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JOHN STEWART (1749—1822)

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Originally appearing in Volume V25, Page 914 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JOHN STEWART (1749—1822), British traveller, was born in London of humble parentage. After an unruly career at school he entered the service of the East India Company at Madras in 1763, but he threw up his position about two years later and became interpreter to Hyder Ali, afterwards serving as a general in his army; subsequently he seryed the nabob of Arcot, whose chief minister he became. Having enriched himself in this capacity, he began a series of travels through India, Persia, Ethiopia and Abyssinia, which earned him the nickname of " Walking Stewart." About 1783 he returned to Europe, where he cut a curious figure by wearing Armenian dress. He crossed over to America in 1791 and had various adventures, but soon came back to Europe, and made the acquaintance of Wordsworth in Paris and later of De Quincey in Bath. Be-coming short of money, he again went to America, where he supported himself by lecturing. Having returned to Europe, Stewart's fortunes began to mend. In 1813 a claim he had made against the nabob of Arcot was settled by the East India Company for £1o,00o, and he took rooms in London and settled down to enjoy life, airing his opinions on literature and art. He died on the loth of February 1822. De Quincey (see Collected Writings, 189o, vol. iii.) gives various particulars of him.
End of Article: JOHN STEWART (1749—1822)
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