John Mowat

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Person.png John Mowat  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
BornJohn Stuart Mowat
30 January 1923
Died31 October 2001 (Age 78)

John Mowat (30 January 1923 – 31 October 2001), was a Scottish Sheriff and Liberal Party politician.


He was the son of George Mowat and Annie Barlow. He was educated at Glasgow High School, Belmont House School, Merchiston Castle School and Glasgow University where he received a Master of Arts.[1] In 1956 he married Anne Cameron Renfrew. They had two sons and two daughters.[2]

Early career

From 1941-46 he served in the Royal Air Force Transport Command and in 1944 was promoted to Flight Lieutenant. In 1947 he took up journalism and became a sub-editor on a Scottish national daily and Sunday newspaper. He qualified as a barrister and in 1952 became an Advocate, practising in Edinburgh.

Political career

He joined the Liberal Party and in 1953 was elected to the Scottish Liberal Party executive. He was Liberal candidate for the Caithness and Sutherland division at the 1955 General Election. The constituency had been represented by the former Liberal Party Leader Sir Archibald Sinclair until 1945. Mowat was given the challenge of winning it back. His task was made difficult due to the fact that at the 1951 General Election, the Liberals had slipped to third. In a difficult year for the Liberals, he was unable to make any headway and did not stand for parliament again[3] but devoted the rest of his career to his legal work.

Senior legal career

In 1962 he was appointed a Sheriff in Dunfermline. In 1988 he was elected as president of the Sheriffs' Association and became a Scottish Queen's Counsel (QC). He was Sheriff Principal of South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway from 1988–93 and presided over the Lockerbie Fatal Accident Inquiry that reported in 1991, following the Lockerbie bombing.[4]


  1. {{URL||optional display text}}
  2. 'MOWAT, John Stuart’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2014; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2014 ; online edn, April 2014 accessed 3 Oct 2014
  3. British parliamentary election results 1950-1973, Craig, F.W.S.
  4. {{URL||optional display text}}
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