Charles Walter Stewart, twelfth Lord Blantyre was born 21st December 1818. He was the last Lord Blantyre. He was elected as a Representative Peer to the House of Lords during 1850 – 1892. He was a lieutenant in the Grenadier Guards. He married on 4th October 1843, Lady Evelyn Sutherland Leveson-Gower, second daughter of the Duke of Sutherland, and had issue a son, Hon. Walter Stuart born at Erskine House in 1851, and five daughters. However, with his son (The Master of Blantyre) passing before him in 1895 and Charles himself passing on 15th December 1900 aged 81, there were no more male successors and the title of Lord Blantyre became dormant and ceased that day.
Thus ended the lineage of the house of the Stewarts of Blantyre who were of the Royal blood of that name. With the death of the last Lord Blantyre, on 15th December 1900, all property and superiority of the parish passed into the hands of his third daughter, Ellen, who married Sir David Baird. Their youngest son, William Arthur Baird later inherited the property and superiority of the Parish in 1910. i.e Lord Blantyre’s grandson inherited much of the land and property of the Blantyre estate.
It is unknown how many Lord Blantyre’s lived at the Blantyre Priory, which in its day was an impressive structure but the 7th Lord Blantyre, Robert Stewart died at Lennoxlove, so certainly they had moved by that time. The 7th, 8th and 9th Lords of Blantyre were buried in the family vault, which itself was a tomb in the original Blantyre Kirkyard at Kirkton. When the old Church in the graveyard was demolished in 1793, the vault was adjacent to the new church, but it was later protected from the weather by a small stone structure constructed over its site. The small structure fell into disrepair and after being repaird by bricks, was eventually removed. A plaque can be seen today placed over the tomb. Some time later, the 3 coffins of Lords of Blantyre were removed and interred elsewhere, probably in the family vault in Bolton Church near the family home at Lennoxlove, Haddington. Charles, the last Lord Blantyre was buried in that location as was his son. The Duke of Hamilton purchased Lennoxlove in 1948 and the house is open to the public. A fire caused by a cigarette dropped by a tourist on 21st May 1997, seriously damaged the Blantyre / Stewart Room and most of the magnificent paintings of the 12 Lord Blantyre, were either totally destroyed or severely damaged.
The coat of arms of Lord Blantyre is described as “Or, a fess chequy azure and argent surmounted of a bend engrailed, and in chief a rose gules. A crest with a dove holding an olive lead in its mouth proper. Supported by Dexter, a savage wreathed about the head and middle with laurel, holding in his right hand a baton, all proper: sinister a lion rampant gules. Motto: Sola Juvat Virtus. (Virtue alone delights). “
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul D Veverka (c) 2017
On social media: Shared exclusively with Blantyre Project, (not for use elsewhere):