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Stewart Marjoribanks

(1774-1863), Politician; MP for Hythe

Early Victorian Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter in 1 portrait

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30 August 2021, 17:43

Eleanor Paxton is a niece of an ancestor. As a result, I have been doing family research into her husband Stewart Marjoribanks.

Eleanor Paxton (dau of Archibald Paxton, wife of Stewart Marjoribanks)

Archibald’s natural daughter Eleanor, born around 1777, married Stewart Marjoribanks on 19 February 1798 in St Martin in the Field, Westminster, London when she was twenty one and he was twenty four.

Stewart Marjoribanks, born on 2 October 1774, was christened on 11 October 1774 in Coldstream, Berwickshire in Scotland. He was the Whig MP for Hythe between 1820 and 1837 and again from 1840 to 1847. The website contains his biography which recounts that Stewart Marjoribanks’ mother was Grizel Stewart, the illegitimate daughter of the wine merchant Archibald Stewart. Thus the close business interests and friendship between the two families facilitated a discrete marriage.

Eleanor died in childbirth on 14 December 1799. Their son Archibald John Marjoribanks, born the same day and christened on 8 January 1800, went to Harrow from 1810 to 1815, and died in 1826.

Stewart Marjoribanks remarried in February 1841 when he was sixty-six. His second wife Lucy, born in Norfolk, was a thirty nine year old widow. According to “Lucy Pratt was the daughter of Edward Roger Pratt. She married, firstly, William Thellusson, 3rd Baron Rendlesham of Rendlesham, on 10 January 1826. After her marriage, Lucy Pratt was styled as Baroness Rendlesham of Rendlesham. She married, secondly, Stewart Marjoribanks on 2 February 1841. She died on 12 May 1854.”.

Eleanor’s husband Stewart Marjoribanks died on 31 August 1863 in Watford, Hertfordshire, aged eighty nine leaving effects under £100,000.

The website has the following interesting and detailed account of his life:

Marjoribanks was the third son of Edward Marjoribanks of Hallyards and Lees, Berwick, and Grizel née Stewart, daughter of Archibald Stewart of Edinburgh and Mitcham, Surrey; and the brother of Sir John Marjoribanks, 1st Baronet. He married twice, first to Eleanor, illegitimate daughter of Archibald Paxton, in 1798 and they had one son—Archibald John Marjoribanks—before her death in 1799. In 1841, he married Lucy, daughter of Edward Roger Pratt, and they had no children

By 1798, after presumably working for him, Marjoribanks was in partnership with Paxton as a wine merchant, marrying Eleanor in the same year. On Paxton's death in 1817, Marjoribanks continued his business in conjunction with Paxton's son, William Gill Paxton; Marjoribanks' elder brother, Campbell, joined as a director of the company in 1807, becoming a chairman three times. At some point, it appears Marjoribanks became involved in the work of the East India Company, pursuing this line by 1817 and becoming a shipowner for the company on a "considerable scale" later on. By 1832, he had withdrawn from the wine business, and by 1840, he is considered to have sold his majority stake in his East India agency.

By 1820, Marjoribanks was pursuing a political career. In that year's general election, he stood for Hythe and—with the help of a non-existent opposition, money, and patronage of the East India Company—he was "virtually impregnable". ……………………….. In the press, Marjoribanks was now considered a "Wellington Whig" despite Tory ministers considering him a foe. In this period of his parliamentary career, he voted in favour of parliamentary reform, and for inquiries into grievances of West Indian sugar producers. At the 1832 general election, Hythe was reduced to a single-member seat and Marjoribanks was again returned, opposed by a single Tory candidate. In the campaign, he expressed "cautious support" for the abolition of slavery, and described himself as "neither a republican, nor a radical". He held the seat until 1837, when he resigned by accepting the office of Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds, before standing unopposed for the seat again in 1841 and holding the seat until 1847 when he did not seek re-election.

Marjoribanks died in August 1863, leaving legacies in excess of £33,000. His estate, including property in Tasmania, Australia, was divided between his nephews Edward Marjoribanks and Dudley Marjoribanks, 1st Baron Tweedmouth.'

Alistair Alcock

02 August 2019, 14:45

Just to say that we possess an at least life size full length portrait (92 x 56 inches) of Stewart Marjoribanks Esq MP here at Arbigland House, Kirkbean, Dumfries DG2 8BQ. In the portrait he stands beside a table with a letter on it addressed to Stewart Majoribanks Esq MP, Hythe, Kent. Also signed on the table "London/J. Partridge Pinxt". The portrait seems to have been bought in an auction at Christies on 7 March 2002.

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