JOHN BRUCE of Symbister [4th of Symbister], afterwards John Bruce Stewart, was born 1722, In recognition of his services in rescuing part of the Crew of the Russian frigate Isstaffa, wrecked upon his property in 1750, the Empress Catherine of Russia, it is said, commanded that a beautiful set of china should be made for presentation to him, but it was seized on its arrival at Levenwick by the Custom-house authorities and impounded for the duty payable. He died 9th November 1796, having married on 8th June 1744, Clementina, daughter and heiress of John Laurence Stewart of Bigtoun, with whom he acquired that property situated near St. Ninian's Isle, in the Parish of Dunrossness, and assumed the name of Stewart. By his marriage he had issue:-
Mrs Bruce Stewart having died in 1748, he married secondly, on 20th October 1750, Christina, daughter of Thomas Gifford of Busta, and had a daughter Elizabeth, who married on 28th January 1771, Sir John Mitchell, third baronet of Westshore, and died 14th February 1791, aged 39.
- John Laurence, who died young.
- Margaret, baptised 29th May 1745.
John Bruce leaving no male issue: was succeeded in the estates by his brother.