Royal Naval Biography/Stewart, George
GEORGE, EARL OF GALLOWAY,
Viscount Garlies; Baron Stewart of Garlies; Knight of the most ancient and most noble Order of the Thistle; Vice-Admiral of the White; and Lord Lieutenant of Kircudbright Stewartry.
This nobleman is descended from Sir John Stewart, of Bonkill, second son of Alexander, sixth Lord High Steward of Scotland, who obtained from King Alexander III, a grant of the lands of Garlies, in 1263, succeeded Sir William Wallace in the chief command of the Scots, and was killed at the battle of Falkirk, July 22, 1298. The Earldom of Galloway was first conferred by James I. upon Sir Alexander Stewart of Garlies, who had previously been created Lord Garlies, chiefly in consideration of his descent from the noble house of Lennox.
The subject of this sketch is the second son of John, the seventh Earl of Galloway, and first Lord Stewart of Garlies, some time a Lord of the Bedchamber to the late King, by his second Countess, Anne, daughter of the late Sir James Dashwood, Bart. His Lordship entered into the navy at an early age; served as Midshipman with his uncle, Commodore Keith Stewart, at the battle off the Dogger Bank, in 1781, and the relief of Gibraltar, in 1782.
In 1789, we find his Lordship serving as a Lieutenant of the Aquilon frigate, on the Mediterranean station; from whence, in the spring of the following year, he returned to England as a passenger in one of the Smyrna traders. He afterwards commanded the Vulcan fire-ship, from which vessel he was promoted to post rank on the 30th April, 1793. Being soon after appointed to the Winchelsea frigate, he accompanied the expedition destined for the conquest of the French islands in the West Indies, and received a bad contusion in his face when covering the landing of the army at Grozier bay, Guadaloupe, April 11, 1794. On this occasion his Lordship placed the Winchelsea so well, and laid her so close to a 3-gun battery, that the enemy could not stand to their guns, which were soon silenced.
In the following year, he was removed into the Lively of 32 guns, in which ship Sir John Jervis sailed from England to assume the command in the Mediterranean; and our officer continued on that station until the close of the action off Cape St. Vincent, at which he was present. He brought home Sir Robert Calder, with the account of the victory, and Lord Minto, Viceroy of Corsica, and suite, who were on board during the battle.
About the month of November, 1799, Lord Garlies commissioned the Hussar frigate, at that time fitting out in the Thames; and commanded that ship in the Channel, and on the coast of Ireland, till the spring of 1801, when he removed into the Bellerophon of 74 guns, employed in the blockade of Brest, on which service he remained until the suspension of hostilities. Subsequent to the renewal of the war he commanded the Ajax of 80 guns; and during Lord Barham’s naval administration we find him holding a seat at the Board of Admiralty, which he relinquished on the demise of the Right Hon. William Pitt. His Lordship was advanced to the rank of Rear-Admiral July 31, 1810; and became a Vice-Admiral Aug. 12, 1819. He succeeded to the title on the demise of his father, in November 1806.
The Earl married, in April 1797, Lady Jane Paget, daughter of Henry, late Earl of Uxbridge, and sister of the present Marquis of Anglesey. His eldest daughter married, Jan. 11, 1819, George, Marquis of Blandford, son of the Duke of Marlborough.
Chief seat.– Garlies, Wigtownshire.