Tuesday, 3 April 2007

The Bookplate of the 3rd Marquess of Bute

John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute, KT (1847 – 1900)

Also Earl of Dumfries, Earl of Bute (Peerage of Scotland, Earl of Windsor, Viscount of Ayr, Viscount of Kingarth, Viscount Mountjoy, of the Isle of Wight, Lord Crichton of Sanquhar (cr. 1488), Lord Sanquhar, Lord Crichton of Sanquhar and Cumnock, Lord Mount Stuart, Cumra and Inchmarnock, Baron Mount Stuart, of Wortley in the County of York, Baron Cardiff, of Cardiff Castle, and a Baronet of Nova Scotia, styled "of Bute" Chief of the Clan Stuart

F 28499 –

Lord Bute was the son of John Crichton-Stuart, 7th Earl of Dumfries, 2nd Marquess of Bute (1793 - 1848) by his second wife Lady Sophia Frederica Christina Rawdon-Hastings (1809 – 1859), dau of Francis Rawdon Hastings, 1st Marquess of Hastings who also had a bookplate.
His grandfather was John Stuart, Lord Mount Stuart (b 1767 - dvp 1794) married to Elizabeth Penelope MacDowall Crichton (1772 - 1796, dau and heiress of Patrick Macdowall Crichton, 6th Earl of Dumfries, from whom the title of Earl of Dumfries was inherited.

The title of Marquess of Bute had been created in 1796, on behalf of his great-grandfather John Stuart, 4th Earl of Bute, Baron Mount Stuart and Baron Cardiff, PC, FRS (1744 - 1814), who married 1stly. Charlotte Jane Windsor (d 28.01.1800, dau of Herbert Hickman Windsor, Viscount Windsor.
(see, the origin of the Bute’s estates in Wales
http://www.pauls-room.com/photos/castell_coch/coch.htm, including Cardiff Castle http://www.castlewales.com/cardiff.html)

His great-great-grandfather was
John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, KG, PC, (b.1713 - 1792), the Prime Minister, married to Lady Mary Montague, Baroness Mount Stuart of Wortley (b c1719 – 1794), dau and heiress of Edward Wortley-Montague, HM’s Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire and the famous letter writer and poet Lady Mary Pierrepont Wortley Montagu (1689-1762). Both the 3rd Earl of Bute - a noted bibliophile, and his mother-in-law formed or inherited splendid libraries (see, Bute Collection at the National Library of Scotland).

He descends also from Sir James Stuart, Bart, who was created by Queen Anne, Earl of Bute in 1703. The latter’s eldest son by his 1st marriage to Agnes Mackenzie (b. 1663, dau of Sir George Mackenzie of Rosehaugh), was James Stuart, 2nd Earl of Bute (d 28.01.1723) married to Anne Campbell (d 20.10.1736), dau of Archibald Campbell, 1st Duke of Argyll. The earl fought the Jacobites in the «1715 Rising» in the Army of George I.
But, Sir James, from his 2nd marriage to Christian Dundas (d 25.05.1740, dau of William Dundas of Kincavil), he had a another son John Stuart (1700 - dsp 12.1738), who, in turn, was a faithful follower of the exiled Stuart Kings and died in exile in Rome, where he is buried (see,

Back to the 3rd Marquess and his unusual coloured bookplate, we would like to quote the following text related to the
Bute Broadsides in the Houghton Library, Harvard University:

“The third Marquess of Bute, to whom we owe the assembling and survival of these rarities, is not best known as a collector, though he inherited distinguished libraries formed by the third Earl, George II’s prime minister, and the first Marquess, both of whom had served as trustees of the British Museum. These included a large part of the library of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, his great-great-great grandmother, a notable collection of early English drama (deposited in 1956 in the National Library of Scotland) and a superb collection of scientific rariora and association volumes formed by the third Earl. «Although he expended annually a considerable sum on the equipment of his libraries,» writes the biographer of their descendant:
«Bute was no bibliophile in the sense in which that word is now often used. Tall-paper copies, first editions, volumes unique for their rarity, and publications de luxe had no interest for him at all. What he aimed at was to surround himself with a first-rate working library… His library had standing orders, in the case of new books of interest and utility, to purchase three copies, so that wherever he chanced to be resident [i.e., in Scotland, Wales or London?] he found the tools of his craft ready to his hand.»4
[ 4 Sir David Hunter Blair, John Patrick, Third Marquess of Bute, K.T. (1847-1900) a Memoir (London, 1921), p. 125-6. Such characterizations (or disclaimers) need not be taken too literally. The Earl of Crawford, whose acquisitions included a Gutenberg Bible, also proclaimed, "My object in collecting is utility. I don’t search after Editiones principes, black letter and rarities." (Cited in A.R.A. Hobson’s review of Nicholas Barker’s Bibliotheca Lindesiana (1978), TLS 23 June 1978, p. 719).].
Within these interests, however, as some of the books and manuscripts dispersed by his descendant at Sotheby’s, 30 Oct. 1950, suggest, he acquired some items of surpassing interest and quality…”

Notwithstanding, it is known that the 3rd Marquess of Bute bought some precious books and manuscripts amongst which, we can refer the valuable Book of Hours - The
Murthly Hours, now belonging to the National Library of Scotland.

However, the fabulous Library of the Marquesses of Bute has been unfortunately dispersed in public auctions or private sales in the 1920’s and 1980’s, like many other important and historical libraries formed through the centuries by British Peers and gentlemen (see, Reid, Peter H., The Decline and Fall of the British Country House Library, Libraries & Culture - Volume 36, Number 2, Spring 2001, pp. 345-366).
See, the Duke’s ancestral seat -
Mount Stuart
Sources: Stirnet -

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