12th Lord Blantyre, Charles Walter Stewart

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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). “

1900 Charles Stuart last lord blantyre

From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul D Veverka (c) 2017

On social media: Shared exclusively with Blantyre Project, (not for use elsewhere):

Marianne Stark Aitken This is so fascinating…..
The Blantyre Project the spelling of the surname on the death certificate is different is there a reason/ story behind that?
Gordon Mason The Stuart spelling came about when Mary Queen of Scots married the French Dauphin. The French apparently had no W in their alphabet at the time, and so spelt the name with single u. Several of the Scottish families with confirmed Royal ancestors(eg CaSee more
Maxine Ross Fascinating stuff. Childishly giggling at the coat of Arms. Lord Blantyre: i’m wanting to create a family coat of arms Artist: No problem sir, I can do unicorns, harts, griffins….. Lord Blantyre: Do you have anything in the way of trouserless men 😀
Sharon Morrison Doonin Isn’t that Motto now the motto of BSA Jimmy Whelan?
Thomas Fallon Stuart not Stewart
Jamie Rogers I’m glad I joined this page..the stuff I’ve learned is incredible..I was actually hilltops Rd but did most of my walking in blantyre
Jamie Rogers Sorry meant to say hillhouse rd
Chris Ladds Fascinating Paul. Do any facsimiles of the portraits survive do you know? They may be represented in private art library research collections such as those used by auction hoises in London and elsewhere. They often have historic series of portrait photos for reference when researching unknown portaits that turn up.

It may be possible to ascertain the occupation of the Lords at the Priory or Fortalice by carefully comparing the succession of various land charters. Nothing guaranteed, but a lot can be gleaned from some of them. Probably a few secrets in the now distant Kirk Records to. 😊

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