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John Stuart Bute, 3d earl of

Bute, John Stuart, 3d earl of (byōt) [key], 1713–92, British politician. He was prominent as a friend of Frederick Louis, prince of Wales, as early as 1747 and became the tutor of Frederick's impressionable son, the future George III. When George became king in 1760, Bute was appointed a privy councilor, first gentleman of the bedchamber, and (Mar., 1761) a secretary of state. George III's policies of destroying the Whig monopoly of political power, of making the monarch supreme over Parliament, and of ending the war with France were pursued largely under Bute's influence. After the resignation (Oct., 1761) of William Pitt (later earl of Chatham) from office, Bute became chief minister. Although he concluded the Treaty of Paris (1763), ending the increasingly unpopular war, he lacked parliamentary support and resigned shortly thereafter. George III rapidly outgrew his youthful dependence on his friend.

See biography by J. A. Lovat Fraser (1912); R. Sedgewick, ed., Letters from George III to Lord Bute, 1756–1766 (1936); R. Pares, George III and the Politicians (1953).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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