The history of the Bute family is enriched by the spirit of innovation. Members of the family have made their mark in medicine, politics, industry, botany, agriculture, architecture and the arts.
From the creative vision of the 3rd Earl of Bute, patron of Robert Adam and first Director of Kew Gardens, to the business vision of the 2nd Marquess of Bute, the “creator of modern Cardiff”, the Butes – male and female - have helped shape the development and wealth of Britain.
In the Victorian era the 3rd Marquess of Bute made Mount Stuart one of the most technologically advanced houses in the world: central heating, telephones and a passenger lift were all domestic firsts in Scotland. It was the first house in the UK to be purpose built with electric light and the indoor heated swimming pool, designed in 1879 and still in use today, is believed to be the first of its kind in the World.
The Bute family have innovated in other ways too: one member of the family introduced the small pox vaccine into Britain and another introduced the dahlia. Later, the 3rd Marquess secured the first female professorship at St Andrews University, campaigned for the establishment of a Scottish Parliament and – perhaps uniquely amongst Victorian men – insisted on attending the birth of all his children.
More recently, the 6th Marquess was the first landowner to participate in the International Conifer Conservational in conjunction with the Royal Botanic Gardens, whilst the current head of the family, the 7th Marquess, continues the legacy of innovation by promoting sustainable farming methods and eco-friendly initiatives such the BioMass systems within the Bute Estate.