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Wedding of the 4th Marquis of Bute in 1905

Scotland's first wedding film

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A film record of the 4th Marquis of Bute, John Crichton-Stuart (1881-1947) to Augusta Mary Monica Bellingham - the daugher of Sir Alan Bellingham, 4th Baronet at Castle Bellingham, County Louth, Ireland. This remarkable film is believed to the the UK's earliest wedding film. It was made in the days before cinema when travelling showmen screened films at the fairground. The personal nature of the film may mean that the film was specially commissioned by the family to record the wedding - it was made for showing to family and friends, but not general public viewing. The wedding was the society event of the year with no expense spared. The groom chartered the steamer Princess Maud to take his guests, the Isle of Bute pipe band across to Castle Bellingham in Ireland for the wedding. Shots include the Bride greeting wedding guests, a large marquee in background. Men wear black suits and bowler hats and women wear white dresses. Kilsaran Parich Church before the ceremony with the wedding procession passing, including flower girls, Lady Bellingham and the Dowager Marchioness of Bute. Shots of Father Patrick Fagan and Father Frank Murtagh who took the wedding service. The groom John Crichton-Stuart with Lady Mowbray followed by the best man Sir Ninian Crichton-Stuart. Altar boys and the choir of St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral, Dublin pass wearing white smocks and holding bibles. We see the bride Augusta Mary Monica Bellingham with a veil and carrying large bouquet - on her father - Sir Alan Henry Bellingham's arm. There are four bridesmaids including the groom's sister Lady Margaret, Miss Ismay Preston, Lady Norah Noel. The Bute pipe band can be seen in background. Wedding guests after the ceremony and a view of hats and heads of crowds as they clear a path for the married couple and following guests including Lord Colum Crichton-Stuart at Annagassan - a fishing village. The bridal couple being taken out to steamer Princess Maud on a barge rowed by Bellingham retainers in white uniforms with Bellingham hunting horn symbols. She waves and he doffs his hat. The Marquis of Bute's own pipe band follows also in white barge.

Questions & Activities


  • Why do think the wedding was filmed? Who might have seen it?
  • What is a Marquis and what is their role in Society?
  • Where is the Isle of Bute - what is most famous for?
  • Who were the Bellingham family and where was castle Bellingham located?
  • What are the clothes made of?
  • Why do bicycles feature in the wedding procession. Would you turn up to a wedding with the bicycle.


History: Research the history of Marquises of Bute and Mount Stuart using the Mount Stuart website.

Art and Design / Textiles: How many different types of costumes can you see? Can you work who the people are likely to be. Can you work out which class they come from?

Social History: Compare and contrast this film with weddings you have attended today. How does this compare with celebrity weddings.

Social History / Art and Design / English / History: Design your own four page spread in Hello or other celebrity magazine describing the wedding and using stills from the film.

Art and Design: Develop and design your wedding outfit.

History: Find out what else was happening during 1905.

Textiles / Gender: Look at the women's dresses. Research the history of the corset. How did they work and how did they affect women's health?

English / History: View the film slowly and see if you can work out some of the events that are going on and what people might be saying. Write a voiceover/commentary to add the film.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-519-C
Resource Rights Holder Courtesy of Mount Stuart
Project Ref 6774
Date 1905
Who 4th Marquis of ButeAugusta Mary Monica Bellingham
Where Castlebellingham, Ireland
Event Wedding, Home Movie
Attributes Black and White, Silent
Clip Length 3:06
Film Length 2:30