Edward Walter Hamilton

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Sir Edward Walter Hamilton
Portrait of Edward Walter Hamilton.jpg
Joint Permanent Secretary to the Treasury
In office
Monarch Victoria
Preceded by Ralph Lingen, 1st Baron Lingen
Succeeded by George Murray (civil servant)
Personal details
Born (1847-07-07)7 July 1847
Died 2 September 1908(1908-09-02) (aged 61)
Education Eton College

Sir Edward Walter Hamilton GCB KCVO ISO (7 July 1847 – 2 September 1908)[1] was a British political diarist and Joint Permanent Secretary to the Treasury.


Hamilton was the eldest son of Walter Kerr Hamilton (1808–1869), Bishop of Salisbury, and was educated at Eton from 1860 to 1865.[1] He matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford on 20 January 1866, where he took a Class III in Classical Moderations (Greek and Latin), and received a B.Mus. in 1867.[2][3]

He entered the Treasury in 1870, and was private secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Robert Lowe, 1872-73. In that year he was appointed private secretary to William Ewart Gladstone who was Prime Minister until 1874, and also served as such 1880-85 when Gladstone was Prime Minister for the second time. Following Gladstone's defeat in 1885 he was appointed by the new Prime Minister, the Tory Lord Salisbury to a position in the Treasury where he became a pillar of the Victorian establishment during various appointments through the years. In 1902 he was appointed a Joint Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, and continued as such until his death.[1]

Hamilton was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 1885, was knighted and promoted a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in 1894, and received the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) in 1906. He also received the Imperial Service Order (ISO) in 1904. For his services to the monarchy, King Edward VII appointed him a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in July 1901.[4]

While Hamilton always retained strong links to Gladstone and his family, politically he was closer to Gladstone's successor Lord Rosebery to whom he was a close friend and Eton contemporary.

Hamilton published a diary of political gossip under the pseudonym "Nemo" (Latin for "no man" or "no one"). He died unmarried on 3 September 1908, and was buried in Brighton cemetery.[5]


  1. ^ a b c HAMILTON, Sir Edward Walter’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, 1920–2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007
  2. ^ Oxford University Calendar 1895, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1895, pg.310
  3. ^ Foster, Joseph (1888). Alumni Oxonienses 1715–1886. II, E–K. Oxford: Parker & Co. p. 593.
  4. ^ "No. 27336". The London Gazette. 23 July 1901. p. 4837.
  5. ^ Rolleston 1912.


External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Ralph Lingen
Permanent Secretary to the Treasury
with Sir Francis Mowatt (1894–1903)
Sir George Murray (1903–1907)
Succeeded by
Sir George Murray