James Stuart-Mackenzie

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James Stuart-Mackenzie (ca. 1719 – 8 April 1800) was a Scottish politician.

Born James Stuart, he was a younger son of James Stuart, 2nd Earl of Bute, and his wife Lady Anne, daughter of Archibald Campbell, 1st Duke of Argyll. Prime Minister John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, was his elder brother. He inherited the Rosehaugh estates through his paternal grandmother Agnes Mackenzie and assumed the additional surname of Mackenzie. He was returned to Parliament for Buteshire in 1747, a seat he held until 1754, and then represented Ross-shire from 1761 to 1780. In 1761 he was sworn of the Privy Council. In 1763 he became Keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland until 1765 and then again in 1766 until his death.

In 1752 we find that the Hon. James Stewart Mackenzie, sold Rosehaugh and bought from Sir Thomas and William Nairn the ecclesiastical lands of Kirkhill in Meigle, which belonged to the Holy Trinity of Dunkeld, and upon the site of the former Castle, which had been used as a grange for the Churchmen, he erected Belmont Castle, at a cost of £10,000.[1]

He was a very studious man and a great astronomer. A telescope, purportedly made for him, is in the Robert Whipple Collection at the University of Cambridge.[2] He was responsible for the building of the observatory on Kinpurnie Hill, then part of his estate. The observatory was designed by Alexander Bryce (1713 - 1786), Minister of Kirknewton and East Calder, but remained incomplete.

Stuart-Mackenzie married his first cousin Lady Elizabeth,[3] daughter of John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll, in 1749. They had no surviving children. She died in July 1799. Stuart-Mackenzie survived her by less than a year and died in April 1800. According to a decision in 1803 his estates were passed on to his nephew James Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie.


  1. "Our Meigle Book." (Dundee:William Kidd & Sons,1930),41.
  2. http://www.hps.cam.ac.uk/whipple/explore/astronomy/twotelescopes/
  3. William Anderson, The Scottish Nation or, the Surnames, Families, Literature, Honours, and Biographical History of the People of Scotland. (Edinburgh: Fullarton, 1877), I: 517.


Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Charles Campbell
Member of Parliament for Argyllshire
Succeeded by
Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochnell
Preceded by
Patrick Campbell
(to 1741)
Member of Parliament for Buteshire
Succeeded by
James Stuart
(from 1761)
Preceded by
Sir Henry Erskine
Member of Parliament for Ayr Burghs
Succeeded by
Lord Frederick Campbell
Preceded by
Lord Fortrose
Member of Parliament for Ross-shire
Succeeded by
John Mackenzie
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
The Earl of Bristol
British Minister at Turin
Succeeded by
George Pitt
Political offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Atholl
Keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland
Succeeded by
Lord Frederick Campbell
Preceded by
The Earl of Breadalbane and Holland
Keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland
Succeeded by
Henry Dundas