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British Industrial History

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John Crichton-Stuart

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John Crichton-Stuart, second marquess of Bute (1793–1848), landowner and industrialist

1793 born on 10 August at Dumfries House, Ayrshire, the eldest son of John Stuart, Viscount Mountstuart (1767–1794), of Mountstuart House, Isle of Bute, and his wife, Elizabeth Penelope (1767–1797), the younger daughter of Patrick Macdowal Crichton, sixth earl of Dumfries.

1818 On 29 July he married Maria, daughter of George Augustus North, third earl of Guilford.

Most of his property was in the counties of Bute, Ayr, and Wigtown but he was also a major proprietor in Glamorgan where his most significant contribution to estate development occurred. His Cardiff Castle estate included almost all the land of the central part of the south Wales coalfield. He was the landlord of the Dowlais Ironworks. The paltry returns from the Dowlais lease caused him to drive a hard bargain with those seeking coal on his estate. As a result his son, third marquess of Bute, became the largest individual recipient of mineral royalties in Britain.

The second marquess took steps to show that the steam coal of the Rhondda valley lay at exploitable depths, which led to the growth of the Rhondda.

Bute's main contribution to the development of the south Wales coalfield was his construction of a masonry dock at Cardiff which opened in 1839

The marquess gave much attention to the layout of new streets and the design of frontages in Cardiff. By the 1870s Cardiff had become the largest town in Wales and the marquess was hailed as its "creator".

1848 Bute died at Cardiff Castle on 18 March.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  • Biography of John Crichton-Stuart, ODNB [1]