Crichton-Stuart was the son of Lord Patrick Crichton-Stuart and a great-great-grandson of Prime Minister John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute. His mother was Hannah, daughter of William Tighe, MP. He served with the Grenadier Guards and achieved the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. In 1859 he was returned to Parliament for Cardiff, a seat previously held by his father, and represented this constituency in the House of Commons until 1880. Between 1859 and 1891 he also served as Lord-Lieutenant of Buteshire.
Crichton-Stuart married Gertrude Frances, daughter of Sir George Hamilton Seymour, in 1864. They had several children. Crichton-Stuart died in October 1891, aged 67. His wife survived him by eighteen years and died in December 1909.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by James Crichton-Stuart
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Cardiff
Sir Edward Reed
Lord Patrick Crichton-Stuart
| Lord Lieutenant of Buteshire
The Marquess of Bute
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