Stuart, Henry Windsor Villiers (1827–95), MP, clergyman, and Egyptologist, was born 13 September 1827, the only son of Henry Villiers-Stuart (1803–74), 1st Baron Stuart de Decies, of Dromana, Co. Waterford, privy councillor, MP (1826–30) and lord lieutenant of Co. Waterford (1831–74). His mother was Theresia Pauline Ott (d. 1867) of Vienna. Educated by a private tutor he entered the Austrian service as a cadet in Prince Liechtenstein's Regiment (5th Austrian Regiment of Light Horse) and was commissioned as an ensign in the 26th Regiment in 1845. He did not pursue his military career, however, and entered the University of Durham, graduating BA (1850) and MA (1852). Ordained in 1850, he was appointed vicar of Bulkington, Warwickshire (1852), and then of Napton-on-the-Hill, Southam, Warwickshire (1855).
From 1871 to 1874 he was deputy-lieutenant of Co. Waterford, inheriting the family estate at Dromana in January 1874 after the death of his father, but he did not succeed to his father's title. Despite his father's claim that he had married Theresia Pauline Ott in January 1826 in St James's catholic church in Spanish Place, London, no record of this marriage could be found. Stuart brought the case before a committee of privileges in 1876, but could not prove his right to succeed as 2nd Baron Stuart de Decies.
In 1873 he resigned holy orders under the terms of the clerical disabilities act of 1870, in order to stand for parliament. In July 1873 he won the Waterford county by-election, standing in the liberal interest, but lost the seat in the general election of February 1874. Regaining it in the general election of April 1880, he introduced the Labourers' Cottages and Allotments (Ireland) Bill, which received royal assent in August 1882. He did not contest the Waterford seat in the general election of December 1885, but stood instead as an independent unionist candidate for Cork East and was comprehensively defeated by the nationalist candidate, William John Lane.
Stuart travelled extensively in the West Indies and South America and, a keen antiquarian, made several journeys through Egypt. After the British occupation of Egypt in 1882, he was attached to the staff of Lord Dufferin (qv) in 1883 and commissioned to report on the condition of the country. The results of his investigations were published as a parliamentary blue book.
A leading member of the Society of Biblical Archaeology, Stuart published several articles in the society's Proceedings. Other published works include Eve of the deluge (1851), Nile gleanings: concerning the ethnology, history and art of ancient Egypt (1879), Egypt after the war (1883), and Adventures amidst the equatorial forests and rivers of South America (1891). He was a committee member of the Royal Literary Fund. On 12 October 1895, he slipped while boarding a boat at Villierstown quay on the Blackwater river, near the family home at Dromana, and was drowned.
He married (August 1865) Mary (d. 14 September 1907), second daughter of the Ven. Ambrose Power, archdeacon of Lismore and fourth son of Sir John Power, 1st baronet, of Kilfane; they had five sons and four daughters. His second son was Gerald Villiers-Stuart, author. His second daughter was Gertrude Gwendoline Villiers-Stuart, MBE.