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British Industrial History

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James Stuart

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James Stuart (1843-1913)

James Stuart M.P., Professor of Mechanism in Cambridge University, Trinity College, Cambridge.


1914 Obituary [1]

THE RIGHT HON. JAMES STUART, P.C., M.A. (Cantab.), LL.D. (St. Andrews), who died at his residence, Carrow Abbey, Norwich, on the 12th October, 1913, in his seventy-first year, leaves a name and reputation which will be remembered not only in the annals of engineering science, but also in education, politics, journalism and commerce. The eldest son of Mr. J. G. Stuart, a well-known flax-spinner and manufacturer, he was born at Balgonie, Fife, on the 2nd January, 1843, and was educated privately and at St. Andrews University.

After serving 2 years in his father's works, he entered Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating third Wrangler in 1866, Master of Arts in 1869, and being elected a Fellow of his college in 1867. In 1875 he became LL.D. of St. Andrews.

His principal service to engineering science was the important work which he did as first Professor of Mechanism and Applied Mechanics in the University of Cambridge, to which position he was elected in 1875. He designed and erected workshops, foundry and drawing-offices for the practical teaching of engineering operations, and planned the course of training in the new Faculty on H, sound and comprehensive basis. After overcoming many difEculties, his efforts secured the establishment of the Mechanical Sciences Tripos, which helped to make the teaching of mechanical science one of the most important features of the University curriculum. He occupied the Chair for a period of 14 years, resigning in 1889 in order to devote his energies to political life.

Professor Stuart was also a pioneer in the field of education, especially identifying himself with the development of the higher education of women. Out of the lectures which he delivered in various parts of the country, grew the idea of the University Extension movement, which whea s largely instrumental in founding. In politics he was and advanced Liberal, and represented the Hoxton division in the House of Commons for 15 years and Sunderland for 4 years. He was a keen student of municipal government and served many years on the London County Council. During this busy period of his life he also found time for much journalistic work, being managing director of the Star newspaper, and one of the founders of the Morning Leader.

In 1890 he married the eldest daughter of the late Mr. J. J. Colman, of Norwich, and subsequently he became a director of Messrs. J. and J. Colman, Limited.

From 1898 to 1901 he was Rector of St. Andrews University. In 1909, in recognition of his varied public service, he was made a member of the Privy Council.

He was elected an Associate Member of The Institution on the 23rd May, 1882.


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