James Stuart (British Army officer)

James Stuart (British Army officer)

unreferenced|date=July 2008

James Stuart (1741 – 1815), general, frequently confounded with another general of that name (→James Stuart (d. 1793)), was the third son of John Stuart of Blairhall in Perthshire, by his wife Anne, daughter of Francis, earl of Murray, and was born at Blairhall on 2 March 1741.

He was educated at the schools of the United States Culross and Dunfermline. In 1757 he proceeded to Edinburgh to study law, but, abandoning the project, entered the army, and served in the American war of independence.

He attained the rank of major in the 78th Foot, and arrived in India with his regiment in 1782, where he was appointed lieutenant-colonel on 14 February. He took part in Sir Eyre Coote's campaign against Hyder, and was present at the siege of Cuddalore, when he commanded the attack on the right of the main position in the assault of 13 July 1782.

In the campaign of 1790, under General Sir William Medows, against Tipu Sultan, he reduced the fortresses of Dindigul and Palghaut. He served under Cornwallis through the campaigns of 1791–2, was placed in immediate charge of the siege of Seringapatam, and commanded the centre column in the assault of 6 February 1792. On 8 August he was promoted to the rank of colonel, and, after a visit to England, returned to Madras in 1794.

On 26 February 1795 he was appointed major-general, and in the same year took command of the expedition against the Dutch possessions in Ceylon. The whole island was secured in 1796, and Stuart in the same year became commander-in-chief of the forces in Madras. On 23 October 1798 he was gazetted colonel of the 78th Foot, and in the following year, in the last war against Tipu, commanded the Bombay army, which occupied Coorg, and repulsed Tipu at Sedaseer on 6 March. On 15 March he effected a junction with Major-general George Harris (afterwards Lord Harris) before Seringapatam, and took charge of the operations on the northern side of the city (→ Battle of Seringapatam). After its capture he, with several other general officers, received the thanks of both houses of parliament.

In 1801 he was appointed commander-in-chief of the Madras army; on 29 April 1802 he attained the rank of lieutenant-general, and in the following year took part in the Mahratta war, Major-general Wellesley being under his orders. In 1805 he returned to England in bad health; he was promoted to the rank of general on 1 Jan. 1812, and died without issue at Charles Street, Berkeley Square, London, on 29 April 1815.

He was buried in a vault in St. James's Chapel, Hampstead Road, London.

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