James Hamilton, 2nd Duke of Abercorn
The Duke of Abercorn
James Hamilton, 2nd Duke of Abercorn, circa 1913
|Born||24 August 1838|
|Died||3 January 1913(aged 74)|
|Father||James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Abercorn|
|Mother||Lady Louisa Jane Russell|
Lord Hamilton was born on 24 August 1838, the eldest son of James Hamilton, second marquess and later first duke of Abercorn (1811–1885), and his wife Lady Louisa Jane Russell (1812–1905), second daughter of John Russell, sixth duke of Bedford. He was educated, like his father, at Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford, where he matriculated on 28 May 1857. After graduating from Oxford with a BA in 1860, he entered Parliament as Conservative MP for County Donegal, a constituency he represented from 1860 to 1880. After serving as High Sheriff of Tyrone for 1863, he re-entered university and emerged with an M.A. in 1865 (he was created a Companion of the Order of the Bath the same year). That year, he also embarked upon a diplomatic mission to Denmark. He served as a Lord of the Bedchamber to the Prince of Wales from 1866 to 1885; in the latter year, he took over his father's position of Lord Lieutenant of County Donegal, and inherited his father's peerage titles. He led the Lords' reply to the Speech from the throne wearing the uniform of Lord Lieutenant of Donegal on 21 January 1886. He was chosen Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ireland in 1886, a post he held until his death. In 1887 he was appointed to the Privy Council of Ireland.
Abercorn held several positions after acceding to that title, including Groom of the Stool (1886–1891), and Chairman of the British South Africa Company. In early 1901 he was appointed by King Edward to lead a special diplomatic mission to announce the King's accession to the governments of Denmark, Sweden and Norway, Russia, Germany, and Saxony.
He was created a Knight of the Garter. He died of pneumonia in London at the age of 74. He is buried in the cemetery at Baronscourt Parish Church, the traditional burial place of the Dukes of Abercorn and their families.
Family and children
In 1869 he married Lady Mary Anna Curzon-Howe (1848–1929), daughter of Anne Gore (bef. 1832–1877, daughter of Adm. Sir John Gore (d. 1836) and Richard Curzon-Howe, 1st Earl Howe (1796–1870). Together they had two daughters and seven sons:
- James Albert Edward Hamilton, 3rd Duke of Abercorn (1869–1953)
- Lord Claud Penn Alexander Hamilton (18 October 1871 – 18 October 1871) (same day)
- Lord Charlie Hamilton (10 April 1874 – 10 April 1874) (same day)
- Lady Alexandra Phyllis Hamilton (1876–1918), who had Princess Alexandra of Wales as sponsor at her baptism. She died when the RMS Leinster was torpedoed by a German U-boat and sank. She was unmarried.
- Lord Claud Francis Hamilton (25 October 1878 – 25 December 1878) (aged 2 months)
- Lady Gladys Mary Hamilton (1880–1917), who in 1902 married Ralph Francis Forward-Howard, 7th Earl of Wicklow (1877–1946). She was his first wife; and together they had one son.
- Lord Arthur John Hamilton (1883–1914), who was Deputy Master of the Household from 1913, Captain in the Irish Guards and was killed in action at the First Battle of Ypres.
- Lord (unnamed) Hamilton (31 October 1886 – 31 October 1886) (same day)
- Lord Claud Nigel Hamilton (1889–1975), Captain in the Grenadier Guards, fought in the First World War and served in the household of King George V, his widow and Queen Elizabeth II as Deputy Master of the Household, as Extra Equerry, as Equerry in Ordinary and as Comptroller, Treasurer. In 1933 he married Violet Ruby Ashton. They had no children.
Through his oldest son James Albert Edward Hamilton, he was great-great-grandfather to Diana, Princess of Wales.
|Ancestors of James Hamilton, 2nd Duke of Abercorn|
- Matthew, H. C. G.; Harrison, B., eds. (23 September 2004), "The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, pp. ref:odnb/33669, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/33669, retrieved 1 December 2019
- Cokayne 1910, p. 10.
- Foster, Joseph (1888–1892). . Alumni Oxonienses: the Members of the University of Oxford, 1715–1886. Oxford: Parker and Co – via Wikisource.
- Waite, Arthur Edward (2007). A New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry. vol. I. Cosimo, Inc. p. 400. ISBN 1-60206-641-8.
- "The King – the special Embassies". The Times (36410). London. 23 March 1901. p. 12.
- Baronscourt Parish Church
- Cokayne, George E. (1910). Gibbs, Vicary (ed.). The complete peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, extant, extinct, or dormant. I, Ab-Adam to Basing. London: St. Catherine Press.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to James Hamilton, 2nd Duke of Abercorn.|
- "James Hamilton, 2nd Duke of Abercorn" at The Peerage
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Duke of Abercorn
- Portraits of James Hamilton, 2nd Duke of Abercorn at the National Portrait Gallery, London
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Sir Edmund Hayes, Bt
| Member of Parliament for County Donegal
With: Thomas Conolly 1860–1876
William Wilson 1876–1879
Thomas Lea 1879–1880
The Duke of Abercorn
| Lord Lieutenant of Donegal
Sir John Olphert
The 1st Duke of Abercorn
| Grandmaster of the Grand Lodge of Ireland
The Earl of Donoughmore
|Transferred to Special Reserve|| Honorary Colonel of the North Irish Horse
The Earl of Shaftesbury
|Peerage of Ireland|
| Duke of Abercorn