STEWART, William (1737-97), of Castle Stewart, Wigtown.
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Family and Education
b. I737, 1st s. of John Stewart of Castle Stewart, M.P., and bro. of Alexander Stewart. educ. Glasgow Univ. 1749. m. 31 Mar. 1771, Euphemia, da. of Kenneth Mackenzie, Lord Fortrose, gd.-da. of Alexander, 6th Earl of Galloway [S], 1 surv. s. 4da. suc. fa. 12 Jan. 1769.
Lt. 60 Ft. Feb. 1756, capt. May 1757; capt. 8 Drag. June 1764; ret. 1769.
Stewart belonged to a cadet branch of the Galloway family, owning estates in Wigtownshire and Kirkcudbright, extensive, but burdened with longstanding debts.1 The family, although mainly dependent on their chief, were also connected with Argyll: he obtained for William Stewart a commission in the 60th Foot with which he served in the seven years’ war.2 Disappointed of a majority in 1768,3 Stewart, on succeeding to his encumbered estates, left the army, and in May 1770 was brought in by Lord Galloway for Wigtown Burghs. His marriage allied him still further with the Galloway family by whom his parliamentary vote was mainly directed. Normally an Administration supporter, he followed Keith Stewart in voting with Opposition on the naval captains’ petition, 9 Feb. 1773; but voted with Government on the Middlesex election 26 Apr. 1773; and in September 1774 was counted ‘hopeful’ by Robinson.
At the general election the Galloway family sponsored the candidature of Henry Watkin Dashwood in the burghs, but gave their interest to Stewart in Kirkcudbright for which he was returned after a contest. In the new Parliament every known vote of his was given on the Government side. No speech of his is recorded. He did not stand again in 1780, his finances being desperate. Disappointed in his hopes of a lucrative post, he had to be content with a minor Custom House place.4 In 1783 he was obliged to sell his Wigtownshire estates and died 8 Oct. 1797.