|Marquess of Hamilton|
|Successor||James, 2nd Marquess of Hamilton|
|Died||26 April 1604|
|Spouse(s)||Margaret, Countess of Cassilis|
Edward, James, Margaret
|Father||James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran|
John Hamilton, 1st Marquess of Hamilton (1540–1604) was the founder of the long line of the marquesses and dukes of Hamilton.
Birth and origins
John was born about 1535 in Scotland. He was the third son of James Hamilton and his wife Margaret Douglas. His father was the 2nd Earl of Arran and Duke of Châtellerault in France. John's mother was a daughter of James Douglas, 3rd Earl of Morton. Both parents were Scottish. They had married in September 1532.
He appears below among his brothers as the second son:
- James (1537–1609), who became insane in 1562 but nevertheless succeeded nominally his father as the 3rd Earl of Arran in 1575;
- John (1540–1604), the subject of this article;
- Gavin, who died in his youth;
- David (died 1611); and
- Claud Hamilton, 1st Lord Paisley (1546–1621), from whom descend the earls, marquesses, and dukes of Abercorn.
His sisters were:
- Barbara, who in 1553 married James Fleming, 4th Lord Fleming;
- Jean, who married Hugh Montgomerie, 3rd Earl of Eglinton in 1555;
- Anne (c. 1535 – before April 1574), who married George Gordon, 5th Earl of Huntly; and
- Margaret, who married Sir Alexander, eldest son of George Gordon, 4th Earl of Huntly.
On 28 November 1547, John, still a boy, was appointed Commendator of Inchaffray Abbey, a position he held until 1551, when he was made Commendator of Arbroath instead. He had the benefit of Arbroath until 1579, although his right was disputed by George Douglas (a natural son of the Earl of Angus who would later become Bishop of Moray).
His family supported Mary, Queen of Scots, even after her imprisonment at Lochleven Castle, her abdication in favour of her one-year-old son on 24 July 1567, her defeat at Langside in 1568 and her flight to England shortly afterwards. In 1570 Moray, who was regent during part of the minority of King VI, was assassinated by John Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh, a supporter of Queen Mary, at Linlithgow. John's father (the Duke of Châtellerault and 2nd Earl of Arran) had been imprisoned by Murray at the time and John himself might have had a hand in the murder. His successor, Regent Lennox, died in 1571 from a shot in his back during a skirmish at Stirling with the Queen's party. Finally, on 23 February 1573, his father gave up his support for Mary and recognised Mary's infant son James as King of Scotland.
Head of the family
His father died at Hamilton on 22 January 1575. His older brother James succeeded as the 3rd Earl of Arran, but because of his insanity, he was placed under John's care making John the de facto Earl and head of the family.
Marriage and children
On 30 December 1577 John contracted to marry Margaret Lyon, Countess of Cassilis, the widow of Gilbert Kennedy, 4th Earl of Cassilis, and daughter of John Lyon, 7th Lord Glamis, promising to marry her before 10 February 1578. His wife was an staunch Protestant. She had converted her first husband who had been a Catholic before their marriage.
They had three children:
- Edward, who died in infancy;
- James (1589–1625), The ambassador William Ashby was a godparent at his christening. He succeeded as the 2nd Marquess of Hamilton; and
- Margaret, who married John Maxwell, 9th Lord Maxwell. There were great preparations at Hamilton Palace and rich apparel bought in Edinburgh for the wedding in September 1597.
Hamilton also had two illegitimate children:
- Margaret Hamilton, who married Sir Humphrey Colquhoun of Luss; and
- Sir John Hamilton of Letterick, from whom descended the Lords Bargany.
Forfeiture and English Exile
In 1579 James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton accused John and his younger brother Claud to have been implicated in the murders of the regents Moray and Lennox and obtained that John and Claud were included in the Scottish Act of forfeiture of 1579. In consequence John lost his income from the abbey of Arbroath and had to leave the country. He fled first to England, then to France. He returned to England and there stayed with his brother Claud in the North. While in England he reconciled himself with Archibald Douglas, 8th Earl of Angus who was also in exile there due to his association with the Raid of Ruthven. King James had by now come under the influence of James Stewart of Bothwellmuir, to whom the King had granted Hamilton's brother's earldom of Arran.
Back in Scotland
John, with Angus, the Earl of Mar, and the Master of Glamis and with the connivance of Elizabeth I of England, raised an army and entered Scotland, reaching Stirling in October 1585. James Stewart of Bothwellmuir fled and King James capitulated on 4 November, receiving the banished lords into his presence.
At a parliament convened at Linlithgow on 1 December 1585, King James rescinded Hamilton's forfeiture and restored him and the other lords to their previously held lands. Further Hamilton was raised to the Privy Council and made captain of Dumbarton Castle. James VI sailed to Norway in October 1589 and made Hamilton in charge of the three border wards of Scotland. Elizabeth approved of his appointment. In April 1590 he visited Dalkeith Palace and when the gardener tried to stop him taking a horse, Hamilton's servant shot him. On 1 July 1592 Lord John Hamilton captured Archibald Wauchope of Niddrie with other rebel followers of the Earl of Bothwell at the meadow of Lesmahagow and imprisoned them in Craignethan Castle, promising their lives would be spared. James VI sent Sir John Carmichael, captain of the royal guard, to collect the prisoners, but one of Hamilton's sons released them.
Hamilton continued to rise in the King's favour, and on 15 April 1599, following the baptism of Princess Margaret at Holyroodhouse, he was created Marquess of Hamilton, Earl of Arran and Lord Aven. In August 1602 he hosted the French ambassador, the Baron de Tour at Hamilton Palace, who hunted with the king and the Duke of Lennox and played a card game called "mawe".
Death, succession and timeline
The Marquess died before his elder brother in April 1604. He was immediately succeeded by his son James as the 2nd Marquess of Hamilton. James also succeeded as the 4th Earl of Arran in 1609 upon James's death.
|0||1540||Born, probably in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland.|
|7||1547, 28 Nov||Made Commendator of Inchaffray Abbey while still a boy.|
|11||1551, 4 Sep||Made Commendator of Arbroath instead.|
|28||1568, 13 May||Mary loses the Battle of Langside and flees to England.|
|30||1570, 23 Jan||Probably involved in the murder of the Regent Moray.|
|31||1571, 4 Sep||Regent Lennox killed.|
|35||1575, 22 Jan||Became de facto earl when his insane brother succeeded as de jure 3rd Earl of Arran.|
|38||1578, Jan or Feb||Married Margaret Lyon.|
|39||1579||Forfeited (together with Claud).|
|42||1582, Aug||Raid of Ruthven|
|45||1585, 4 Nov||Welcomed back by the King at Stirling.|
|47||1587, 8 Feb||Mary, Queen of Scots executed at Fotheringhay Castle, England.|
|59||1599, 15 Apr||Created Marquess of Hamilton.|
|64||1604, 6 Apr||Died.|
Notes and references
- Cokayne 1910, p. 221, line 31: "He m., shortly before 23 Sep. 1532, Margaret 1st da. of James (DOUGLAS), EARL OF MORTON [S.], by Catherine illeg. da. of James IV."
- Paul 1907, p. 368, line 34: "... who was born in 1537 or in 1538 as he was under twenty-three on 15 April 1560 when Randolph wrote to Cecil recommending his good qualities."
- Paul 1907, p. 369, line 4: "... Unhappily, in April 1562, he showed signs of disordered intellect, and was soon after pronounced insane."
- Henderson 1890a, p. 176, left column: "On the death of his father in 1575, he came into nominal possession of his estates, which were, however, administrated by his second brother, John ..."
- Paul 1907, p. 369, line 11: "Gavin, styled second son ... appears to have died before August 1547 in his youth."
- Chatellherault's will, NAS ECC8/8/4
- Burke 1869, p. 2, right column, line 37: "d. unm. 1611"
- Debrett 1828, p. 443, line 9: "Claud, ancestor of the marquess of Abercorn ..."
- Dunlop 1890, p. 170, line 32: "Barbara, who married James, fourth lord Fleming, high chamberlain of Scotland."
- Paul 1907, p. 370, line 4: "Barbara, the eldest daughter, was first contracted to Alexander, Lord Gordon ... but it is not certain that the marriage took place ... She mas married (contract dated 22 December 1553) to James, Lord Fleming, chamberlain of Scotland."
- Dunlop 1890, p. 170, right column, line 37: "Jane, who married Hugh Montgomery, third earl of Eglintoun."
- Paul 1907, p. 370, line 15: "Jean or Jane ... was married (contract dated 13 February 1553-4) to the earl of Eglinton."
- Dunlop 1890, p. 170, right column, line 36: "Anne who married George, fifth Earl of Huntly."
- Dunlop 1890, p. 170, right column, line 34: "Margaret, who married Alexander, lord Gordon, eldest son of George, fourth earl of Huntly;"
- Cokayne 1910, p. 4: "Tabular pedigree of the Earls of Abercorn"
- Paul 1907, p. 370, line 30: "At a comparably early age he was provided to the abbacy of Inchaffray, the Consistorial Act in his favour being dated 28 November 1547, when he is said to be aged twelve, but his age is variously stated ..."
- Paul 1907, p. 371, line 4: "... and was on 4 September of that year  provided to the rich and extensive abbacy of Arbroath."
- Paul 1907, p. 371, line 8: "... though his possession was much disturbed by George Douglas, a natural son of the sixth Earl of Angus who claimed the abbacy as a postulate."
- Fraser 1970, p. 498: "... on 11th January, 1570, the regent Moray fell dead, struck down by the bullets of an assassin in the main street at Lithlingow;"
- Henderson 1890b, p. 193, left column, line 11: "... and it was doubtless to revenge this that he [John] and his family furthered the plot for the assassination of the regent Moray ..."
- Marshall 2004, p. 865, left column, line 36: "Mathew Stewart, 13th earl of Lennox, the Hamilton's hereditary enemy, was chosen to be the next regent but the following year he was shot in the back during a skirmish at Stirling castle and died ..."
- Dunlop 1890, p. 170, right column, line 15: "... till 23 Feb. 1573, when action in union with the Earl of Huntly, heconsented to acknowledge the king's authority and lay down his sword.
- Paul 1907, p. 368, line 28: "... died at Hamilton on 22 January 1574-75."
- Marshall 2004, p. 865, left column column: "... Lord John became in effect the head of the house of Hamilton and heir to the Scottish throne."
- Groome 1892, p. 419: "... in 1566 he [Gilbert Kennedy] married Margaret Lyon, only daughter of John, seventh lord Glamis ..."
- Fraser 1887, p. 54: "113:Contract of marriage between Lord John Hamilton, Commendator of Arbroath, brother-german and apparent heir of James Earl of Arran, on one part and Dame Margaret Lyon, Countess of Cassillis, and others, on the other part. The parties agree to marry each other before the ..."
- Groome 1892, p. 420, left column, line 49: "His widow afterwards married John, first marquis of Hamilton."
- Groome 1892, p. 419, right column, line 30: "... and by her persuasion he became a protestant and caused to reform his churches in Carrick ..."
- Henderson 1890b, p. 195, left column, line 5: "... an elder son Edward who died young."
- Calendar State Papers Scotland, vol. 10 (Edinburgh, 1936), pp. 105, 118.
- Marshall 2004, p. 865, right column: "His eldest son, James Hamilton, was born in 1589."
- Henderson 1890b, p. 195, left column, line 6: "... and a daughter, Lady Margaret, married to John, eighth lord Maxwell."
- John Duncan Mackie, Calendar of State Papers Scotland, vol. 13, pt. 1 (Edinburgh, 1969), p. 78.
- Henderson 1890b, p. 195, left column, line 10: "... and a natural daughter, Jean, who married Sir Umfra Colquhoun of Luss."
- Henderson 1890b, p. 195, left column, line 8: "He had also a natural son, Sir John Hamilton of Lettrick, father of the first lord Bargeny ..."
- Paul 1907, p. 371, line 17: "... in the forfeiture of the Hamilton estates in 1579, when his own possessions of Arbroath were affected ..."
- Paul 1907, p. 371, line 28: "The Hamiltons became reconciled to the Earl of Angus, then also in exile ..."
- Henderson 1898, p. 308, right column, line 9: "On 22 April 1581 he obtained grant of the earldom of Arran in Bute, the lands and barony of Hamilton in Lanark ..."
- Paul 1907, p. 371, line 33: "... the banished lords were on 4 November 1585 admitted to the King's presence, who ... welcomed Lord John with special cordiality ..."
- Acts of Parliament 1 December 1585
- Calendar State Papers Scotland, vol. 10 (Edinburgh, 1936), p. 182.
- Calendar State Papers Scotland, vol. 10 (Edinburgh, 1936), p. 274.
- David Calderwood, History of the Kirk, vol. 5 (Edinburgh, 1844), p. 169-170.
- Stewart, C (9 March 2016). "Head Teacher Appointment". Hamilton Grammar School. Archived from the original on 30 June 2016.
- "Former Hamilton Academy pupils hold 60th anniversary reunion".
- Paul 1907, p. 372, line 24: "... on 17 April, he and the Earl of Huntly were, with great ceremony, at his Majesty's great chamber at Holyrood installed in their proper places, his title being proclaimed MARQUESS OF HAMILTON, EARL OF ARRAN, and Lord EVAN."
- J. D. Mackie, Calendar State Papers Scotland, vol. 13 (Edinburgh, 1969), p. 1040.
- Paul 1907, p. 372, line 29: "... dying 6 April 1604, his last act being to recommend his son to the King's favour."
- Cokayne 1892, p. 141, line 7: "He died (bfore his elder br. James, Earl of Arran and Lord Hamilton [S.] above mentioned) 12 April 1604, aged about 70."
- Debrett 1828, p. 443, line 18: "JAMES, 2nd Marquess, K.G., who, on the death of his uncle, James, 1609, became also 4th earl of Arran ..."
- Burke, Bernard (1869), A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire (31st ed.), London: Harrison
- Cokayne, George Edward (1910), Gibbs, Vicary (ed.), The complete peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, extant, extinct, or dormant, 1 AB-ADAM to BASING (2nd ed.), London: St Catherine Press (for Arran)
- Cokayne, George Edward (1892), The complete peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, extant, extinct, or dormant, 4 (1st ed.), London: George Bell and Sons – G to K (for Hamilton)
- Debrett, John (1828), Peerage of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, 2 (17th ed.), London: F. C. and J. Rivington - Scotland and Ireland
- Dunlop, Robert (1890), "HAMILTON, JAMES, second EARL OF ARRAN and DUKE OF CHÂTELHERAULT (d. 1575)", in Lee, Sidney (ed.), Dictionary of National Biography, 24, New York: MacMillan and Co., pp. 167–170
- Fraser, Antonia (1970), Mary Queen of Scots, London: Panther Books
- Fraser, William (1887), Historical Manuscript Commission 11th Report Appendix Part 6 Manuscripts of the Duke of Hamilton K.T., London: Eyre & Spottiswoode
- Groome, Francis Hindes (1892), "KENNEDY, GILBERT, fourth EARL of CASSILLIS", in Lee, Sidney (ed.), Dictionary of National Biography, 30, New York: MacMillan & Co, pp. 419–420 (for his wife's first husband)
- Henderson, Thomas Finlayson (1890a), "HAMILTON, JAMES, third EARL OF ARRAN (1530–1609)", in Lee, Sidney (ed.), Dictionary of National Biography, 24, New York: MacMillan and Co., pp. 173–176
- Henderson, Thomas Finlayson (1890b), "HAMILTON, JOHN, first MARQUIS OF HAMILTON (1532–1604)", in Lee, Sidney (ed.), Dictionary of National Biography, 24, New York: MacMillan and Co., pp. 192–195
- Henderson, Thomas Finlayson (1898), "STEWART, JAMES of Bothwellmuir", in Lee, Sidney (ed.), Dictionary of National Biography, 54 Stanhope–Stovin, London: Smith Elder & Co, pp. 308–311
- Marshall, Rosalind K. (2004), "Hamilton, John, first marquess of Hamilton (1539/40–1604)", in Matthew, Colin; Harrison, Brian (eds.), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 24, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 864–867, ISBN 978-0198614111
- Paul, Sir James Balfour (1907), The Scots Peerage, Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, 4, Edinburgh: David Douglas – Fife to Hyndford (for Hamilton)
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