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Hamilton, James Hamilton, 4th duke of

Hamilton, James Hamilton, 4th duke of [S] (1658–1712). Hamilton played an important but equivocal part in the Union of Scotland and England in 1707. His grandfather had been executed in 1649 as a royalist and his great-uncle had been killed fighting for Charles II at Worcester. His mother, duchess in her own right, surrendered her title to him in 1698. Though his father supported William of Orange at the Glorious Revolution, Hamilton stayed with James II and was long suspected of Jacobitism. After taking his seat in the Scottish Parliament in 1700, he became leader of the party which brought about the confrontation with England caused by the Act of Security of 1703. But, to the indignation of his followers, he switched in 1705, moving that the queen should appoint the commissioners to treat for Union. He was not included in the commission and opposed the terms of Union vehemently. After the Union, he served as a representative peer 1708–12 and was given the dukedom of Brandon [GB] in 1711. The House of Lords refused to allow him to take his seat. In 1712 his fortunes seemed to have recovered: he was appointed master-general of the ordnance and given the Garter, but perished in a duel in Hyde Park (in which his opponent Lord Mohun was also killed). Hamilton was a good and persuasive speaker. Rosebery suggested that he was unduly influenced by honours, but irresolution seems to have been equally present.

J. A. Cannon

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Hamilton, James Douglas, 4th duke of

James Douglas Hamilton, 4th duke of, 1658–1712, Scottish nobleman. He served at the courts of Charles II and James II and remained, after his grudging acceptance of William III, a sympathizer with the Jacobites. He became duke of Hamilton in 1698 and, although he had opposed the union of Scotland with England, entered the united Parliament as a representative Scottish peer in 1708. Coming into favor with the Tory regime after 1710, he was made privy councilor (1710), duke of Brandon (1711), and ambassador to Paris (1712). He was killed in a duel by Lord Mohun before he could go to France. Suspicion of foul play caused the Tories to accuse the Whigs of murdering him, alleging that the Whigs feared he was about to engineer a Jacobite restoration from France. The duel is described in Thackeray's Henry Esmond.

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