Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Stuart, William

STUART, WILLIAM (1755–1822), archbishop of Armagh, born in March 1755, fifth son of John Stuart, third earl of Bute [q. v.], by Mary, only daughter of Edward Wortley Montagu, was educated at Winchester school, and St. John's College, Cambridge, where he obtained a fellowship, and in 1774 graduated M.A. Shortly after taking holy orders he was appointed vicar of Luton, Bedfordshire. On 10 April 1783 he was introduced to Johnson by his countryman Boswell, who describes him as ‘being with the advantages of high birth, learning, travel, and elegant manners, an exemplary parish priest in every respect,’ which certificate as to his highly respectable accomplishments and character indicates a common type of ecclesiastic and nothing more; and as to his individuality nothing further is known than the dates of his promotions. He was made D.D. in 1789, and was promoted in the same year to a canonry in Christ Church, Oxford; in 1793 to the see of St. Davids, and in December 1800 to the archbishopric of Armagh, and the primacy of all Ireland. He died on 6 May 1822 from accidental poisoning, by a draught of an embrocation taken instead of medicine. His full-length figure in marble is in the cathedral in Armagh.

[Gent. Mag. 1822, i. 469, 597; Stuart's Hist. of Armagh; Cotton's Fasti Eccles. Hiber. ii. 28.]

T. F. H.