William Hamilton, Duke of Hamilton

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The Duke of Hamilton

William Douglas, Duke of Hamilton.jpg
Lord High Commissioner
In office
MonarchWilliam II and Mary II
Preceded byThe Earl of Melville
Succeeded byThe Marquess of Tweeddale
In office
MonarchWilliam II and Mary II
Preceded byThe Earl of Moray
Succeeded byThe Earl of Melville
Personal details
Born23 December 1634
Died18 April 1694(1694-04-18) (aged 59)
Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland
Resting placeHamilton Collegiate Church, Hamilton Mausoleum, Bent Cemetery, Hamilton, South Lanarkshire
Spouse(s)Anne, 3rd Duchess of Hamilton

William Douglas-Hamilton, Duke of Hamilton, KG, PC (24 December 1634 – 18 April 1694), also known as Lord William Douglas and the Earl of Selkirk, was a Scottish nobleman and politician.[1] He was the eldest son of The 1st Marquess of Douglas by his second wife, Lady Mary Gordon, a daughter of The 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 their descendants.[3]

Early life and marriage[edit]

Lord William Douglas was created Earl of Selkirk in 1646, at the age of 11.[4] 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, [5] and her uncle, William, 2nd Duke of Hamilton, died following the Battle of Worcester in 1651.[4]


Quartered of arms of William Douglas-Hamilton, 3rd Duke of Hamilton, KG, PC

After the Restoration, he was created Duke of Hamilton in 1660 on the petition of his wife, Anne Hamilton, suo jure Duchess of Hamilton, receiving also several of the other Hamilton peerages for life.[3]

He supported the 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.[4]

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 William III of Orange.[6]

He presided over the Convention of Edinburgh, summoned at his request, which offered the Scottish crown to William III and Mary II in March 1689. His death took place at Holyrood Palace on 18 April 1694. His wife survived until 17 April 1716.[7]


Hamilton Palace

He was married to Anne Hamilton, 3rd Duchess of Hamilton, who bore eleven children by him.[8] He adopted the surname Douglas-Hamilton and the Hamilton arms, and his children bore the surname Hamilton.[9]

  • Lady Mary Hamilton (30 April 1657 – July 1666), died young
  • James Hamilton, 4th Duke of Hamilton (11 April 1658 – 15 November 1712)
  • Lord William Hamilton (14 July 1659 – 1681)
  • Lady Catherine Hamilton (bapt. 24 October 1662 – 11 January 1707), married 1st Duke of Atholl
  • Charles Hamilton (later Douglas), 2nd Earl of Selkirk (c. 1662-c. 1739)
  • John Hamilton, 3rd Earl of Selkirk, 1st Earl of Ruglen (c. 1664–1744)
  • George Hamilton, 1st Earl of Orkney ((9 February 1666 – 29 January 1737))
  • Lady Susannah Hamilton (1667 – 7 February 1737) married firstly the Earl of Dundonald, secondly, the Marquess of Tweeddale
  • Lady Margaret Hamilton (December 1668 – 6 December 1731) married James Maule, 4th Earl of Panmure
  • Lord Basil Hamilton (16 December 1671 – 27 August 1701), drowned at age 30
  • Lord Archibald Hamilton (bapt. 17 February 1673 – 5 April 1754)


  1. ^ Edmund Lodge (1832). The Genealogy of the Existing British Peerage. Saunders and Otley. p. 327.
  2. ^ Brydges, Sir Egerton (1809). A Biographical Peerage of the Empire of Great Britain in which are Memoirs and Characters of the Most Celebrated Persons of Each Family. p. 111.
  3. ^ a b Balfour Paul, James (1904). The Scots Peerage. Edinburgh : D. Douglas. p. 516. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Chisholm 1911, p. 879.
  5. ^ Gardiner 1890, p. 183.
  6. ^ Chisholm 1911, pp. 789–880.
  7. ^ Chisholm 1911, p. 880.
  8. ^ Balfour Paul, James (1904). The Scots Peerage. Edinburgh: D. Douglas. p. 382. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  9. ^ Burke, Sir Bernard, ed. (1914). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (76th ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. p. 1745.


  • Gardiner, Samuel Rawson (1890). "Hamilton, James (1606-1649)" . In Stephen, Leslie; Lee, Sidney (eds.). Dictionary of National Biography. 24. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 179–183.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Cokayne, G.E.; et al. (2000), The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, VI (new, reprint in 6 volumes ed.), Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, p. 266
  • Cokayne, G.E.; et al. (2000b), The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, XI (new, reprint in 6 volumes ed.), Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, pp. 616, 618
  • Mosley, Charles, ed. (1999), Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 1 (106th, 2 volumes ed.), Crans, Switzerland: Burke's Peerage, pp. 1283 1284
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