STEWART, William (1780-1850), of Killymoon, co. Tyrone.
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Family and Education
b. 1780, 1st surv. s. of James Stewart* of Killymoon. educ. Christ Church Oxf. 26 Oct. 1797, aged 16. unm. suc. fa. 1821.
Capt. Cookstown inf. 1803; lt.-col. co. Tyrone militia 1805-d.; capt. Newmills inf. 1822.
Stewart’s father attempted to get a place for him, apparently as receiver-general of the Irish customs in place of Sir George Shee, when his Whig friends were in power in 1806. After his father had given up a contest for the county in 1812, having represented it for more than 40 years, it seemed unlikely that Stewart would recapture the seat on the ‘ruins’ of his father’s interest, and his unopposed return in 1818 was secured by government manoeuvre. The Castle knew nothing of his politics, but were informed by his brother-in-law Henry John Clements:
I do not think he is what is called a decided government man but certainly not hostile, and a most dedicated Protestant. If you can be of any use to him I hope you will and certainly you have more to expect from him than Knox.
Thomas Knox, who had been in opposition, was pushed out in Stewart’s favour and Stewart was thus categorized: ‘doubtful how he will vote, but not expected to be in regular opposition’. He was so regular in opposition on all critical issues except Catholic relief that these hopes were soon cancelled: the only consolation for government was his silence in debate in his first Parliament. He died in September or October 1850.
Add. 40278, f. 225; 40295, ff. 137, 141; 40298, f. 40; 47569, f. 283; Gent. Mag. (1850), ii. 565.