James Douglas, 4th Duke Of Halmilton

JAMES DOUGLAS, 4TH DUKE OF HALMILTON (1658-1712), eldest son of the preceding and of Duchess Anne, succeeded his mother, who resigned the dukedom to him in 1698, and at the accession of Queen Anne he was regarded as leader of the Scottish national party. He was an opponent of the union with England, but his lack of decision rendered his political conduct ineffective. He was created duke of Brandon in the peerage of Great Britain in 1711; and on the isth of November in the following year he fought the celebrated duel with Charles Lord Mohun, narrated in Thackeray's Esmond, in which both the principals were killed. His son, James (1703-1743), became 5th duke, and his grandson James, 6th duke of Hamilton and Brandon (1724-1758), married the famous beauty, Elizabeth Gunning, afterwards duchess of Argyll. James George, 7th duke (1755-1769), became head of the house of Douglas on the death in 1761 of Archibald, duke of Douglas, whose titles but not his estates then devolved on the duke of Hamilton as heir-male. Archibald's brother Douglas (1756-1799) was the 8th duke, and when he died childless the titles passed to his uncle Archibald (1740-1819). His son Alexander, loth duke (1767-1852), who as marquess of Douglas was a great collector and connoisseur of books and pictures (his collections reaMzed 397,562 in 1882), was ambassador at St Petersburg in 1806-1807. His sister, Lady Anne Hamilton, was lady-in-waiting and a faithful friend to Queen Caroline, wife of George IV.; she did not write the Secret History of the Court of England . . . (1832) to which her name was attached. William Alexander, nth duke of Hamilton (1811-1863), married Princess Marie Amelie, daughter of Charles, grand-duke of Baden, and, on her mother's side, a cousin of Napoleon III. The title of duke of Chatellerault, granted to his remote ancestor in 1548, and claimed at different times by various branches of the Hamilton family, was conferred on the nth duke's son, William Alexander, 12th duke of Hamilton (1845-1895), by the emperor of the French in 1864. His sister, Lady Mary Douglas-Hamilton, married in 1869 Albert, prince of Monaco, but their marriage was declared invalid in 1880. She subsequently married Count Tassilo Festetics, a Hungarian noble. The 12th duke left no male issue and was succeeded in 1895 by his kinsman, Alfred Douglas, a descendant of the 4th duke. Claud Hamilton, 1st Baron Paisley, brother of the 1st marquess of Hamilton, was, as mentioned above, ancestor of the Abercorn branch of the Hamiltons. His son, who became earl of Abercorn in 1606, received among a number of other titles that of Lord Hamilton. This title, and also that of Viscount Hamilton, in the peerage of Great Britain, conferred on the 8th earl of Abercorn in 1786, are borne by the dukes of Abercorn, whose eldest son is usually styled by courtesy marquess of Hamilton, a title which was added to the other family honours -when the 2nd marquess of Abercorn was raised to the dukedom in 1868.

See John Anderson, The House of Hamilton (1825); Hamilton Papers, ed. J. Bain (2 vols., Edinburgh, 1890-1892) ; Gilbert Burnet, Lives of James and William, dukes of Hamilton (1677) ; The Hamilton Papers relative to 1638-1650, ed. S. R. Gardiner for the Camden Society (1880); G. E. C[okayne], Complete Peerage (1887-1898); an article by the Rev. J. Anderson in Sir J. B. Paul's edition of the Scots Peerage, vol. iv. (1907).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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