James Boswell's uncle John was a member of a sect known as the Glasites.
John StewartBorn Mar 15, 1735
Died Nov 13, 1806 at Galloway House, Wigtown
Lord Garlies (1746-1773). 7th Earl of Galloway (1773-1806). Baron Stewart of Garlies (1796-1806). Son of Alexander Stewart, 6th Earl of Galloway and Catherine Cochrane. Brother of Keith Stewart and Catherine Stewart. Brother-in-law of James Murray. Married (1762) to Charlotte Mary Greville (1745-1763), who died died less than a year after their wedding. Married Anne Dashwood (1743-1830) in 1764. His paternal grandmother was Catherine Montgomerie (d. 1757), sister to the 10th Lord Eglinton.
MP for Morpeth (1761-1768). MP for Ludgershall (1768-1773). Lord of Police (1768-1782). Repr. peer for Scotland 1774-1790. Lord of the Bedchamber (1784-1806). Lord Lieutenant of Wigtownshire (1794-1806). Interested in agriculture and opera.
Various sources have described him as "An ambitious self-seeking opportunist, almost fanatical in his zeal to exalt his family interest [who was] hated by his opponents, and distrusted even by his friends. He had few merits except a certain facile charm ('partly mechanical'), to offset his ill-temper, arrogance, insincerity, and avarice. His own heir [George, Lord Garlies] was ashamed of his father's reputation, his lack of 'consistencyand dignity of character ... the surest cause of his failure in many things."1
- 1. Bindoff, Stanley et al. (1964) The House of Commons: 1660-1690, volume 3, members M-Y. Entry: Stewart, John, Visct. Garlies, p. 481-482
Life with Boswell:
Boswell met Stewart on September 25, 1762, when he was received by him on his way to visit Lord Galloway at Galloway House. On this occassion Boswell described him as "a little man with a great flow of animal spirits. He has been indulged and even idolised by Lord Galloway, which has given him a petulant forwardness that cannot fail to disgust people of sense and delicacy." Boswell also visited Lord and Lady Garlies together with Murray of Broughton in London, on December 19, 1762.