Hamilton, William Douglas, duke of

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Hamilton, William Douglas, duke of [S] (1634–94). A younger son of the 1st marquis of Douglas [S], he was created earl of Selkirk in 1646, at the age of 12, when his father was campaigning with Montrose. In 1656 he married the daughter of the 1st duke of Hamilton, who had been executed in 1649, and who was duchess in her own right. At the Restoration, he was created duke for life. Favourable to presbyterianism, Hamilton spent much of Charles II's reign in rivalry with Lauderdale. James II favoured him. He was given the Garter in 1682, made a commissioner of the Treasury [S] 1686–9, and appointed to the English Privy Council in 1687. But he joined the Williamite cause in 1688 and presided over the Convention which met at Edinburgh in 1689 and offered the throne to William and Mary. He was again commissioner to the Scottish Parliament in 1692. Burnet called him ‘rough and sullen, with a boisterous temper’.

J. A. Cannon