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Authority record

Stewart, Sir Michael Shaw, 1788 – 1836, 6th Baronet and Member of Parliament

  • P0017
  • Person
  • 1788 – 1836

Sir Michael Shaw-Stewart, 6th Baronet (4 October 1788 – 19 December 1836) was a Scottish politician, Member of Parliament for Lanarkshire 1827-1830 and Renfrewshire 1830-1836.

He was the son of Sir Michael Shaw Stewart, 5th Baronet 1766-1825 and the father of Sir Michael Shaw-Stewart, 7th Baronet 1826-1903. He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, where he befriended Robert Peel, becoming a lifelong political supporter of his.

Whilst the Ardgowan House estate has been owned by the Stewart family since the 15th century, the present house dates from 1797 and remains the seat of the Shaw Stewarts, whose baronetcy of Nova Scotia was conferred by King Charles II on Archibald Stewart of Blackhall in 1667.

Michael Shaw Stewart, who, like so many young gentlemen at the time, took advantage of France’s defeat in 1814 to visit the continent. The Treaty of Fontainebleau signed on 11 April 1814 marked the immediate abdication of Napoleon and the end of the embargo on British goods known as the Continental Blockade, suddenly making it much more congenial for the British to visit Europe once more, resurrecting the tradition of The Grand Tour.

Interrupting his career in politics, Shaw Stewart, then aged 27, seized the opportunity to embark on his Grand Tour without hesitation. He carefully recorded his adventures in a diary which, initially intended for his parents, provides contemporary readers with an exceptional insight in the state of Europe so soon after the first defeat of Napoleon. Shaw Stewart travelled to Germany and the Low Countries, France and Italy, where he was particularly attracted to the artistic milieu, visiting the studios of the greatest artists of the time, including those of Canova and later Thordvaldsen, to whom he returned in 1828, once he had inherited the Baronetcy from his father in 1825.

In the early years of the 19th Century Europe’s eyes were fixed on Napoleon and his tumultuous rise to power which undoubtedly did not escape Shaw Stewart. So it is not surprising he seized the opportunity afforded by his travels to meet many of Napoleon’s family, including his brother Jérôme and his mother, Madame Mère, but never Napoleon himself. In 1814 he was able to purchase the hat worn by the Emperor throughout the 1807 campaign, from the Keeper of the Palace of Dresden. On his second meeting with Madame Mère, in 1816, she presented him with a full-length portrait of Napoleon by Robert Lefèvre. Shaw Stewart continued to make additional purchases throughout his life, such as the wine bottle and lock of mane from Napoleon's favourite charger, by tradition Marengo's. These later acquisitions serving to demonstrate that his fascination did not diminish over time.

Shaw-Stewart married Eliza Mary Farquhar on 16 September 1819. Eliza Mary Farquhar, born circa 1899, was the daughter of Robert Farquhar. Eliza Farquhar was a direct descendant of Princess Pocahontas, the native American princess, who died in 1617 and was the daughter of Powhatan, chief of the Algonquian Indians in the Tidewater region of Virginia. She died in 1852. Their marriage produced four sons and four daughters.

Stirling Burgh

  • SBC
  • Corporate body
  • c.1124 - 1975

Created by a Charter of King David I sometime between 1124 and 1127. First extant Charter that of David II dated 1360. The creation of a Royal Burgh granted various privileges to the Town including trading rights, the freedom to elect a Town Council, the right to hold a Burgal Court and to build defensive walls and gates. In 1857, Stirling became a Police Burgh under the General Police (Scotland) Act 1850 (13 & 14 Vict., c.33). Under the provisions of this Act, some Burgh administration was to be carried out by the Police Commissioners who were responsible for cleansing, policing and public health. However, they were not responsible for lighting, the Stirling Gas Company having been founded in 1825, or water, which was the responsibility of the Stirling Water Commission founded in 1848. The Burgh Police (Scotland) Act of 1891 and the Town Councils (Scotland) Act of 1900 separated the administrative and policing functions and allowed Stirling to retain its own police force. The Town Council was abolished by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 (c. 65) and ceased to exist in April 1975. Its various powers were assumed by Central Regional Council and Stirling District Council. These in turn were replaced by Stirling Council under the provisions of the Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994 (c.39) in 1996.

Stirling Central District Council

  • PR/SC1
  • Corporate body
  • 1930 - 1975

Prior to 1845, most local administration was provided by the kirk session of individual parishes. Details of this can be found within the CH2 holdings for the ecclesiastical parishes within the Stirling Central area. In 1845 the Poor Law (Scotland) Act set up parochial boards in each ecclesiastical parish in Scotland with a Board of Supervision established in Edinburgh to oversee the administration or relief for the poor. This produced a whole new series of records related to the provision of help for those in need. As well as this function, the parish was also responsible for other aspects of local administration such as recreation grounds, refuse collection and lighting. After 1925, care of local burial grounds was transferred to the parish authorities and at this time, all existing pre-1925 lair and burial records were given over to the care of the parish council. The Local Government (Scotland) Act of 1894 replaced the parochial boards with parish councils although the system of administration remained broadly the same. The 1929 Local Government (Scotland) Act transferred the functions of the parish councils to the district councils of the local county council. Stirling Central No. 1 District covered the civil parishes of St Ninian’s and Logie, which include the towns and villages of Bannockburn, Cowie, Fallin, Plean, Whins of Milton, Cambusbarron, Polmaise, Throsk, part of Sauchie, Bridge of Allan and Blairlogie. In 1948, all provision for the poor became the responsibility of the National Assistance Board with the establishment of the Welfare State in that year.

Stirling County Commissioners of Supply

  • SCM
  • Corporate body
  • 1667 – 1930

Administrative/Biographical history: Commissioners of Supply were first established in Scotland in 1667 to collect the cess, or national land tax, on a county basis. The Commissioners were themselves the substantial landowners of the county, defined after the Union as those possessing property, superiority or liferent of lands with a minimum annual value of £100 Scots. They gradually acquired duties other than tax collection, although that remained their main function. During the eighteenth century they collected various assessed taxes such as window and horse tax, and with the justices of the peace were responsible for county roads, bridges and ferries. They became an important institution of local government and provided a voice for the views and concerns of landowners. In some counties attention was paid to police and vagrancy matters, and taxes could be levied for prisons, asylums and county buildings.

In 1869 local authorities were set up in each county, to be composed of the commissioners of supply and elected local representatives. They were responsible for measures against contagious diseases of animals under such statutes as the Cattle Plague Prevention Act 1866 (29 & 30 Vict., c.2) and the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Act 1869, (32 & 33 Vict., c.70).

Almost all of the functions of the Commissioners of Supply were transferred to the new county councils in 1890 (Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889, 52 & 53 Vict, c 50), with one important exception. Commissioners of Supply formed part of the membership of standing joint committees, which were the police authorities in counties until 1930, and also were required to approve all capital works undertaken by county councils. Both standing joint committees and commissioners of supply were abolished in 1930 (Local Government (Scotland) Act 1929, 19 & 20 Geo V, c 25).

Stirling County Council

  • SCC
  • Corporate body
  • 1890-1975

Stirling County Council was an elected body established by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889 (52 & 53 Vict., c. 50). County Councils inherited almost all the functions of commissioners of supply, and those of county road trusts and local authorities set up under the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Acts. They also took over some administrative powers from the justices of the peace, but not their licensing or judicial functions.

The responsibilities of the commissioners of supply for police matters were transferred to standing joint committees made up of commissioners of supply and county councillors. County councils were required to appoint full-time county medical officers of health and sanitary inspectors, and the local public health functions of parochial boards in landward areas were transferred to district committees of the county councils.

The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1929 (19 & 20 Geo. V, c.25) abolished district committees, standing joint committees, commissioners of supply, parish councils, education authorities and other bodies, and transferred all or most of their functions to county councils. The main impact was in the areas of the poor law and education. County councils were now responsible for education everywhere except in the four counties of cities, and for the poor law and public health except in the counties of cities and large burghs. The act also required the councils to prepare a scheme for coverage of their areas by district councils which might have certain functions delegated to them by the county council.

County councils were abolished in 1975 and their powers transferred to regional, islands and district councils (Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, c.65). The majority of the former Stirling County Council area was incorporated within Central Regional Council, the remainder coming under Strathclyde Regional Council.

Stirling High School

  • ED/SG5
  • Corporate body
  • 1856 -

In 1856 the High School of Stirling was situated on Spittal Street. This school stayed open until 1962, when the school moved from its place at the top of the town, to Torbrex. The school still operates to this day.

Stirling Parish

  • PR/SG
  • Corporate body
  • 1845 - 1975

Prior to 1845, most local administration was provided by the kirk session of the parish. Details of this may be found in the minutes and accounts of the ecclesiastical parishes in Stirling at CH2/1026, CH2/640 and CH2/762. In 1845, The Poor Law (Scotland) Act set up parochial boards in each ecclesiastical parish in Scotland with a Board of Supervision established in Edinburgh to oversee the administration of relief for the poor. This produced a whole new series of records related to the provision of help for those in need. As well as this function, the parish was also responsible for other aspects of local administration such as recreation grounds, refuse collection and lighting. After 1925, care of local burial grounds was transferred to the parish authorities and at this time, all existing pre-1925 lair and burial records were given over to the care of the parish council. The Local Government (Scotland) Act of 1894 replaced the parochial boards with parish councils although the system of administration remained broadly the same. The 1929 Local Government (Scotland) Act transferred the functions of the parish councils to the district councils of the local county council. In the case of Stirling, the Parish fell under the jurisdiction of Stirling Burgh Council. In 1948, all provision for the poor became the responsibility of the National Assistance Board with the establishment of the Welfare State in that year.

Stirling Water Works

  • GB224/SWW
  • Corporate body
  • 1845 - 1939

Stirling Burgh Council applied to Parliament for an act to bring an additional supply of water to Stirling on 5th October 1847. The existing water supply for the Town from the Touch Hills was becoming inadequate for the needs of the people of Stirling with the expansion of its population in the mid 19th century. Calls to improve the supply were being considered by the Council from the late 1830s onwards. Parliament passed the Stirling Waterworks Act on 9th June 1848 as 11 Victoria Chapter 8. Although the Water Works Commission was an autonomous body, the Provost and 6 Councillors of the Burgh acted as Commissioners alongside 6 householders elected from amongst the ratepayers of the Burgh, and the Secretary of the Trustees was the Stirling Town Clerk so there were close links between the Water Works and the Council. The improvements were financed by the levy of a Public Water Rate, payable by existing ratepayers twice per year at Martinmas and Whitsunday. The Water Works Commissioners were dissolved in accordance with clauses 66 – 72 of the Stirling Burgh Order 1939 on the 16th May 1939. The water undertaking along with all of its property and premises were transferred to Stirling Burgh.

Stirling Western No 1 District Council

  • PR/SW1
  • Corporate body
  • 1845 - 1975

Prior to 1845, most local administration was provided by the kirk session of individual parishes. Details of this can be found within the CH2 holdings for the ecclesiastical parishes within the Stirling Western area. In 1845 the Poor Law (Scotland) Act set up parochial boards in each ecclesiastical parish in Scotland with a Board of Supervision established in Edinburgh to oversee the administration or relief for the poor. This produced a whole new series of records related to the provision of help for those in need. As well as this function, the parish was also responsible for other aspects of local administration such as recreation grounds, refuse collection and lighting. After 1925, care of local burial grounds was transferred to the parish authorities and at this time, all existing pre-1925 lair and burial records were given over to the care of the parish council. The Local Government (Scotland) Act of 1894 replaced the parochial boards with parish councils although the system of administration remained broadly the same. The 1929 Local Government (Scotland) Act transferred the functions of the parish councils to the district councils of the local county council. Stirling Western District No 1 covered the civil parishes of Buchanan and Drymen, which includes the towns and villages of Drymen, Balmaha, Inversnaid and Rowardennan. In 1948, all provision for the poor became the responsibility of the National Assistance Board with the establishment of the Welfare State in that year.

Stirling Western 1 District Council

  • PR/SW1
  • Corporate body
  • 1930 - 1975

The District Councils were created by the 1929 Local Government (Scotland) Act, implemented the following year. The chief responsibility of the local authorities under the Act was, where necessary, to provide accommodation for the unemployed, disabled and aged. Although this became the responsibility of county councils, the districts administered the applications.

Abolished by Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973.

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