Stewart Jamieson – A life well lived

Stewart Jamieson – A life well lived


It is with great sadness that we have to announce the death of Stewart Jamieson who passed away peacefully on 17th October 2020 at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh after a short illness. Stewart was a founding member of STFA and played an active role in helping to reform tenancy law in the 2003 Act and in the launching of STFA the following year.

Stewart was born in Clydebank in 1949 where his parents, Stewart and Jenny, farmed at Auchenleck until the family’s move to Kirkland Farm near Thornhill in Dumfries-shire. He was educated at Wallace Hall in Closeburn before studying Agriculture at Glasgow University in 1967 followed by a PhD in animal behaviour at Reading, completed in 1971. In 1972 he met his wife Frances (Fran) and married the following year.

In 1975 Stewart and Fran moved back to farm at Kirkland with Stewart’s parents where their three daughters, Mairi, Lisa and Anna were born. Stewart became heavily immersed in family life and, as well as running a large dairy unit, he managed to find the time to become involved in a range of committees and boards, including Roslin, Dairy Co Holstein Breeders and consultants CARA. In 2001 Stewart took on the new challenge of going organic and developed new ways of running the farm and managing his grazing.

In 2002 Stewart became involved with the Scottish Tenant Farmers Action Group which just had been set up to improve the rights of tenant farmers and give them an opportunity to buy their farms. Over the next year or so Stewart emerged as one of the leading lights in STFAG speaking up for tenants in the press, driving up and down to Edinburgh to meet with civil servants and other organisation as well as lobbying government and parliament. All this hard work resulted in radical changes to the Agricultural Holdings Bill in 2003 with most of STFAG’s demands being met.

In 2003 Stewart and Fran were delighted to accept Buccleuch Estates offer to buy Kirkland and Rosehill farms and Stewart achieved his dream of becoming an owner-occupier. Despite this, Stewart retained his interest in improving tenants’ rights and continued to play a leading role in the formation of the STFA in 2004 and remained on the Board of Directors until 2010.

In 2012 Stewart and Fran decided sell up and retire from farming. In doing so he was particularly delighted at being able to sell his herd, en bloc, and move them across the road to his neighbour’s farm. He and Fran then moved to their new home at the Glebe House in Terregles on the other side of Dumfries where they have spent an active retirement busy with grandchildren, gardening and golf. Stewart has also remained interested in agricultural and political events, and, of course football. He even found time to dabble in writing and published a history of Wallace Hall Academy and was in the midst of writing a history of the Royal Highland show.

STFA members will remember Stewart as a principled and honest man who combined a social conscience with a strong sense of justice. He loved company and was great company himself, he was a natural communicator with a powerful and authoritative voice which will be much missed in STFA meetings. Stewart lived life to the full, achieving much during his life and he leaves the world a better place. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his wife Fran, her three daughters and seven grandchildren.