[The Liberal press, in particular The Illustrated London News, celebrated Lord Dudley Stuart a decade earlier before its 1849 Parliamentary Portrait “as the friend of the Polish refugees . . . [whose] benevolent and long sustained exertions in behalf of those unfortunate victims of Russian despotism . . . have also had . . . the satisfactory effect of placing and keeping him before the public eye in a position highly honourable, and calculated to win the popular favour" (24 February 1849, 124). The 1849 account of him praises him as an ardent exponent "of progressive reform," but the inveterate "enemy of all religious endowment, and of the maintenance of any religious disabilities," particularly any special dispensation for the Catholic Church, almost certainly rendering him an exemplary political figure in Dickens's eyes. One wonders whether Dickens's readers in 1860 would have recognized Lord Dudley Stuart in the 'noble Englishman' of the tale "The Italian Prisoner" in All the Year Round, written at the very time the united Kingdom of Italy was finally established. — Philip V. Allingham]

Lord Dudley Coutts Stuart [Click on thumbnail for larger image.]

Lord Dudley Stuart does not often take a prominent part in the debates of the House; when he does, his style of speaking and his matter do not rise above common-place. Towards the close of the last session, when, in committee of supply, the yearly vote in aid of Polish exiles in this country was attacked by the economists, the defence of his hobby brought him to his legs, and he succeeded less by force of his language or of his reasoning, than by the respect entertained by his opponents for the well-intentioned motives of his advocacy, in staving off, for that time at least, the threatened storm. In the present session he has also addressed the House on a question of a grant of the public money, but on this occasion he has not come forward as the advocate of unrestricted benevolence, perhaps because the objects of the national bounty are his fellow-subjects.

Lord Dudley Coutts is son of the first Marquis of Bute by his second wife of the late Thomas Coutts, Esq., and was born in the year 1803. He married, in 1824, Christine Alexandrine Egypta, daughter of Lucien Bonaparte, and sister of the present Prince of Canino. She died in 1847. The noble Lord was educated in Christ's College, where he took the degree of M. A., in 1823. He is Deputy-Lieutenant of Buteshire. [124]


“Parliamentary Portraits. Lord Dudley Coutts Stuart.” Illustrated London News (24 February 1849): 124.

Last modified 15 July 2010