichton-Stuart, 6th Marquess of Bute, KBE FRSE FRSA (27 February 1933 – 21 July 1993) was a Scottish peer, benefactor and patron of the arts. He was largely known either as Lord Bute or simply John Bute.


National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh

John Crichton-Stuart was born in Mayfair, London, on 27 February 1933,[1] fifteen minutes before his twin brother, David. As such, he was the eldest son of John Crichton-Stuart, 5th Marquess of Bute, and Lady Eileen Forbes, the younger daughter of Bernard Forbes, 8th Earl of Granard, and Beatrice Mills Forbes, an American socialite who was the daughter of Ogden Mills.[2]

He was known as Lord Cardiff before the death of his grandfather in 1947, when he became Earl of Dumfries.[3] He attended Ampleforth College and, after national service in the Scots Guards, studied history at Trinity College, Cambridge.[2] At Cambridge he attended the Fine Art lectures of Nikolaus Pevsner.[4]

John Crichton-Stuart was a private man who eschewed publicity and grand gestures and refused to take part in the activities of the House of Lords on the grounds that "the scene" was uncongenial.[2] After his second marriage, he restored Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute.[3]

On his father's death in 1956, Crichton-Stuart inherited his titles as well as estates in Wales, England, and Scotland, including six castles and a highly esteemed collection of European paintings.[2] To settle death duties, he sold property in Cardiff to the city corporation and transferred Robert Adam houses on the south side of Charlotte Square, Edinburgh to the National Trust for Scotland. On the north side he transferred the central pavilion (5/6/7): 6 Charlotte Square, which he also transferred, became the official residence of the Secretary of State for Scotland and is known as Bute House due to its connection to him.[3] No 7 is open to the public as The Georgian House.

In 1982, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were Sir Alwyn Williams, Frank Willett, Colin Thompson, R. G. W. Anderson, C. D. Waterston and Charles Kemball.[5]

From 1983 to 1988, he was Chairman of the Historic Buildings Council the forerunner to Historic Environment Scotland.

He was Lord Lieutenant of Bute and, from 1990, of Argyll and Bute.[3] As owner of Bute Fabrics, the largest employer on the Isle of Bute, Crichton-Stuart redirected the focus of the company towards designer fabrics and contemporary furniture.[2]

He held office in the National Trust for Scotland for twenty-five years, while its membership increased five-fold. From 1985, he was Chairman of the Trustees of the National Museums of Scotland, securing funding for the new west extension to the Royal Scottish Museum on Chambers Street in Edinburgh, now known as the Museum of Scotland. Despite opposition from Prince Charles, he ensured the project proceeded and saw the laying of the foundation stone in April 1993, shortly before his death.[3]

Crichton-Stuart died of cancer at Mount Stuart House on 21 July 1993.[6]


On 19 April 1955, he married, firstly, Beatrice Nicola Grace Weld-Forester, and they divorced in 1977.[1] They had four children:

In 1978 he married, secondly, Jennifer, daughter of John Home-Rigg and former wife of Gerald Percy.[1] Jennifer, Marchioness of Bute, is a Patroness of the Royal Caledonian Ball.[8]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Mosley, Charles (2003), Burke's Peerage & Baronetage (107th ed.), Crans, Switzerland: Burke's Peerage, p. 2947
  2. ^ a b c d e Jones, Peter. "John Crichton_Stuart" (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e Gavin Stamp (2004), "Stuart, John Crichton-, sixth marquess of Bute (1933–1993)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online edn, Oct 2009, Oxford University Press, retrieved 22 April 2012
  4. ^ Independent (newspaper) obituary, 22 July 1993
  5. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0-902-198-84-X.
  6. ^ Dalyell, Tam (22 July 1993). "Obituary: The Marquess of Bute". The Independent. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  7. ^ Mowat, Bill (15 February 2016). "Jimmy Bain". The Herald. Glasgow. Obituary
  8. ^ "Patronesses". Royal Caledonian Ball. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2013.

External links[edit]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Ronald Graham
Lord Lieutenant of Buteshire
Office abolished
Preceded by
The Lord Maclean
Lord Lieutenant of Argyll and Bute
Succeeded by
The Duke of Argyll
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
John Crichton-Stuart
Marquess of Bute
Succeeded by
John Crichton-Stuart