William Hamilton, Duke of Hamilton

His Grace
The Duke of Hamilton

William, Duke of Hamilton — Sir Godfrey Kneller, Hamilton Collection, Lennoxlove
Born Lord William Douglas
(1634-12-23)23 December 1634
Died 18 April 1694(1694-04-18) (aged 59)
Title Duke of Hamilton
Tenure 1660–1694
Other titles 1st Earl of Selkirk
Nationality Scottish
Spouse(s) Anne Hamilton, 3rd Duchess of Hamilton
Parents William Douglas, 1st Marquess of Douglas
Lady Mary Gordon

William Douglas-Hamilton, Duke of Hamilton, KG, PC (24 December 1634 – 18 April 1694), was a Scottish nobleman.[1] Born Lord William Douglas, he was the eldest son of William Douglas, 1st Marquess of Douglas by his second wife Lady Mary Gordon, a daughter of George Gordon, 1st Marquess of Huntly.[2]

Subsequent to marrying Anne Hamilton, 3rd Duchess of Hamilton, he was created Duke of Hamilton in the Peerage of Scotland, which also allowed him to use his wife's subsidiary titles during his lifetime and to take the name Hamilton for him and their descendents.

Early life and marriage

Lord William Douglas was created 1st Earl of Selkirk in 1646, at the age of 11.[3] He supported the Royalist cause in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms and was fined £1000, under the terms of the English Commonwealth's Act of Pardon and Grace to the People of Scotland.

On 29 April 1656, he married Anne Hamilton, Duchess of Hamilton. She was from a staunchly Royalist dynasty. Her estates had been declared forfeit by Oliver Cromwell after the activities of her father and uncle in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. Her father, James, 1st Duke of Hamilton, was executed by the English in 1649 at the end of the Second English Civil War, [4] and her uncle, William, 2nd Duke of Hamilton, died following the Battle of Worcester in 1651.[3]


After the Restoration, he was created Duke of Hamilton in 1660 on the petition of his wife, Anne Hamilton, suo jure Duchess of Hamilton (daughter of the 1st Duke), receiving also several of the other Hamilton peerages, but for his life only and on the assumption of the surname Hamilton for himself and his descendants.[3]

He supported John, Duke of Lauderdale, in the early stages of his Scottish policy, in which he adopted a moderate attitude towards the Presbyterians. However, the two were soon alienated through the influence of the Countess of Dysart, according to Gilbert Burnet, who spent much time at Hamilton Palace in arranging the Hamilton family's archives. With other Scottish noblemen who resisted Lauderdale’s measures, he was twice summoned to London to present his case at court, but without obtaining any result.[3]

He was dismissed from the Privy Council in 1676, and on a subsequent visit to London, Charles II refused to receive him. On the accession of James II, he received numerous honours, but he was one of the first to enter into communication with the Prince of Orange.[5]

He presided over the Convention of Edinburgh, summoned at his request, which offered the Scottish crown to William and Mary in March 1689. His death took place at Holyrood Palace on 18 April 1694. His wife survived until 17 April 1716.[6]


He was married to Anne Hamilton, 3rd Duchess of Hamilton, who bore eleven children by him:[7]


  1. Edmund Lodge (1832). The Genealogy of the Existing British Peerage. Saunders and Otley. p. 327.
  2. A Biographical Peerage of the Empire of Great Britain in which are Memoirs and Characters of the Most Celebrated Persons of Each Family. 1809. p. 111.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Chisholm 1911, p. 879.
  4. Gardiner 1890, p. 183.
  5. Chisholm 1911, pp. 789–880.
  6. Chisholm 1911, p. 880.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 Lundy 2011, "William Douglas..." cites Mosley 1999, p. 1284
  8. 1 2 Lundy 2011, "William Douglas..." cites Cokayne 2000, p. 266
  9. Lundy 2011, "William Douglas..." cites Mosley 1999, p. 1283
  10. 1 2 3 Lundy 2011, "William Douglas..." cites Cokayne 2000b, p. 616
  11. Lundy 2011, "William Douglas..." cites Cokayne 2000b, p. 618


Parliament of Scotland
Preceded by
The Earl of Moray
Lord High Commissioner
Succeeded by
The Lord Melville
Preceded by
The Earl of Melville
Lord High Commissioner
Succeeded by
The Marquess of Tweeddale
Peerage of Scotland
New title Earl of Selkirk
Succeeded by
Charles Douglas
Preceded by
Anne Hamilton
Duke of Hamilton
(as husband of Anne Hamilton)
Succeeded by
Anne Hamilton
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/13/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.