Archibald Stewart of Tobago

Archibald Stewart

Died 1779 on Tobago


Son of Sir Michael Stewart (ca. 1712-1796), 3rd of Blackhall, and Helen (or Helenora) Houstoun (d. 1746). Brother of Houston Stewart.

From ca. 1762 he was a merchant in Amsterdam. Ca. 1770 he bought a plantation on Tobago (in the Carribean), at which he was killed in an attempt to defend it from a privateer attack in 1779.

Life with Boswell: 

When Boswell arrived in Holland in August 1763, he went immediately to see Stewart, to whom he had apparently been referred to Norton Nicholls (Letter from Boswell to Temple, 16/8-63). They didn't know each other well in advance, but, as Boswell wrote to Johnston some time later, [he] was met with every civility. A few days later Boswell left for Utrecht, leaving some of his luggage at Stewart's, until he got himself settled. On the night between the 15th and 16th of August, Boswell returned from Utrecht to Rotterdam, feeling most depressed. He again turned to Stewart who “was very kind, took me to his house, talked with me, endeavoured to amuse me, and contrived schemes for me to follow"” (in letter to Temple of August 16).

Stewart tried to keep Boswell's spirits up, even after Boswell had settled in Utrect, and in a letter of September 7, 1763, wrote “For recreation read a chapter now and then of the Great Man or honest Spec. Your tongue and p---k are the only two members I have not instructed you how to exercise. The former of these you must satisfy by half an hour's vociferation at your servant, forenoon and afternoon. As to the latter, I believe he requires very little exercise, as he seldom or ever of late has been seen to move at all...”