Hamilton, Elizabeth (1641–1708)

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Hamilton, Elizabeth (1641–1708)

Countess of Grammont. Name variations: La Belle Hamilton. Born in 1641, probably in County Tyrone, Ireland; died in 1708; daughter of Sir George Hamilton, 1st baronet and governor of Nenagh (d. 1679); sister of Anthony Hamilton (c. 1646–c. 1720, author of Mémoires du Comte de Grammont); married Philibert, comte de Grammont, in 1663 (died 1707).

Elizabeth Hamilton was known as one of the most brilliant and beautiful women at the court of Charles II. She married the gambler and libertine Philibert, count of Grammont in 1663, at the instigation of her Royalist brother Anthony Hamilton, and moved to France the following year. Her husband's memoirs (Mémoires duComte de Grammont), a French classic, concerned the amorous intrigues at the court of Charles II. The first half of the book was supposedly dictated to Anthony Hamilton by the count; the second half was presumed to be the creation of Anthony Hamilton. The book appeared anonymously in 1713. It was edited by Horace Walpole in 1772, Sir Walter Scott in 1811, and M. de Lescure in 1876. Elizabeth Hamilton's portrait was painted by Lely.

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