James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Abercorn

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His Grace
The Duke of Abercorn
KG PC
James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Abercorn.jpg
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
In office
13 July 1866 – 1 December 1868
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister The Earl of Derby
Benjamin Disraeli
Preceded by The Lord Wodehouse
Succeeded by The Earl Spencer
In office
2 March 1874 – 11 December 1876
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli
Preceded by The Earl Spencer
Succeeded by The Duke of Marlborough
Personal details
Born 21 January 1811 (1811-01-21)
Westminster, Middlesex,
United Kingdom
Died 31 October 1885(1885-10-31) (aged 74)
Baronscourt, Tyrone,
United Kingdom
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Lady Louisa Russell (1812–1905)
Children 14
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford
Religion Anglican

James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Abercorn, KG, PC (21 January 1811 – 31 October 1885), styled Viscount Hamilton from 1814 to 1818 and the Marquess of Abercorn from 1818 to 1868, was a British Conservative politician and statesman who twice served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

In 1860, The Times noted that Hamilton was one of only three noblemen to hold peerages in all three Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland.[1]

Background and education[edit]

Born at Seymour Place, Mayfair, Abercorn was the son of James Hamilton, Viscount Hamilton, who died when his son was only three, eldest son of John Hamilton, 1st Marquess of Abercorn. His mother was Harriet Douglas, second daughter of the Hon. John Douglas, himself the son of James Douglas, 14th Earl of Morton. He was educated at Harrow School and Christ Church, Oxford. In 1818 he succeeded his grandfather in his titles.[2] He received an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Laws by the University of Oxford in 1856.[2]

Political career[edit]

In 1844, Lord Abercorn was made a Knight of the Garter at the relatively young age of 33, becoming that same year Lord Lieutenant of Donegal. Two years later he was appointed a Privy Counsellor and Groom of the Stole to Prince Albert, and remained a prominent figure in the royal court for the next two decades. In 1866, he was appointed Viceroy of Ireland, and two years later was created Marquess of Hamilton (in the Peerage of the United Kingdom) and Duke of Abercorn (in the Peerage of Ireland), resigning shortly after Gladstone won the 1868 general election. He was reappointed to the post in 1874, and the Duke served as Viceroy until his resignation in 1876, partly on account of his wife's ill health. In 1874, he was chosen Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, a post he held until his death.[3] Abercorn was Envoy-Extraordinary for the investiture of King Umberto I of Italy with the Order of the Garter on 2 March 1878. He was elected Chancellor of the University of Ireland in 1881, and died four years later at his home of Baronscourt, County Tyrone.

Family and children[edit]

James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Abercorn

Abercorn married Lady Louisa, second daughter of John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford, in 1832.[2] They had fourteen children, thirteen of whom survived infancy:

Abercorn died in October 1885, aged 74, and was succeeded by his eldest son, James. The Duchess of Abercorn died in March 1905, aged 92. Through his son, the 2nd Duke, Abercorn is a great-great-great grandfather of Diana, Princess of Wales. Through his daughter, Lady Louisa, Abercorn is a great-grandfather of HRH Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, and a great-great grandfather of Sarah, Duchess of York.


Ancestry[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ The Times, 9 February 1860; Peers of the Three Kingdoms.
  2. ^ a b c Dod, Robert P. (1860). The Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage of Great Britain and Ireland. London: Whitaker and Co. p. 80. 
  3. ^ Waite, Arthur Edward (2007). A New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry. vol. I. Cosimo, Inc. p. 400. ISBN 1-60206-641-8. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Kimberley
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
1866–1868
Succeeded by
The Earl Spencer
Preceded by
The Earl Spencer
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
1874–1876
Succeeded by
The Duke of Marlborough
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Marquess of Donegall
Lord Lieutenant of Donegal
1844–1885
Succeeded by
The Duke of Abercorn
Court offices
Preceded by
The Marquess of Exeter
Groom of the Stole to Prince Albert
1846–1859
Succeeded by
The Earl Spencer
Masonic offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Leinster
Grandmaster of the Grand Lodge of Ireland
1874–1885
Succeeded by
The 2nd Duke of Abercorn
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
John Hamilton
Marquess of Abercorn
1818–1885
Succeeded by
James Hamilton
Peerage of Ireland
New creation Duke of Abercorn
1868–1885
Succeeded by
James Hamilton